American Academy of Pediatrics study: Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied

18 Sep

Technology can be used for information gathering and to keep people connected. Some people use social media to torment others. Children can be devastated by thoughtless, mean, and unkind comments posted at social media sites. Some of the comments may be based upon rumor and may even be untrue. The effect on a particular child can be devastating. Because of the potential for harm, many parents worry about cyberbullying on social media sites. Moi wrote about bullying in Ohio State University study: Characteristics of kids who are bullies:

A Rotary Club in London has a statement about the Ripple Effect
Ripple Effect – Sending Waves of Goodness into the World
Like a drop of water falling into a pond, our every action ripples outward, affecting other lives in ways both obvious and unseen.
We touch the lives of those with whom we come into contact and, by extension, those with whom they come into contact.
When our actions spring from a spirit of kindness or compassion or generosity, we set into motion a “virtuous cycle” that radiates far beyond our ability to see, or perhaps even fully comprehend.
Just as a smile is infectious, so are more overt forms of service. Our objective — whether in something as formal as a highly-structured website development project or as casual as the spontaneous small kindnesses we share with strangers in hopes of brightening their day — is to send waves of positive change in the world, one act of service at a time.
Unfortunately, some children due to a variety of behaviors in their lives miss the message of the “Ripple Effect.” https://drwilda.com/2012/03/13/ohio-state-university-study-characteristics-of-kids-who-are-bullies/

Science Daily reported in Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied:

Most research on cyberbullying has focused on adolescents. But a new study that examined cell phone ownership among children in third to fifth grades finds they may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.
The study abstract, “Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research,” will be presented Monday, Sept. 18 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.
Researchers collected survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5 between 2014 and 2016. Overall, 9.5 percent of children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Children who owned cell phones were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, especially in grades 3 and 4….
Across all three grades, 49.6 of students reported owning a cell phone. The older the student, the more likely to report cell phone ownership: 59.8 percent of fifth graders, 50.6 percent of fourth graders, and 39.5 percent of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Cell phone owners in grades three and four were more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying. Across all three grades, more cell phone owners admitted they have been a cyberbully themselves.
According to the researchers, the increased risk of cyberbullying related to phone ownership could be tied to increased opportunity and vulnerability. Continuous access to social media and texting increases online interactions, provides more opportunities to engage both positively and negatively with peers, and increases the chance of an impulsive response to peers’ postings and messages…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170915095228.htm

Citation:

Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied
Research to be presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that they are also likely to be bullies too
Date: September 15, 2017
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
Summary:
New research suggests elementary school-age children who own cell phones may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.

Here is the press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Third and Fourth Graders Who Own Cell Phones are More Likely to be Cyberbullied
9/15/2017
Research to be presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that they are also likely to be bullies too.
CHICAGO – Most research on cyberbullying has focused on adolescents. But a new study that examined cell phone ownership among children in third to fifth grades finds they may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.
The study abstract, “Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research,” will be presented Monday, Sept. 18 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.
Researchers collected survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5 between 2014 and 2016. Overall, 9.5 percent of children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Children who owned cell phones were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, especially in grades 3 and 4.
“Parents often cite the benefits of giving their child a cell phone, but our research suggests that giving young children these devices may have unforeseen risks as well,” said Elizabeth K. Englander, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass.
Across all three grades, 49.6 of students reported owning a cell phone. The older the student, the more likely to report cell phone ownership: 59.8 percent of fifth graders, 50.6 percent of fourth graders, and 39.5 percent of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Cell phone owners in grades three and four were more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying. Across all three grades, more cell phone owners admitted they have been a cyberbully themselves.
According to the researchers, the increased risk of cyberbullying related to phone ownership could be tied to increased opportunity and vulnerability. Continuous access to social media and texting increases online interactions, provides more opportunities to engage both positively and negatively with peers, and increases the chance of an impulsive response to peers’ postings and messages.
Englander suggests that this research is a reminder for parents to consider the risks as well as the benefits when deciding whether to provide their elementary school-aged child with a cell phone.
“At the very least, parents can engage in discussions and education with their child about the responsibilities inherent in owning a mobile device, and the general rules for communicating in the social sphere,” Englander said.
Englander will present the abstract, available below, on Monday, Sept.18, from 5:10 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT in McCormick Place West, Room S106. To request an interview with Dr. Englander, contact eenglander@bridgew.edu or 508-531-1784.
Please note: only the abstract is being presented at the meeting. In some cases, the researcher may have more data available to share with media, or may be preparing a longer article for submission to a journal.
# # #
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit http://www.aap.org.

Abstract Title: Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research
The study of cyberbullying has most often focused on adolescents. This study examined survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5, gathered between late 2014 and 2016, as schools opted to survey their students about bullying and cyberbullying. Most, but not all, schools participating were in Massachusetts. Altogether, 49.6% of students reported owning their own cell phone. Older students were significantly more likely to report ownership; 59.8% of fifth graders, 50.6% of fourth graders, and 39.5% of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Younger children were less able to define the term “cyberbullying” correctly, but 9.5% of all children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Cell phone owners were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, but this was only true for children in Grades 3 and 4. Although fewer students overall (5.8%) admitted to cyberbullying their peers, more cell phone owners admitted to cyberbullying, and this was true for all three grades (3, 4 and 5). When bullying in school was studied, only the third graders were significantly more likely to be bullied in school if they were cell phone owners, although both third and fourth grade cell phone owners were more likely to admit to bullying. Overall, cell phone ownership was more strongly related to cyberbullying (vs. traditional bullying) and the observed relationships were stronger among younger subjects (those in fourth, and especially third, grade).
https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Third-and-Fourth-Graders-Who-Own-Cell-Phones-are-More-Likely-to-be-Cyberbullied.aspx

See, Kids Who Bully May Be More Likely to Smoke, Drink http://news.yahoo.com/kids-bully-may-more-likely-smoke-drink-170405321.html

Teri Christensen , Senior Vice President & Director of Field Operations at The Partnership at Drugfree.org wrote some excellent rules for helping kids develop healthy friendships.
Christensen suggests the following rules:

Here are 8 ways to encourage healthy friendships:
1. Regularly talk about what true friendship means – and the qualities that are important in a friend.
2. Help your child recognize behaviors that do not make a good friend.
3. Let your child know if you disapprove of one of his or her friends (or a group of friends) and explain why.
4. Try to be a good role model and use your own relationships to show how healthy friendships look and feel.
5. Get to know the parents of your children’s friends.
6. Talk to your child frequently — about everything from events of the day to his hope and dreams to dealing with peer pressure.
7. Know who your kids are hanging out with. (I don’t make my girls feel like I am being nosy but I do let them know that I have the right to check their phones, email and text messages should I feel the need to.)
8. Remind your child that that you are always there to lend an ear.
To me, a good friend is someone you can always count on. Someone who is there in the good times and bad. A true friend loves you for who you are and does not change how she feels based on what other people think.

Related Links:

When You Don’t Like Your Teenager’s Friends https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/ages-stages/teenager-adolescent-development-parenting/when-you-dont-like-your-teens-friends/

Talking About Sexting https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/talking-about-sexting

Teenage Girls and Cyber-Bullying https://www.girlshealth.gov/bullying/

How to Get Your Teen to Open Up and Talk to You More (and Text A Little Less) https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/resources-and-training/for-families/conversation-tools/index.html

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

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Aarhus University study: Using antidepressants during pregnancy may affect your child’s mental health

9 Sep

Laura G Owens wrote in the Huffington Post article, What I Wished I’d Had: Maternal Mental Health Screening:

When I was pregnant nineteen years ago I wish my doctor had warned me I might be at risk for postpartum depression.
Her words wouldn’t have freaked me out, they would have helped me cope when the darkness did indeed hit.
I wish during my 6 week check-up (when I was at my private worst) my Ob-Gyn had handed me a mental health screening and even if I lied on every question, she still explained how the “baby blues” are different than depression.
In January for the first time the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended screening pregnant and postpartum women for maternal mental illness.
Hopefully now more health care practitioners will talk to women so those who suffer know they’re not bad people or rotten mothers or God knows, alone.
The fact is worldwide 10% of pregnant women and 13% of postpartum women have a mental disorder and the numbers are even higher in developing countries.
While maternal mental illness is often lumped into the catchall “postpartum depression” it’s more complicated than a single kitchen sink diagnosis.
Symptoms can show up during pregnancy or long after birth and they don’t always look like depression, sometimes they look like:
• Anxiety
• Panic disorder
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Obsessive compulsive disorder
• Psychosis
Alone, or in combination.
Mental illness has always been stigmatized but especially inside the idealized institution of motherhood where pretending superhuman resilience to change, sleep deprivation, anger, frustration, fear, anxiety and sadness awards women the coveted “best” mother prize…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-g-owens/maternal-mental-health-screening_b_9485446.html

The timing of a pregnancy should include diagnosis of potential maternal mental health issues and what treatment may be necessary.

