Aug. 9, 2017
Volume VIII |  Issue No. 32

E-cigarettes and adolescent smoking
Another recently reported study of the effects of e-cigarette smoking on tobacco cigarette smoking, surveyed 2,125 Scottish school children (between 11 and 18 years of age) following them up 12 months later. 
Of 2,125 children who initially never smoked a cigarette, 8.4% tried an e-cigarette. A year later 40.4% of those who smoked e-cigarettes now smoke cigarettes (compared to 12.8% who had never tried an e-cigarette ).  

BMJ Journals | Tobacco Control
Zika virus and eye damage
In spite of some guidelines, "it appears that all infants with possible maternal Zika virus exposure should undergo eye exams regardless of timing of exposure, laboratory confirmation or whether they have central nervous system abnormalities". 41.7% of Zika infected babies with eye abnormalities occur without the presence of microcephaly and many in the absence of central nervous system abnormalities.

Uncomplicated appendicitis is complicated!
An increasing number of children with uncomplicated appendicitis are being treated with antibiotics rather than surgery. A retrospective study of approximately 99,000 cases outlines the following facts:
  1. Over a 6-year period, non-operative management of acute uncomplicated appendicitis increased by 20.4%.
  2. 11.2% required Emergency Department visits.
  3. During 12 months of follow-up, 43.7% required hospitalization and 46% required appendectomy.
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Dexamethasone to decrease recurrence of acute intussusception in children
A retrospective review of 174 pediatric patients (2-36 months of age) who underwent successful pneumatic reduction for recurrent intussusception given either dexamethasone on diagnosis/immediately after the reduction or not, indicates that premedication of children with idiopathic intussusception does not prevent early recurrence.

Video Feature
Effects of cannabis on the teenage brain
Effects of cannabis on the teenage brain
See also Why Marijuana is Extremely Dangerous to the Adolescent Brain
Brain effects of adolescent Cannabis use at age 20 years
"Cannabis use is a critical and growing public health problem among adolescents and young adults. 44.5% of 12-graders report life-time use and 6% daily use in the last 30 days". While many adolescents consider cannabis use as benign, it has been reported to be associated with poor educational and psychosocial outcomes and mental health problems in adulthood.

A longitudinal study recruited from infants aged 6 months to 17 months aimed to identify trajectories of cannabis use across adolescence (ages 14-19 years), to examine functional connectivity of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc - a region in the striatum of the brain which is a major component of the basal ganglia; responsible for not only voluntary motor control but also learning and cognitive and emotional functions) with prefrontal brain areas, and to examine whether NAcc connectivity relates to psychosocial function.

1.  There appears to be 3 distinct pattern of adolescent cannabis use; "stable high", "escalating" or "stable low use".
2.  Cannabis use negatively affects NAcc connectivity, alters function in neural reward circuitry, is linked to higher levels of depression symptoms and anhedonia (ability to feel pleasure) and lowers educational attainment at age 22 years.
Health of children conceived using donor sperm

A recent study examined the physical and psychological development of 224 Australian children between the ages of 5 and 11 conceived by using donor sperm.

It appears that the overall health of children conceived with donor sperm (including physical, psychological, psychosocial and mental health) is similar to that of children in the general population, and that the type of family structure that children are born into, does not impact their health and well-being.

Outdoor sports and bone mineral content
It appears from a study of 116 adolescent boys (12-14 years of age) who play soccer that bone mineral content/bone acquisition one year later is higher than in those who swim or cycle.

Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 
Meet Alisa Muñiz-Crim, MD - The Division of Gastroenterology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital
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