HealthFusion June 2014 B  

August 13, 2014   Vol. V, Issue 33
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Effects of family violence on Telomere length

A telomere is that part of the DNA sequence at the end of each chromatid which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration. With each chromosome duplication during division it caps the end sequence (acting as a buffer to protect gene loss) and are shortened (complex reasons) in the process. They are subsequently replenished by telomerase reverse transcriptase. There are theories that claim the shortening of telomeres may play a role in aging and in the prevention of cancer.


A study of children (aged 5-15 years) recruited from disrupted families /violent homes involved telomere length being measured and compared to the degree of family dysfunction, to assess the effects of early adversity on health.


Children from disrupted homes (particularly family violence) had shorter Telomeres - a sensitive biomarker of childhood adversity.



Adult outcome after childhood onset epilepsy.

While the discussion regarding outcomes for adults whose epilepsy started in childhood is complex (dependent on seizure type, severity and co-morbidities etc.) a study evaluating seizure remission or persistence and social outcome was undertaken from published databases.


Approximately 50-60% of children with epilepsy eventually become seizure free, off antiepileptic drugs. While a very small group of children die as a result of seizures, an otherwise normal child will have the same risk of death as for a normal population. Unfortunately, even those children with normal intelligence who are seizure free as adults, have high rates of incomplete education, unemployment, poverty, social isolation, inadvertent pregnancy and psychiatric disorders.


Pediatric Neurology 



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Cardiovascular effects of Caffeine by gender & pubertal stage.


"Caffeine use is on the rise among children and adolescents".


A double blind, placebo control, dose-response study of pre-pubertal (8-9 year olds) and post-pubertal (15-17 year olds) boys (54) and girls (47) was undertaken to assess the effect on heart rate and blood pressure of 2 doses of caffeine (1 and 2 mg/kg) vs. a placebo.


Pre-pubertal boys have a greater response to a caffeine dose than girls. Post-pubertal cardiovascular responses to caffeine depend on gender, pubertal and menstrual cycle phase (in girls).



Video Feature
Study finds kids are getting too much caffeine
Study finds kids are getting too much caffeine
via YouTube

Family member presence for Emergency Department (ED) procedures.


Family presence during procedures has been a controversial issue for some time. Family members frequently (30% of the time) may elect not to be present (for CPR). Most, however, who choose to be present appear to think that their decision an appropriate one. Almost all believe it is their right to have the choice. Many physicians (particularly Residents) resist adopting the practice for a variety of reasons.


A study 59 children undergoing ED procedures and accompanied by a family member were utilized to assess what choices family members made when offered "stay" or "not" options.


During an ED procedure 73% of family members elect to be present. It appears, however, that family members like to remain during an actual ED procedure less often than they indicate they would in hypothetical scenarios. 


Pediatric Emergency Care 

Rapid diagnosis of bacterial meningitis using gram probe real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)


12 clinical strains representing 13 gram-positive and 12-gram negative bacterial species were identified correctly with a corresponding gram probe.


CSF collected, cultured and routinely analyzed was utilized ( from 482 children suspected of having bacterial meningitis ), to evaluate the efficacy of gram probe-based PCR in diagnosing & classifying bacterial meningitis.

The gram probe PCR array delivers significantly higher positive CSF rates, compared to CSF culture and appears to be an excellent technique for rapid, accurate diagnosis and discrimination of bacterial meningitis.


Clinical Pediatrics


Programming of appetite control during pregnancy, breast feeding & early infancy, for the prevention of obesity. 


Adult obesity rates have doubled in just 30 years and it is reported that more than 40 million children under the age of 5 are overweight (WHO 2011). Lifestyle and nutritional choices may contribute to the problem.


It appears that some choices (including those made by the mother during pregnancy and in the early post-natal period) appear to play a critical role in subsequent appetite regulations and metabolic programming of energy balance, into adolescence and adulthood.


Journal of Human Lactation 

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