Science Daily reported in Using antidepressants during pregnancy may affect your child’s mental health:

The use of antidepressants has been on the rise for many years. Between 2 and 8% of pregnant women are on antidepressants. Now researchers from the National Centre for Register-based Research at Aarhus BSS show that there is an increased risk involved in using antidepressants during pregnancy.
The researchers, headed by Xiaoqin Liu, have applied register-based research to the study of 905,383 children born between 1998 and 2012 with the aim of exploring the possible adverse effects of the mother’s use of antidepressants during her pregnancy.
They found that out of the 905,383 children in total, 32,400 developed a psychiatric disorder later in life. Some of these children were born to mothers who were on antidepressants during their pregnancy, while other children had not been exposed to medication.
“When we look at children born to mothers who discontinued and continued antidepressant treatment during pregnancy, we can see an increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder if the mothers continued antidepressant treatment while pregnant,” says Xiaoqin Liu, who is the lead author of the article, which has just been published in BMJ-British Medical Journal.
More specifically, the researchers divided the children into four groups depending on the mother’s use of antidepressants before and during pregnancy. The children in group 1 had not been exposed to antidepressants in the womb. In group 2, the mothers had been taking antidepressants up until the pregnancy, but not during. In group 3, the mothers were using antidepressants both before and during the pregnancy. Group 4 consisted of children, whose mothers were new users of antidepressants and had started taking the medication during the pregnancy.
The result of the study showed an increased number of children with psychiatric disorders in the group in which the mothers had been using antidepressants during their pregnancy. Approximately twice as many children were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder in group 4 (14.5%) than in group 1 (8%). In groups 2 and 3 respectively, 11.5% and 13.6% were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder at age 16 years.
Psychiatric disorders are hereditary
In their analyses, the researchers took into account that heritability also plays a part in determining who will be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, and that it is not just a question of being exposed to antidepressants in the womb…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170907112400.htm

Citation:

Using antidepressants during pregnancy may affect your child’s mental health
Date: September 7, 2017
Source: Aarhus University
Summary:
The use of antidepressants during pregnancy increases the risk of your child being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder later in life, a study of almost one million Danish children shows. However, heritability also plays a part, according to the researchers.
Journal Reference:
1. Xiaoqin Liu, Esben Agerbo, Katja G Ingstrup, Katherine Musliner, Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Veerle Bergink, Trine Munk-Olsen. Antidepressant use during pregnancy and psychiatric disorders in offspring: Danish nationwide register based cohort study. BMJ, 2017; j3668 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.j3668

Here is the press release from Aarhus University:

Using antidepressants during pregnancy may affect your child’s mental health
A study from Aarhus BSS of almost one million Danish children shows that the use of antidepressants during pregnancy increases the risk of your child being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder later in life. However, heritability also plays a part, according to the researchers.
2017.09.07 | Ingrid Marie Fossum
The use of antidepressants has been on the rise for many years. Between 2 and 8% of pregnant women are on antidepressants. Now researchers from the National Centre for Register-based Research at Aarhus BSS show that there is an increased risk involved in using antidepressants during pregnancy.
The researchers, headed by Xiaoqin Liu, have applied register-based research to the study of 905,383 children born between 1998 and 2012 with the aim of exploring the possible adverse effects of the mother’s use of antidepressants during her pregnancy.
They found that out of the 905,383 children in total, 32,400 developed a psychiatric disorder later in life. Some of these children were born to mothers who were on antidepressants during their pregnancy, while other children had not been exposed to medication.
“When we look at children born to mothers who discontinued and continued antidepressant treatment during pregnancy, we can see an increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder if the mothers continued antidepressant treatment while pregnant,” says Xiaoqin Liu, who is the lead author of the article, which has just been published in BMJ-British Medical Journal.
More specifically, the researchers divided the children into four groups depending on the mother’s use of antidepressants before and during pregnancy. The children in group 1 had not been exposed to antidepressants in the womb. In group 2, the mothers had been taking antidepressants up until the pregnancy, but not during. In group 3, the mothers were using antidepressants both before and during the pregnancy. Group 4 consisted of children, whose mothers were new users of antidepressants and had started taking the medication during the pregnancy.
The result of the study showed an increased number of children with psychiatric disorders in the group in which the mothers had been using antidepressants during their pregnancy. Approximately twice as many children were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder in group 4 (14.5%) than in group 1 (8%). In groups 2 and 3 respectively, 11.5% and 13.6% were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder at age 16 years.
Psychiatric disorders are hereditary
In their analyses, the researchers took into account that heritability also plays a part in determining who will be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, and that it is not just a question of being exposed to antidepressants in the womb.
“We chose to conduct the study on the assumption that psychiatric disorders are highly heritable. For this reason, we wanted to show that is too narrow if you only look at autism, which is what many previous studies have done. If heritability plays a part, other psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADHD-like symptoms would also appear in the data,” says Trine Munk-Olsen, who is also one of the researchers behind the study.
Indeed, the study also shows that the increase covers not only autism but also other psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Thus it becomes clear that the mother’s underlying psychiatric disorder matters in relation to the child’s mental health later in life. At the same time, it cannot be ruled out that the use of antidepressants further increases the risk of psychiatric diseases in the child.
“Our research shows that medication seems to increase the risk, but that heritability also plays a part,” says Trine Munk-Olsen, who also points out that it might be the mothers who suffer from the most severe forms of depression who need to take medication during their pregnancy.
Not just black and white
The researchers hope that the study can increase the focus on the fact that the research results are not just black and white. This could help doctors advise women on the use of antidepressants both before and after their pregnancy. Some women might be able to discontinue treatment with the medication while pregnant. However, the researchers also acknowledge that some women need medication and stress that the consequences of an untreated depression are severe and can lead to serious consequences to both mother and child.
The most important message is that we ensure and safeguard the mental well-being of the pregnant women, and for some women, this involves the use of antidepressants.
“These women should not feel guilty about taking antidepressants. Even though there is an increased risk of the child developing a psychiatric disorder later in life, our research shows that we cannot blame medication alone. Heritability also plays a part,” says Trine Munk-Olsen.
Facts:
• The article “Antidepressant use during pregnancy and psychiatric disorders in the offspring: A Danish nationwide register-based cohort study” has been published in the medical journal BMJ-British Medical Journal.
• The research has been conducted by researchers at the National Centre for Register-based Research at Aarhus BSS in collaboration with an American and a Dutch psychiatrist.
• The research has been partly funded by The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research”- iPSYCH, as well as the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (R01MH104468)
• The study includes all children born in Denmark between 1998 and 2012. The study followed the children until 2014, where some of the children were 16,5 years old.
Further info:
Trine Munk-Olsen
Senior Researcher
National Centre for Register-based Research
Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
tmo@econ.au.dk
+45 87165749 / + 45 51505161
¬Xiaoqin Liu
Postdoc
National Centre for Register-based Research
Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
lxq@econ.au.dk
+45 87165358

Children will have the most success in school, if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.

