January 14, 2015   Vol. VI, Issue 2
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Growth Hormone (GH) therapy in Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS).

Prader-Willi Syndrome is a rare complex genetic condition that affects 1 in 10,000 people worldwide and involves many parts of the body. Most PWS patients (70%) occur when a segment (with perhaps seven genes) of the paternal chromosome 15 is deleted. 25% of these patients have 2 copies from his/her mother instead of 1 from each parent. Signs and symptoms vary from infancy through childhood.


Two recent studies examined the effects of growth hormone on infants/children with PWS.


The first study examined muscle thickness/ strength/ & motor development from a combination of physical training & GH therapy on 22 infants (mean 12.9 months) over a 2 year period.

GH increases and improves muscle and motor development.


The second study evaluated GH (0.033 mg/kg/day for 2 years) effects on cognition and behavior. Results indicate that no improvement in behavior occurs on treatment. On stopping however, children show a significant worsening of behavioral problems (and an increase in body fat).




Acta Paediatrica 

Back pain in children 

Many studies have previously suggested that most pediatric patients who present with a history of back pain have no identifiable cause.


A 24-month prospective evaluation of all children (261) who presented to a pediatric orthopedic clinic with a history of back pain and who were fully investigated indicates that 8.8% have an identifiable pathology following history and physical examination alone, this increases to 22% with plain radiography and to 36% with the use of MRI.


Constant back or lumbar pain in children are strong indicators of an underlying pathological process.


Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 

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Perinatal complications & aging indicators by midlife.


A 38-year longitudinal study of 1,037 mother/baby units assessed for both maternal and neonatal complications which utilized 2 aging indicators (leukocyte telomere length (TL) - telomeres shorten with each cell division and are thought to be an indicator of aging) and perceived facial age (a measure of declining tissue integrity) strongly suggests a close association between perinatal complications and subsequent indicators of accelerated aging at midlife. Further study is needed to understand the mechanisms involved.


18 month predictors of later outcomes in younger siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


"Younger siblings of children with ASD are at high risk for developing ASD as well as features of the broader autism phenotype". This allows for early examination of siblings for patterns of autism associated behaviors.


Three combinations of behaviors features diagnosed at 18 months appear predictive (77%-83% accuracy) of ASD development at 36 months, though symptoms may change over time.

  1. Poor eye contact combined with lack of communicative gestures/giving.
  2. Poor eye contact with lack of imaginative play.
  3. Lack of giving and presence of repetitive behavior (with intact eye contact).

Journal of American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Video Feature 

(via YouTube)
Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Telephone cognitive- behavioral therapy (TCBT) for adolescents with Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder (OCD).


It appears from a study of 72 adolescents (ages 11-18 years ) with a diagnosis of primary OCD which compared TCBT to standard clinic-based, face-to-face cognitive behavior therapy, that at mid treatment; post-treatment; and assessment follow-up to 1 year, that TCBT may well be as good a therapy for adolescent OCD as clinic visits. Children/adolescents appear to like the TCBT approach which may enhance access for many children presently untreated. 


Journal of American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 

Stability of parent - reported food allergy in 6 & 7 yr. old children.


In 2008, Finland established a national allergy program to decrease the burden of allergy in its population. A parent-reported study of the prevalence of allergies (treated with an avoidance diet) in their offspring was undertaken in 2009 and again at ages 6 or 7 in the first year of their elementary schooling.


In 2013, 6.1% of Finnish children were allergic to at least one food and 2.5% to basic foods like cow's milk, eggs and wheat (these remained stable from 2009). Allergies to nuts, fruits and vegetables appear to decrease significantly over time.


Acta Paediatrica 

Maternal stress during pregnancy is associated with depression in 11 yr. old children. 


Maternal, obstetric and demographic information on 609 mother/child units was collected from birth to 11 years of age. Information collected at 3.5 years and 7 years included intelligence testing, parent-reported behavior and emotional development. At 11 years children completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for

Depression Symptoms in Children & Teens
Depression Symptoms in Children & Teens



Symptoms of moderate to severe depression in children is related (particularly those born small for gestational age) to maternal stress during pregnancy, young maternal age, lower IQ at 7 years of age and being bullied at school in the previous 6 months.


Acta Paediatrica
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