Kids' Health News

Closure of coal plant in China led to improvements in children's health

Decreased exposure to air pollution in utero is linked with improved childhood developmental scores and higher levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key protein for brain development, according to a study looking at the closure of a coal-burning power plant in China led by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health.

Evaluating therapies for Menkes disease using PET scanning

Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies in Japan have used PET imaging to visualize the distribution in the body of copper, which is deregulated in Menkes disease, a genetic disorder, using a mouse model. This study lays the groundwork for PET imaging studies on human Menkes disease patients to identify new therapy options.

'Autism rates soar 30% in 2 years,' CDC say

The number of US children with autism spectrum disorder has soared approximately 30% in the past 2 years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In the surveillance summary report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers estimate that 1 in 68 children (14.

Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium expands into Brazil

Brazilian Farmanguinhos, part of Fiocruz, and UK-based Simcyp are reinforcing the international non-profit Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium. The aim of the Consortium is to develop and register a new pediatric formulation against schistosomiasis for preschool-age children, a group currently lacking a suitable treatment.

Quality early childhood programs help prevent chronic diseases in later life

Disadvantaged children who attend high-quality early childhood development programs including healthcare and nutrition have significantly improved health as adults, reports a new study.The study was led by researchers from UCL (University College London), the University of Chicago and the University of North Carolina.

Overweight teens at increased risk for early death

Although people live longer today than they did 50 years ago, people who were overweight and obese as teenagers aren't experiencing the same gains as other segments of the population, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).The life expectancy of the average American born in 2011 was 78.7 years, according to the U.S.

Protein identified that helps control CMV - a common viral infection

Infectious disease specialists at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center have identified a protein that regulates the body's immune response to cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common pathogen that causes lifelong infections and can lead to devastating illness in newborns and those with weakened immune systems.

Cutting sugary drink consumption by teens boosts water consumption

A new study shows that teenagers can be persuaded to cut back on sugary soft drinks - especially with a little help from their friends.A 30-day challenge encouraging teens to reduce sugar-sweetened drink use lowered their overall consumption substantially and increased by two-thirds the percentage of high-school students who shunned sugary drinks altogether.

Scientists unravel nerve-cell death in rare children's disease

A team of scientists, led by Stuart Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., professor and director of the Neuroscience and Aging Research Center at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), recently discovered why cerebellar granule cell neurons in patients suffering from ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) were unable to repair DNA damage and thus died.

Smoking bans linked with decline in preterm births, asthma

During the last couple of decades, public smoking bans in the US and Europe have come into effect. Now, the first systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the effect of this smoke-free legislation on child health shows these bans have been followed by decreasing rates of preterm births and children attending the hospital for asthma.

Gene implicated in inherited muscle diseases

Skeletal muscle cells with unevenly spaced nuclei, or nuclei in the wrong location, are telltale signs of such inherited muscle diseases as Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, which occurs in one out of every 100,000 births, and centronuclear myopathy, which affects one out of every 50,000 infants.

Less children found to be at risk of low vitamin D levels

Under new guidelines from the Institute of Medicine, the estimated number of children who are at risk of having insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D is drastically reduced from previous estimates, according to a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study.

Test offers potential to predict whether a child will become obese

Scientists have found that a simple blood test, which can read DNA, could be used to predict obesity levels in children.Researchers at the Universities of Southampton, Exeter and Plymouth used the test to assess the levels of epigenetic switches in the PGC1a gene - a gene that regulates fat storage in the body.

Economic growth has little impact on reducing undernutrition in children

A large study of child growth patterns in 36 developing countries published in The Lancet Global Health journal has found that, contrary to widely held beliefs, economic growth is at best associated with very small, and in some cases no declines in levels of stunting, underweight, and wasting.

Newborn screening: should whole genome sequencing be introduced?

Whole genome sequencing is becoming more popular in medical research. With its falling cost and increasing reliability, some scientists hail the process as being the future of genetic research. But should whole genome sequencing be used as a part of newborn screening programs? This is a question that researchers from McGill University in Canada say should be addressed.

Exercise in youth makes for stronger, bigger bones through life

Our bone is living tissue that responds to the forces that act on it - it gets stronger when we exercise. Now a new study suggests exercising when young helps bones grow big and strong for life, and that this effect persists during aging.

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