Our goal as a society should be a healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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European Society of Cardiology study: Higher coffee consumption associated with lower risk of early death

3 Sep

The Harvard Gazette reported in How coffee loves us back: Health benefits a recurring theme in Harvard research:

Coffee is everywhere, through history and across the world. And increasingly, science is demonstrating that its popularity is a good thing.
Harvard scientists have for years put coffee under the microscope. Last year, researchers announced they had discovered six new human genes related to coffee and reconfirmed the existence of two others. The long-running Nurses’ Health Study has found that coffee protects against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Researchers are continuing to follow up on 2001 findings that it protects against Parkinson’s disease.
The work at Harvard is just part of an emerging picture of coffee as a potentially powerful elixir against a range of ailments, from cancer to cavities.
Sanjiv Chopra, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has been so impressed he’s become something of a coffee evangelist. The author of several books, Chopra included a chapter on coffee in his 2010 book, “Live Better, Live Longer.”
Chopra first became aware of the potentially powerful protective effects of coffee when a study revealed that consumption lowers levels of liver enzymes and protects the liver against cancer and cirrhosis. He began asking students, residents, and fellows on the liver unit to quiz patients about their coffee habits, finding repeatedly that none of the patients with liver ailments drank coffee.
Chopra himself makes sure to have several cups a day, and encourages others to do the same. Though other researchers are less bold in their dietary recommendations, they’re convinced enough to continue investigations into the benefits…. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/09/how-coffee-loves-us-back/

The Harvard research findings are described in Medical News.

Joseph Nordqvist reported in the Medical News article, Coffee: Health Benefits, Nutritional Information:

Possible health benefits of coffee
The potential health benefits associated with drinking coffee include: protecting against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer, and promoting a healthy heart.3
1) Coffee and diabetes
Coffee may be protective against type 2 diabetes. Researchers at UCLA identified that drinking coffee increases plasma levels of the protein sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG controls the biological activity of the body’s sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) which play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.4
Dr. Simin Liu, one of the authors of the study, said that an “inverse association” exists between coffee consumption and risk for type 2 diabetes….
2) Coffee and Parkinson’s disease
Researchers in the U.S. carried out a study that assessed the link between coffee consumption and Parkinson’s disease risk. The authors of the study concluded that “higher coffee and caffeine intake is associated with a significantly lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease”.5
In addition, caffeine in coffee may help control movement in people suffering from Parkinson’s, according to a study conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) that was published in the journal Neurology.6
3) Coffee and liver cancer
Italian researchers found that coffee consumption lowers the risk of liver cancer by about 40%. In addition, some of the results suggest that if you drink three cups a day, the risks are reduced by more than 50%.7
The lead author of the study, Dr. Carlo La Vecchia, from Milan’s Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, said “our research confirms past claims that coffee is good for your health and particularly the liver.”
4) Coffee and liver disease
Regular consumption of coffee is linked to a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a rare autoimmune disease of the bile ducts in the liver.8
In addition, coffee consumption can lower the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver for alcohol drinkers by 22%, according to a study at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, California, USA.
The authors of the study concluded that the results “support the hypothesis that there is an ingredient in coffee that protects against cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis.”9
Research published in the journal Hepatology in April 2014, suggested that drinking coffee is linked to a decreased liver cirrhosis death risk. The researchers suggested that drinking two or more cups of coffee every day can reduce the risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 66%.16
A study published in the journal Hepatology indicates that drinking decaf coffee also lowers liver enzyme levels, suggesting the benefits are not linked to caffeine content.
5) Coffee and heart health
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard School of Public Health, concluded that drinking coffee in moderation protects against heart failure. They defined ‘in moderation’ as 2 European cups (equivalent to two 8-ounce American servings) per day.10
People who drank four European cups on a daily basis had an 11% lower risk of heart failure, compared to those who did not.
The authors stressed that their results “did show a possible benefit, but like with so many other things we consume, it really depends on how much coffee you drink.”
Recent developments on the benefits of coffee from MNT news
Moderate coffee drinking may prevent premature death
Incredible volumes of black gold are poured into our collective bodies on a daily basis, which makes the medical effects of coffee drinking a perpetual area of study. Now, new research points to some interesting positive health benefits of moderate consumption.
Study provides more evidence that coffee may reduce mortality
A new study adds to growing evidence that coffee is good for us, finding that consuming four to five cups daily may reduce the risk of early death – even for those who drink decaf.
Coffee may protect against liver cirrhosis
Drinking coffee every day is linked to a reduced risk of liver cirrhosis, according to a new review of published evidence that also suggests drinking two extra cups a day may nearly halve the risk of dying from the disease.
Drinking more coffee may stave off multiple sclerosis
Research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry indicates that caffeine’s neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties may lower the risk of developing multiple sclerosis.
Daily coffee, even decaf, may protect against colorectal cancer
Researchers from the US and Israel found that drinking coffee every day – even decaffeinated coffee – may lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270202.php

David DiSalvo wrote in the Forbes article, Drinking Coffee May Lower Risk Of Early Death, According To New Study:

A new study is adding to the good news about coffee, finding that drinking two to four cups a day is associated with overall lower risk of death, particularly among middle-age drinkers.
The findings, presented at the European Cardiac Society Congress 2017, are the result of a long-term observational study of nearly 20,000 people in Spain. The average age of participants was 37, and they were followed for about ten years. During that time, 337 participants died. The researchers found that participants who consumed at least four cups of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk of death than those who infrequently or never consumed coffee. They also found a 22% lower risk of death for participants who drank two cups a day.
Lower risk was especially strong for older participants, with two cups a day linked to a 30% reduction in mortality.
“We found an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of all-cause mortality, particularly in people aged 45 years and above. This may be due to a stronger protective association among older participants,” says Dr. Adela Navarro, study co-author and a cardiologist at Hospital de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.
That’s the good news. The qualifier is that this was an observational study, and several other factors could come into play. The researchers report that they accounted for factors including age, sex and whether the participants predominantly ate a Mediterranean Diet, which has also been linked to a list of health benefits. The correlation between coffee consumption and lower risk of death appears to stand out, but it’s important to note that it’s a correlation – not proof of causation…. https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2017/08/27/drinking-coffee-may-lower-risk-of-death-in-healthy-people-according-to-new-study/#7a1c1924f82a

Citation:

Higher coffee consumption associated with lower risk of early death
Date: August 27, 2017
Source: European Society of Cardiology
Summary:
Higher coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of early death, according to new research. The observational study in nearly 20 000 participants suggests that coffee can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170827101750.htm

Here is the press release from the European Society of Cardiology:

Higher coffee consumption associated with lower risk of death
27 Aug 2017
Topic(s):
Prevention
Barcelona, Spain – 27 Aug 2017: Higher coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of death, according to research presented today at ESC Congress.1 The observational study in nearly 20 000 participants suggests that coffee can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people.

“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages around the world,” said Dr Adela Navarro, a cardiologist at Hospital de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. “Previous studies have suggested that drinking coffee might be inversely associated with all-cause mortality but this has not been investigated in a Mediterranean country.”

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between coffee consumption and the risk of mortality in a middle-aged Mediterranean cohort. The study was conducted within the framework of the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Project, a long-term prospective cohort study in more than 22 500 Spanish university graduates which started in 1999.

This analysis included 19 896 participants of the SUN Project, whose average age at enrolment was 37.7 years old. On entering the study, participants completed a previously validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire to collect information on coffee consumption, lifestyle and sociodemographic characteristics, anthropometric measurements, and previous health conditions.

Patients were followed-up for an average of ten years. Information on mortality was obtained from study participants and their families, postal authorities, and the National Death Index. Cox regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for incident mortality according to baseline total coffee consumption adjusted for potential confounders.

During the ten year period, 337 participants died. The researchers found that participants who consumed at least four cups of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never or almost never consumed coffee (adjusted HR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.19–0.70). There was a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality for each two additional cups of coffee per day (adjusted HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.66–0.92).

