Published by: Cornell Chronicle
Written by: Jane Langille
Children with infantile spasms, a rare form of epileptic seizures, should be treated with one of three recommended therapies and the use of nonstandard therapies should be strongly discouraged, according to a study of their effectiveness by a Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian investigator and collaborating colleagues in the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium.
Early treatment with an effective therapy is important for improving neurodevelopmental outcomes and, for some children, can result in permanent remission of epilepsy.
The study, published July 15 in Neurology, underscored a strong preference for treating infantile spasms with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or oral steroids (typically prednisolone), which the researchers calculated were similarly effective: The%ages of children who had no further seizures after 30 days of starting initial therapy and did not require a second treatment were 46% for ACTH and 44% for oral steroids. By contrast, the estimated effectiveness of non-standard therapies (such as topiramate) was only 8%.
“The side effects of hormonal therapies like ACTH and steroids can be rough on families, which is why some may shy away from them,” said first author Dr. Zachary Grinspan, interim chief of child neurology and director of the pediatric epilepsy program at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital. “But our research and other studies have shown that nonstandard therapies are ineffective for treating infantile spasms.” Click here to read the rest of the story.
Published by: New Medical Life Sciences
One person in 2000 suffers from a microdeletion of chromosome 22 that can lead to the development of psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, in adolescence. In addition to symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions, psychotic disorders also comes with a progressive decline in intelligence quotient (IQ). If current drug treatments are successful in containing psychotic symptoms, nothing can be done to prevent the deterioration of intellectual skills that leads to loss of autonomy.
Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, have discovered that prescription of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – a class of drugs used to treat anxiety and depression -in late childhood can reduce the deterioration of intellectual abilities, and have a neuroprotective effect on some of the brain regions affected by the psychotic illness. This study, to be read in the journal Translational Psychiatry, opens up a new field of research and new hope for people affected by the microdeletion of chromosome 22.
The average IQ is around 100 points. However, for people who may develop a psychotic illness, such as those with a microdeletion of chromosome 22, the average drops to 70-80 points. “The problem is that when a psychotic disorder occurs, such as schizophrenia, the brain frontal lobe and the hippocampus are particularly affected, which leads to the gradual deterioration of already below-average intellectual capacities”, explains Valentina Mancini, a researcher in the Department of Psychiatry at UNIGE Faculty of Medicine and first author of the study. From then on, the average IQ drops to around 65-70 points, leading to a loss of autonomy that requires a protected environment. “At present, drug treatments manage to contain psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, anxiety or distortion of reality, but there is no treatment that can reduce the deterioration of affected people’s intellectual capacities”, notes the Geneva researcher. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Published by: Psych Central
Written by: Gia Miller
They have some shared symptoms, but dyslexia and ADHD are separate conditions. Here’s how to to tell them apart and tips for managing these conditions.
Dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two neurological conditions that can make learning more difficult.
The former affects 11%, and the latter affects between 5 to 20%, but it’s difficult to estimate precisely.
Sometimes, the symptoms of ADHD and dyslexia can be hard to tell apart — as both can cause trouble with reading and writing. But even though the symptoms can appear similar, the underlying reasons for the symptoms are very different.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a condition that impacts your ability to use language. You may have trouble matching letters to sounds or recognizing the sounds in words. This can make it hard to read and understand what you’re reading.
Dyslexia can also make spelling, writing, or math more difficult. Click here to read the story
Published by: Rett Syndrome News
Written by: Jackie Babiarz
My 12-year-old daughter, Cammy, has Rett syndrome. Some days, Rett syndrome has Cammy.
During the early-onset stage, which typically occurs between 6 and 18 months of age, children may experience abnormal hand movements, difficulty sitting independently, and speech or language problems. Cammy was no different.
Repetitive hand movement is a hallmark sign of Rett, and Cammy had been hand mouthing from 12 months on. Her left hand was constantly in her mouth, causing sores. Other kids with Rett may wring their hands or pull out their hair. At 18 months, it was this behavior that tipped off Cammy’s physiatrist to the fact that she had Rett syndrome. Shortly after Cammy was diagnosed, her sister, Ryan, was born. Their two-year age gap began closing within a couple months when Ryan showed evidence of already being stronger than Cammy. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Published by: Washington Times Herald
Written by: Metro Creative Connection
Students are often told that hard work is the path to success. Individuals who have learning disabilities may have to work even harder than their peers to be successful.
The Learning Disabilities Association of America says learning disabilities occur due to neurobiological and/or genetic factors that alter the way the brain functions. This can affect one or more cognitive processes related to learning and interfere with various skills, potentially preventing a person from acquiring the same amount of knowledge as others of the same age.
There are many learning disabilities, and the following are five of the most common, according to LD Resources Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps find solutions to those who are affected by learning disabilities.
1. Dyslexia: This learning disability can impede a person’s ability to read and comprehend text. Students may have trouble with phonemic awareness, or the way to break down words. Similar problems with phonological processing, or distinguishing between similar word sounds, can occur as well.
2. ADHD: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is marked by behaviors that make it difficult to pay attention and stay on task. The Masters in Special Education, a resource for finding work and study in special education concentrations, says there is debate over whether ADHD is a learning disability. But there is no denying that ADHD can impede success in school settings.
Click here to read the rest of the story