The researchers examined whether sex, age or adherence to the Mediterranean diet had any influence on the association between baseline coffee consumption and mortality. They observed a significant interaction between coffee consumption and age (p for interaction=0.0016). In those who were at least 45 years old, drinking two additional cups of coffee per day was associated with a 30% lower risk of mortality during follow-up (adjusted HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.58–0.85). The association was not significant among younger participants.

Dr Navarro said: “In the SUN project we found an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of all-cause mortality, particularly in people aged 45 years and above. This may be due to a stronger protective association among older participants.”

She concluded: “Our findings suggest that drinking four cups of coffee each day can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people.”

ENDS
Notes to editor
Sources of funding: The SUN Project is funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, the CIBER, and the Regional Government of Navarra.

References and notes
(1) The abstract “Coffee consumption and all-cause mortality in a Mediterranean cohort: the SUN project” will be presented during:
· The session Impact of traditional and novel lifestyle factors on cardiovascular disease on Sunday 27 August from 11:00 to 12:30 in Picasso – The Hub.
Disclosures: All authors declare they have no conflict of int

As with anything, coffee should be consumed in moderation.

Resources:

Online Courses for Coffee Professionals: Master roasting coffee, cupping, coffee quality evaluation and understand the path of the coffee from the farm to cup. https://bootcampcoffee.com/

Learn About Coffee http://www.coffeeteawarehouse.com/coffee.html

The NCA Complete Guide to Coffee
We believe that coffee is more than just a drink: It’s a culture, an economy, an art, a science — and a passion. Whether you’re new to the brew or an espresso expert, there’s always more to learn about this beloved beverage. http://www.ncausa.org/About-Coffee

coffeeresearch.org

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New York University study: Machine learning helps spot counterfeit consumer products

13 Aug

OECD reported in Global trade in fake goods worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year – OECD & EUIPO:

18/04/2016 – Imports of counterfeit and pirated goods are worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year, or around 2.5% of global imports, with US, Italian and French brands the hardest hit and many of the proceeds going to organised crime, according to a new report by the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office.
“Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact” puts the value of imported fake goods worldwide at USD 461 billion in 2013, compared with total imports in world trade of USD 17.9 trillion. Up to 5% of goods imported into the European Union are fakes. Most originate in middle income or emerging countries, with China the top producer.
The report analyses nearly half a million customs seizures around the world over 2011-13 to produce the most rigorous estimate to date of the scale of counterfeit trade. It points to a larger volume than a 2008 OECD study which estimated fake goods accounted for up to 1.9% of global imports, though the 2008 study used more limited data and methodology.
“The findings of this new report contradict the image that counterfeiters only hurt big companies and luxury goods manufacturers. They take advantage of our trust in trademarks and brand names to undermine economies and endanger lives,” said OECD Deputy Secretary-General Doug Frantz, launching the report with EUIPO Executive Director António Campinos as part of OECD Integrity Week.
Fake products crop up in everything from handbags and perfumes to machine parts and chemicals. Footwear is the most-copied item though trademarks are infringed even on strawberries and bananas. Counterfeiting also produces knockoffs that endanger lives – auto parts that fail, pharmaceuticals that make people sick, toys that harm children, baby formula that provides no nourishment and medical instruments that deliver false readings.\
The report covers all physical counterfeit goods, which infringe trademarks, design rights or patents, and tangible pirated products, which breach copyright. It does not cover online piracy, which is a further drain on the formal economy… http://www.oecd.org/industry/global-trade-in-fake-goods-worth-nearly-half-a-trillion-dollars-a-year.htm

See, Remade In China: Where The World’s Fake Goods Come From [Infographic] https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2016/04/19/remade-in-china-where-the-worlds-fake-goods-come-from-infographic/#5a56fb5f1b87

SAS described machine learning in Machine Learning: What it is & why it matters:

Machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. Using algorithms that iteratively learn from data, machine learning allows computers to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed where to look.
The iterative aspect of machine learning is important because as models are exposed to new data, they are able to independently adapt. They learn from previous computations to produce reliable, repeatable decisions and results. It’s a science that’s not new – but one that’s gaining fresh momentum.
Because of new computing technologies, machine learning today is not like machine learning of the past. While many machine learning algorithms have been around for a long time, the ability to automatically apply complex mathematical calculations to big data – over and over, faster and faster – is a recent development. Here are a few widely publicized examples of machine learning applications that you may be familiar with:
• The heavily hyped, self-driving Google car? The essence of machine learning.
• Online recommendation offers like those from Amazon and Netflix? Machine learning applications for everyday life.
• Knowing what customers are saying about you on Twitter? Machine learning combined with linguistic rule creation.
• Fraud detection? One of the more obvious, important uses in our world today.
Why the increased interest in machine learning?
Resurging interest in machine learning is due to the same factors that have made data mining and Bayesian analysis more popular than ever. Things like growing volumes and varieties of available data, computational processing that is cheaper and more powerful, and affordable data storage.
All of these things mean it’s possible to quickly and automatically produce models that can analyze bigger, more complex data and deliver faster, more accurate results – even on a very large scale. The result? High-value predictions that can guide better decisions and smart actions in real time without human intervention…. https://www.sas.com/en_id/insights/analytics/machine-learning.html

See, What is Machine Learning? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_uwKZIAeM0

Science Daily reported in Machine learning helps spot counterfeit consumer products:

A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.
The work, led by New York University Professor Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, will be presented on Mon., Aug. 14 at the annual KDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining in Halifax, Nova Scotia….
The system described in the presentation is commercialized by Entrupy Inc., an NYU startup founded by Ashlesh Sharma, a doctoral graduate from the Courant Institute, Vidyuth Srinivasan, and Subramanian.
Counterfeit goods represent a massive worldwide problem with nearly every high-valued physical object or product directly affected by this issue, the researchers note. Some reports indicate counterfeit trafficking represents 7 percent of the world’s trade today.
While other counterfeit-detection methods exist, these are invasive and run the risk of damaging the products under examination.
The Entrupy method, by contrast, provides a non-intrusive solution to easily distinguish authentic versions of the product produced by the original manufacturer and fake versions of the product produced by counterfeiters….
“The classification accuracy is more than 98 percent, and we show how our system works with a cellphone to verify the authenticity of everyday objects,” notes Subramanian.
A demo of the technology may be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsdsY8-gljg (courtesy of Entrupy Inc.)
To date, Entrupy, which recently received $2.6 million in funding from a team of investors, has authenticated $14 million worth of goods.

Citation:

Machine learning helps spot counterfeit consumer products
Date: August 11, 2017
Source: New York University
Summary:
A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.

Here is the NYU press release:

News Release
Researchers Use Machine Learning to Spot Counterfeit Consumer Products
________________________________________
Aug 11, 2017
Engineering, Science and Technology Research Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences Faculty
New York City
A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.

A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product. Image courtesy of Entrupy, Inc.
A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.

The work, led by New York University Professor Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, will be presented on Mon., Aug. 14 at the annual KDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“The underlying principle of our system stems from the idea that microscopic characteristics in a genuine product or a class of products—corresponding to the same larger product line—exhibit inherent similarities that can be used to distinguish these products from their corresponding counterfeit versions,” explains Subramanian, a professor at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
The system described in the presentation is commercialized by Entrupy Inc., an NYU startup founded by Ashlesh Sharma, a doctoral graduate from the Courant Institute, Vidyuth Srinivasan, and Subramanian.
Counterfeit goods represent a massive worldwide problem with nearly every high-valued physical object or product directly affected by this issue, the researchers note. Some reports indicate counterfeit trafficking represents 7 percent of the world’s trade today.
While other counterfeit-detection methods exist, these are invasive and run the risk of damaging the products under examination.
The Entrupy method, by contrast, provides a non-intrusive solution to easily distinguish authentic versions of the product produced by the original manufacturer and fake versions of the product produced by counterfeiters.
It does so by deploying a dataset of three million images across various objects and materials such as fabrics, leather, pills, electronics, toys and shoes.
“The classification accuracy is more than 98 percent, and we show how our system works with a cellphone to verify the authenticity of everyday objects,” notes Subramanian.
A demo of the technology may be viewed here (courtesy of Entrupy Inc.).
To date, Entrupy, which recently received $2.6 million in funding from a team of investors, has authenticated $14 million worth of goods.
For a copy of the paper, “The Fake vs Real Goods Problem: Microscopy and Machine Learning to the Rescue,” please contact James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or james.devitt@nyu.edu.

Press Contact
James Devitt
James Devitt
(212) 998-6808

Employment opportunities in machine learning are expected to increase.

UDACITY described machine learning employment opportunities in :5 Skills You Need to Become a Machine Learning Engineer:

To begin, there are two very important things that you should understand if you’re considering a career as a Machine Learning engineer. First, it’s not a “pure” academic role. You don’t necessarily have to have a research or academic background. Second, it’s not enough to have either software engineering or data science experience. You ideally need both.
Data Analyst vs. Machine Learning Engineer
It’s also critical to understand the differences between a Data Analyst and a Machine Learning engineer. In simplest form, the key distinction has to do with the end goal. As a Data Analyst, you’re analyzing data in order to tell a story, and to produce actionable insights. The emphasis is on dissemination—charts, models, visualizations. The analysis is performed and presented by human beings, to other human beings who may then go on to make business decisions based on what’s been presented. This is especially important to note—the “audience” for your output is human. As a Machine Learning engineer, on the other hand, your final “output” is working software (not the analyses or visualizations that you may have to create along the way), and your “audience” for this output often consists of other software components that run autonomously with minimal human supervision. The intelligence is still meant to be actionable, but in the Machine Learning model, the decisions are being made by machines and they affect how a product or service behaves. This is why the software engineering skill set is so important to a career in Machine Learning.
Understanding The Ecosystem
Before getting into specific skills, there is one more concept to address. Being a Machine Learning engineer necessitates understanding the entire ecosystem that you’re designing for.
Let’s say you’re working for a grocery chain, and the company wants to start issuing targeted coupons based on things like the past purchase history of customers, with a goal of generating coupons that shoppers will actually use. In a Data Analysis model, you could collect the purchase data, do the analysis to figure out trends, and then propose strategies. The Machine Learning approach would be to write an automated coupon generation system. But what does it take to write that system, and have it work? You have to understand the whole ecosystem—inventory, catalog, pricing, purchase orders, bill generation, Point of Sale software, CRM software, etc.
Ultimately, the process is less about understanding Machine Learning algorithms—or when and how to apply them—and more about understanding the systemic interrelationships, and writing working software that will successfully integrate and interface. Remember, Machine Learning output is actually working software! http://blog.udacity.com/2016/04/5-skills-you-need-to-become-a-machine-learning-engineer.html

Education guidance counselors should be informed about opportunities in machine learning.

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University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine study: Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18

6 Aug

Often children who evidence signs of a substance abuse problem come from homes where there is a substance abuse problem. That problem may be generational. eMedicineHealth lists some of the causes of substance abuse:

Substance Abuse Causes
Use and abuse of substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs may begin in childhood or the teen years. Certain risk factors may increase someone’s likelihood to abuse substances.
Factors within a family that influence a child’s early development have been shown to be related to increased risk of drug abuse.
o Chaotic home environment
o Ineffective parenting
o Lack of nurturing and parental attachment
Factors related to a child’s socialization outside the family may also increase risk of drug abuse.
o Inappropriately aggressive or shy behavior in the classroom
o Poor social coping skills
o Poor school performance
o Association with a deviant peer group
o Perception of approval of drug use behavior
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/substance_abuse/article_em.htm
Substance abuse is often a manifestation of other problems that child has either at home or poor social relations including low self-esteem. Dr. Alan Leshner summarizes the reasons children use drugs in why do Sally and Johnny use drugs? http://archives.drugabuse.gov/Published_Articles/Sally.html

Science Daily reported in: Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18:

A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth, found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence.
The study led by UW Medicine researchers interviewed 521 students recruited from four Seattle public middle schools. Researchers used data from annual assessments when students were ages 12-15 and then again when they were 18. The results were published in the journal Addiction.
“The findings suggest that if we can prevent or reduce chronic depression during early adolescence, we may reduce the prevalence of cannabis use disorder,” said lead author Isaac Rhew, research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
What researchers called “a 1 standard deviation increase” in cumulative depression during early adolescence was associated with a 50 percent higher likelihood of cannabis-use disorder.
According to researchers, during the past decade cannabis has surpassed tobacco with respect to prevalence of use among adolescents. Cannabis and alcohol are the two most commonly used substances among youth in the United States. They pointed to one national study showing increases in prevalence of cannabis use disorder and alcohol use disorder in the United States, especially among young adults.
Longitudinal studies looking at the link between depression and later use of alcohol and cannabis, however, have been mixed. Some show a link. Others don’t. But most studies have assessed adolescent depression at a single point in time — not cumulatively, said the researchers. Further, there have been differences in how substance use has been measured ranging from the initiation of any use to heavier problematic forms of use.
The study oversampled for students with depressive and/or conduct problems. The researchers were surprised to see that the prevalence of cannabis and alcohol use disorder in this study was notably higher than national estimates with 21 percent meeting criteria for cannabis use disorder and 20 percent meeting criteria for alcohol use disorder at age 18.
What effect the easing of marijuana laws in Washington state had on the youth is unclear. Researchers said it would be informative to conduct a similar study in a state with more strict marijuana laws to understand whether the relationship between depression and cannabis misuse would still hold in areas where marijuana may be less accessible…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170717151031.htm

Citation:

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18
Seattle-focused study suggests earlier intervention with depressed youths could reduce rate of cannabis-use disorder
Date: July 17, 2017
Source: University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine
Summary:
Young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence, found a study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth.
Journal Reference:
1. Isaac C. Rhew, Charles B. Fleming, Ann Vander Stoep, Semret Nicodimos, Cheng Zheng, Elizabeth McCauley. Examination of cumulative effects of early adolescent depression on cannabis and alcohol use disorder in late adolescence in a community-based cohort. Addiction, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/add.13907

Here is the press release from the University of Washington:

07.17.2017
Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18
Seattle-focused study suggests earlier intervention with depressed youths could reduce rate of cannabis-use disorder
By Bobbi Nodell | HSNewsBeat | Updated 10:30 AM, 07.17.2017
Posted in: Research
Young people with chronic or severe depression are at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence, new research indicates.

The study, led by UW Medicine investigators, interviewed 521 students recruited from four Seattle public middle schools. Researchers used data from annual assessments when students were ages 12 to 15 and then again when they were 18. The results were published in the journal Addiction.
“The findings suggest that if we can prevent or reduce chronic depression during early adolescence, we may reduce the prevalence of cannabis use disorder,” said lead author Isaac Rhew, research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
What researchers called “a 1 standard deviation increase” in cumulative depression during early adolescence was associated with a 50 percent higher likelihood of cannabis-use disorder in the study.
During the past decade, cannabis use among adolescents has surpassed that of tobacco. Cannabis and alcohol are the two most commonly used substances among youth in the United States. They cited one national study showing increases in the prevalence of cannabis-use disorder and alcohol-use disorder in the United States, especially among young adults.
Longitudinal studies of depression and later use of alcohol and cannabis, however, have been mixed. Some show a link, others don’t. Most such studies have assessed adolescent depression at a single point in time – not cumulatively, the researchers noted. Further, previous research has measured substance use differently, ranging from initiation of any use to heavier, problematic use.
The study oversampled for students with depressive and/or conduct problems. The researchers were surprised by data indicating that the prevalence of cannabis- and alcohol-use disorder in this study was notably higher than national estimates, with 21 percent meeting criteria for cannabis-use disorder and 20 percent meeting criteria for alcohol-use disorder at age 18.
What effect the easing of marijuana laws in Washington state had on the youth is unclear. Researchers said it would be informative to conduct a similar study in a state with stricter marijuana laws to understand whether the relationship between depression and later cannabis misuse is similar.
The substance-abuse assessments of 18-year-olds occurred between 2007 and 2010. Washington state legalized medical cannabis in 1998 and its medical cannabis market expanded greatly after 2009, when the U.S. justice department issued a ruling known as the “Ogden Memo.” And in 2003, the city of Seattle made cannabis offenses the lowest enforcement priority for police and the city attorney.
The study was supported by funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as well as funding from the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute. Other authors include UW Medicine researchers Charles Fleming (psychiatry and the Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors), Ann Vander Stoep (psychiatry and epidemiology), Elizabeth McCauley (psychiatry, pediatrics, psychology), and Semret Nicodimos (psychiatry and the Mental Health Assessment, Research & Training Center). Author Cheng Zheng is with the Ziber School of Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Tagged with: addiction, psychiatry, marijuana

http://hsnewsbeat.uw.edu/story/depression-among-young-teens-linked-cannabis-use-18

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a series of questions parents should ask http://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com/content/default.aspx?pud=a8bcb6ee-523a-4909-9d76-928d956f3f91

If you suspect that your child has a substance abuse problem, you will have to seek help of some type. You will need a plan of action. The Partnership for a Drug Free America lists 7 Steps to Take and each step is explained at the site. http://www.drugfree.org/intervene

If your child has a substance abuse problem, both you and your child will need help. “One day at a time” is a famous recovery affirmation which you and your child will live the meaning. The road to recovery may be long or short, it will have twists and turns with one step forward and two steps back. In order to reach the goal of recovery, both parent and child must persevere.

Related:

University of Washington study: Heroin use among young suburban and rural non-traditional users on the
https://drwilda.com/2013/10/13/university-of-washington-study-heroin-use-among-young-suburban-and-rural-non-traditional-users-on-the-increase/

Resources

Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base
http://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/teenage-substance-abuse/adolescent-substance-abuse/signs-drug-use/

Warning Signs of Teen Drug Abuse
http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/drugsofabuse/a/driug_abuse20.htm?r=et

Is Your Teen Using?
http://www.drugfree.org/intervene

Al-Anon and Alateen
http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

WEBMD: Parenting and Teen Substance Abuse
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/teen-substance-abuse-choosing-a-treatment-program-topic-overview

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a very good booklet for families What is Substance Abuse Treatment?
http://store.samhsa.gov/home

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a web site for teens and parents that teaches about drug abuse NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
http://teens.drugabuse.gov/

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Brown University study: Computer models provide new understanding of sickle cell disease

30 Jul

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute describes sickle cell disease:

The term sickle cell disease (SCD) describes a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. People with SCD have abnormal hemoglobin, called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin, in their red blood cells.
Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.
“Inherited” means that the disease is passed by genes from parents to their children. SCD is not contagious. A person cannot catch it, like a cold or infection, from someone else.
People who have SCD inherit two abnormal hemoglobin genes, one from each parent. In all forms of SCD, at least one of the two abnormal genes causes a person’s body to make hemoglobin S. When a person has two hemoglobin S genes, Hemoglobin SS, the disease is called sickle cell anemia. This is the most common and often most severe kind of SCD.
Hemoglobin SC disease and hemoglobin Sβ thalassemia (thal-uh-SEE-me-uh) are two other common forms of SCD…. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sca/

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide data about sickle cell disease:

In the United States
The exact number of people living with SCD in the U.S. is unknown. Working with partners, the CDC supports projects to learn about the number of people living with SCD to better understand how the disease impacts their health.
It is estimated that:
• SCD affects approximately 100,000 Americans.
• SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 365 Black or African-American births.
• SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births.
• About 1 in 13 Black or African-American babies is born with sickle cell trait (SCT).
Comprehensive Care
• People with SCD have less access to comprehensive team care than people with genetic disorders such as hemophilia and cystic fibrosis. [Read article]
Mortality
• Sickle cell-related death among Black or African-American children younger than 4 years of age fell by 42% from 1999 through 2002. This drop coincided with the introduction in 2000 of a vaccine that protects against invasive pneumococcal disease.
[Read summary]
• Relative to the rate for the period 1983 through 1986, the SCD mortality rate for the period 1999 through 2002 decreased by:
o 68% at age 0 through 3 years;
o 39% at age 4 through 9 years; and
o 24% at age 10 through 14 years.
[Read summary]
• Mortality Among Children with Sickle Cell Disease Identified by Newborn Screening During 1990-1994 — California, Illinois, and New York:
o Among the children with Hb SS disease, 1% died as a result of SCD-related causes during the first 3 years of life.
o In California and Illinois, by the end of 1995, the cumulative mortality rate was 1.5 per 100 Black or African-American children with SCD. The equivalent cumulative mortality rate for all Black or African-American infants born during this period in California and Illinois was 2.0 per 100 Black or African-American newborns.
[Read article]
Economic Costs
• During 2005, medical expenditures for children with SCD averaged $11,702 for children with Medicaid coverage and $14,772 for children with employer-sponsored insurance. About 40% of both groups had at least one hospital stay.
[Read summary]
• SCD is a major public health concern. From 1989 through 1993, an average of 75,000 hospitalizations due to SCD occurred in the United States, costing approximately $475 million.
[Read summary]
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/data.html

See, American Society of Hematology http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Anemia/Sickle-Cell.aspx
Science Daily reported in Computer models provide new understanding of sickle cell disease:

Computer models developed by Brown University mathematicians show new details of what happens inside a red blood cell affected by sickle cell disease. The researchers said they hope their models, described in an article in the Biophysical Journal, will help in assessing drug strategies to combat the genetic blood disorder, which affects millions of people worldwide.
Sickle cell disease affects hemoglobin, molecules within red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen. In normal red blood cells, hemoglobin is dispersed evenly throughout the cell. In sickle red blood cells, mutated hemoglobin can polymerize when deprived of oxygen, assembling themselves into long polymer fibers that push against the membranes of the cells, forcing them out of shape. The stiff, ill-shaped cells can become lodged in small capillaries throughout the body, leading to painful episodes known as sickle cell crisis….
The model uses detailed biomechanical data on how sickle hemoglobin molecules behave and bind with each other to simulate the assembly of a polymer fiber. Prior to this work, the problem had been that as the fiber grows, so does the amount of data the model must crunch. Modeling an entire polymer fiber at cellular scale using the details of each molecule was simply too computationally expensive….
The researchers’ solution was to apply what they call a mesoscopic adaptive resolution scheme or MARS. The MARS model calculates the detailed dynamics of each individual hemoglobin molecule only at the each end of polymer fibers, where new molecules are being recruited into the fiber. Once four layers of a fiber have been established, the model automatically dials back the resolution at which it represents that section. The model retains the important information about how the fiber behaves mechanically, but glosses over the fine details of each constituent molecule….
Using the new MARS simulations, the researchers were able to show how different configurations of growing polymer fibers are able to produce cells with different shapes. Though the disease gets its name because it causes many red blood cells take on a sickle-like shape, there are actually a variety of abnormal cell shapes present. This new modeling approach showed new details about how different fiber structures inside the cell produce different cell shapes….
There are only two drugs on the market that has been approved by the FDA for treating sickle cell, Karniadakis says. One of them, called hydroxyurea, is thought to work by boosting the amount of fetal hemoglobin — the kind of hemoglobin that babies are born with — in a patient’s blood. Fetal hemoglobin is resistant to polymerization and, when present in sufficient quantity, is thought to disrupt the polymerization of sickle cell hemoglobin.
Using these new models, Karniadakis and his colleagues can now run simulations that include fetal hemoglobin. Those simulations could help to confirm that fetal hemoglobin does indeed disrupt polymerization, as well as help to establish how much fetal hemoglobin is necessary. That could help in establishing better dosage guidelines or in developing new and more effective drugs, the researchers say. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170728153954.htm

Citation:

Computer models provide new understanding of sickle cell disease
Date: July 28, 2017
Source: Brown University
Summary:
Simulations developed by mathematicians provide new details of how sickle cell disease manifests inside red blood cells, which could help in developing new treatments.

Journal Reference:
1. Lu Lu, He Li, Xin Bian, Xuejin Li, George Em Karniadakis. Mesoscopic Adaptive Resolution Scheme toward Understanding of Interactions between Sickle Cell Fibers. Biophysical Journal, 2017; 113 (1): 48 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.05.050

Here is the Brown press release:

Computer models provide new understanding of sickle cell disease
July 28, 2017 Media contact: Kevin Stacey 401-863-3766
Simulations developed by Brown University mathematicians provide new details of how sickle cell disease manifests inside red blood cells, which could help in developing new treatments.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Computer models developed by Brown University mathematicians show new details of what happens inside a red blood cell affected by sickle cell disease. The researchers said they hope their models, described in an article in the Biophysical Journal, will help in assessing drug strategies to combat the genetic blood disorder, which affects millions of people worldwide.
Sickle cell disease affects hemoglobin, molecules within red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen. In normal red blood cells, hemoglobin is dispersed evenly throughout the cell. In sickle red blood cells, mutated hemoglobin can polymerize when deprived of oxygen, assembling themselves into long polymer fibers that push against the membranes of the cells, forcing them out of shape. The stiff, ill-shaped cells can become lodged in small capillaries throughout the body, leading to painful episodes known as sickle cell crisis.
“The goal of our work is to model both how these sickle hemoglobin fibers form as well as the mechanical properties of those fibers,” said Lu Lu, a Ph.D. student in Brown Division of Applied Mathematics and the study’s lead author. “There had been separate models for each of these things individually developed by us, but this brings those together into one comprehensive model.”
The model uses detailed biomechanical data on how sickle hemoglobin molecules behave and bind with each other to simulate the assembly of a polymer fiber. Prior to this work, the problem had been that as the fiber grows, so does the amount of data the model must crunch. Modeling an entire polymer fiber at cellular scale using the details of each molecule was simply too computationally expensive.
“Even the world’s fastest supercomputers wouldn’t be able to handle it,” said George Karniadakis, professor of applied math at Brown and the paper’s senior author. “There’s just too much happening and no way to capture it all computationally. That’s what we were able to overcome with this work.”
As the simulated fiber grows, the model dials back the resolution, representing established parts of the fiber with courser grain, which makes simulating the fibers computationally tractable.
The researchers’ solution was to apply what they call a mesoscopic adaptive resolution scheme or MARS. The MARS model calculates the detailed dynamics of each individual hemoglobin molecule only at the each end of polymer fibers, where new molecules are being recruited into the fiber. Once four layers of a fiber have been established, the model automatically dials back the resolution at which it represents that section. The model retains the important information about how the fiber behaves mechanically, but glosses over the fine details of each constituent molecule.
“By eliminating the fine details where we don’t need them, we develop a model that can simulate this whole process and its effects on a red blood cell,” Karniadakis said.
Using the new MARS simulations, the researchers were able to show how different configurations of growing polymer fibers are able to produce cells with different shapes. Though the disease gets its name because it causes many red blood cells take on a sickle-like shape, there are actually a variety of abnormal cell shapes present. This new modeling approach showed new details about how different fiber structures inside the cell produce different cell shapes.
“We are able to produce a polymerization profile for each of the cell types associated with the disease,” Karniadakis said. “Now the goal is to use these models to look for ways of preventing the disease onset.”
The researchers used their models to create “polymerization profiles” for different cell shapes associated with sickle cell disease. The model above shows a cell with multiple fibers forming.
There are only two drugs on the market that has been approved by the FDA for treating sickle cell, Karniadakis says. One of them, called hydroxyurea, is thought to work by boosting the amount of fetal hemoglobin — the kind of hemoglobin that babies are born with — in a patient’s blood. Fetal hemoglobin is resistant to polymerization and, when present in sufficient quantity, is thought to disrupt the polymerization of sickle cell hemoglobin.
Using these new models, Karniadakis and his colleagues can now run simulations that include fetal hemoglobin. Those simulations could help to confirm that fetal hemoglobin does indeed disrupt polymerization, as well as help to establish how much fetal hemoglobin is necessary. That could help in establishing better dosage guidelines or in developing new and more effective drugs, the researchers say.
“The models give us a way to do preliminary testing on new approaches to stopping this disease,” Karniadakis said. “Now that we can simulate the entire polymerization process, we think the models will be much more useful.”
Lu and Karniadakis’ co-authors on the paper were He Li, Xin Bian and Xuejin Li, all from Brown’s Division of Applied Mathematics. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (U01HL114476). Computer time and other resources were provided under grants from the Department of Energy (DE-AC02-06CH11357, DE-AC05-00OR22725).
Note to Editors:
Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.

The Brown study is a breakthrough because it may lead to advanced and individual specific treatment for sickle cell disease.

WebMD described current treatment for sickle cell disease:

Treatment involves getting routine tests to monitor health, managing pain events (crises), and treating related health problems as they arise.
Treatment for severe cases of sickle cell disease may include medicines. For more information, see Medications.
Treatment for children
When parents learn that their baby has sickle cell disease, it’s the beginning of a lifelong education process. Knowing as much as you can about the disease can help you control symptoms as they arise and know what to do in emergency situations. Treatment includes:
• Routine childhood immunizations. Immunizations in adulthood are important too.
• Daily antibiotics from 2 months to 5 years of age to prevent life-threatening infections. This practice stops at age 5 because older children don’t have as many severe infections.
• The medicine hydroxyurea.
• Multivitamin supplements with iron during infancy.
• Folic acid supplements daily.
• Protein supplements if there is a lag in weight gain.
Starting at age 2 years, your child should get screened every now and then with a transcranial ultrasound. This test measures blood flow in the arteries of the head and neck. If test results show a high chance for stroke, your child may get blood transfusions to lower the risk.3 http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tc/sickle-cell-disease-treatment-overview#1

As with any chronic disease, early diagnosis and treatment by qualified medical personnel is essential. See, Children’s Hospital Directory https://www.childrenshospitals.org/Directories/Hospital-Directory

Resources:

Sickle cell anemia patient ‘cured’ by gene therapy, doctors say
http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/03/health/sickle-cell-anemia/index.html

What Is Sickle Cell Disease?
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sca/

Sickle Cell Anemia
http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/sickle-cell-anemia/overview.html

Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment & Management
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/205926-treatment

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McGill University study: Detecting long-term concussion in athletes

15 Jul

Kids Health has some great information about concussions at their site:

What Is a Concussion and What Causes It?
The brain is made of soft tissue and is cushioned by spinal fluid. It is encased in the hard, protective skull. When a person gets a head injury, the brain can move around inside the skull and even bang against it. This can lead to bruising of the brain, tearing of blood vessels, and injury to the nerves. When this happens, a person can get a concussion — a temporary loss of normal brain function.
Most people with concussions recover just fine with appropriate treatment. But it’s important to take proper steps if you suspect a concussion because it can be serious.
Concussions and other brain injuries are fairly common. About every 21 seconds, someone in the United States has a serious brain injury. One of the most common reasons people get concussions is through a sports injury. High-contact sports such as football, boxing, and hockey pose a higher risk of head injury, even with the use of protective headgear.
People can also get concussions from falls, car accidents, bike and blading mishaps, and physical violence, such as fighting. Guys are more likely to get concussions than girls. However, in certain sports, like soccer, girls have a higher potential for concussion.
http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/first_aid/concussions.html#a_What_Is_a_Concussion_and_What_Causes_It_

Dr. Rivara published a study of how serious concussions can be.

Lindsey Tanner of AP reported about concussions in the article, Even mild concussions can cause lingering symptoms:

Children with even relatively mild concussions can have persistent attention and memory problems a year after their injuries, according to a study that helps identify which kids may be most at risk for lingering symptoms.
In most kids with these injuries, symptoms resolve within a few months but the study results suggest that problems may linger for up to about 20 percent, said study author Keith Owen Yeates, a neuropsychologist at Ohio State University’s Center for Biobehaviorial Health.
Problems like forgetfulness were more likely to linger than fatigue, dizziness and other physical complaints, the study found.
Forgetfulness, difficulty paying attention, headaches and fatigue were more common in study children who lost consciousness or who had other mild head trauma that caused brain abnormalities on imaging tests, compared with kids who didn’t get knocked out or who had normal imaging test results.
The study looked at symptoms up to a year after injury so it doesn’t answer whether any kids had longer-lasting or permanent problems.
“What parents want to know is if my kid is going to do OK. Most do OK, but we have to get better at predicting which kids are going to have problems,” Yeates said.
Those who do may need temporary accommodations, including extra time taking school tests, or wearing sunglasses if bright light gives them headaches, he said.
Most children studied had concussions from playing sports or from falls. About 20 percent had less common mild brain trauma from traffic accidents and other causes.
Concussions involve a blow to the head that jostles the brain against the skull, although imaging scans typically show no abnormalities. Other mild brain trauma can cause tissue damage visible on these scans.
The study included 186 children aged 8 to 15 with mild concussions and other mild brain injuries treated at two hospitals, in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. The reports are based on parents’ reports of symptoms up to 12 months after the injuries.
The brain injuries studied were considered mild because they involved no more than half an hour of unconsciousness; 60 percent of kids with concussions or other brain trauma — 74 children — had no loss of consciousness.
Overall, 20 percent — 15 children — who lost consciousness had lingering forgetfulness or other non-physical problems a year after their injury; while 20 percent who had abnormal brain scans — six kids — had lingering headaches or other physical problems three months after being injured.
http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Even-mild-concussions-can-cause-lingering-symptoms-3383079.php#ixzz1oMUeQVuu

McGill University researched a methodology for detecting long-term concussion,

Science Daily reported in Detecting long-term concussion in athletes:

Lawyers representing both sides in concussion lawsuits against sports leagues may eventually have a new tool at their disposal: a diagnostic signature that uses artificial intelligence to detect brain trauma years after it has occurred.
While the short-term effects of head trauma can be devastating, the long-term effects can be equally hard for patients. The symptoms may linger years after the concussion happened. The problem is it is often hard to say whether their symptoms are being caused by a concussion or other factors like another neurological condition or the normal aging process.
The only way to prove the presence of brain damage caused by concussion years after it occurred was through post-mortem examination. A means of diagnosing concussion in living patients, however, remained elusive.
A research team from Université de Montreal, The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), and the Ludmer Center for NeuroInformatics recruited former university athletes between the ages of 51 and 75 who played contact sports such as ice hockey and American football. From that group, the researchers formed a cohort of 15 athletes who reported being concussed in their athletic careers, and a control group of 15 athletes who had not been concussed.
The researchers performed a battery of tests on both groups, including neuropsychological testing, genotyping, structural neuroimaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and diffusion weighted imaging. They then pooled the data and fed it to computers that use artificial intelligence software to “learn” the differences between the brain of a healthy athlete versus the brain of a previously concussed athlete. They found that white matter connections between several brain regions of concussed individuals showed abnormal connectivity that might reflect both degeneration and the brain’s method of compensating for damage. Using the data, the computers were able to detect concussion with up to 90-per-cent accuracy….
Dr. Sebastien Tremblay, the paper’s first author, says they need to validate the signature on a larger sample size, using various magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, before it becomes an effective means to diagnose concussion. When perfected, the signature could also aid treatment of concussion by providing doctors with an accurate picture of what is causing their patients’ symptoms…..https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170712145611.htm

Citation:

Detecting long-term concussion in athletes
Researchers develop method that could one day be used in brain trauma lawsuits
Date: July 12, 2017
Source: McGill University
Summary:
representing both sides in concussion lawsuits against sports leagues may eventually have a new tool at their disposal: a diagnostic signature that uses artificial intelligence to detect brain trauma years after it has occurred.

Journal Reference:
1. Sébastien Tremblay, Yasser Iturria-Medina, José María Mateos-Pérez, Alan C. Evans, Louis De Beaumont. Defining a multimodal signature of remote sports concussions. European Journal of Neuroscience, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/ejn.13583

Here is the press release from McGill University:

Detecting long-term concussion in athletes
News
Researchers develop method that could one day be used in brain trauma lawsuits
Published: 12Jul2017
Lawyers representing both sides in concussion lawsuits against sports leagues may eventually have a new tool at their disposal: a diagnostic signature that uses artificial intelligence to detect brain trauma years after it has occurred.
While the short-term effects of head trauma can be devastating, the long-term effects can be equally hard for patients. The symptoms may linger years after the concussion happened. The problem is it is often hard to say whether their symptoms are being caused by a concussion or other factors like another neurological condition or the normal aging process.
The only way to prove the presence of brain damage caused by concussion years after it occurred was through post-mortem examination. A means of diagnosing concussion in living patients, however, remained elusive.
A research team from Université de Montreal, The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), and the Ludmer Center for NeuroInformatics recruited former university athletes between the ages of 51 and 75 who played contact sports such as ice hockey and American football. From that group, the researchers formed a cohort of 15 athletes who reported being concussed in their athletic careers, and a control group of 15 athletes who had not been concussed.
The researchers performed a battery of tests on both groups, including neuropsychological testing, genotyping, structural neuroimaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and diffusion weighted imaging. They then pooled the data and fed it to computers that use artificial intelligence software to “learn” the differences between the brain of a healthy athlete versus the brain of a previously concussed athlete. They found that white matter connections between several brain regions of concussed individuals showed abnormal connectivity that might reflect both degeneration and the brain’s method of compensating for damage. Using the data, the computers were able to detect concussion with up to 90-per-cent accuracy.
The study’s results were published in the European Journal of Neuroscience on May 16, 2017. Their work, once more thoroughly tested and refined, could have implications for current and future concussion lawsuits. The National Football League, for example, faced a decade-long lawsuit by former players who claimed it did not do enough to protect them from concussion. The lawsuit was complicated by the fact there was no objective way to determine if the neurological symptoms they experienced were caused by the concussions they received as players. The National Hockey League is currently facing a similar lawsuit by former players.
Dr. Sebastien Tremblay, the paper’s first author, says they need to validate the signature on a larger sample size, using various magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, before it becomes an effective means to diagnose concussion. When perfected, the signature could also aid treatment of concussion by providing doctors with an accurate picture of what is causing their patients’ symptoms.
The need for such tools is greater than ever. According to the federal government, reported concussions have increased 40 per cent between 2004 and 2014 among young football, soccer and hockey players.
“With 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions per year in the US alone, the prevalence of this injury is alarming,” says Tremblay, a postdoctoral researcher at The Neuro. “It is unacceptable that no objective tools or techniques yet exist to diagnose them, not to mention the sheer lack of scientifically valid treatment options. With our work, we hope to provide help to the vast population of former athletes who experience neurological issues after retiring from contact sport.”
“Future studies, including systematic comparisons with patient groups presenting with other age-related neurological conditions, together with identifying new biomarkers of concussion, would help refine the developed, computer-assisted model of the remote effects of concussion on the aging brain,” says Dr. Louis de Beaumont, a researcher at Université de Montreal and the paper’s senior author.
This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
Université de Montréal
Deeply rooted in Montreal and dedicated to its international mission, Université de Montréal ranks among the top 1% of the world’s best universities and is considered the top comprehensive university in the Francophonie. Founded in 1878, UdeM today has 15 faculties and schools, and together with its two affiliated schools, HEC Montréal and Polytechnique Montréal, constitutes the largest centre of higher education and research in Quebec and one of the most important in North America. It has 2,800 professors and researchers and more than 66,000 students. For more information, please visit http://www.umontreal.ca/en
The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital
The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro – is a world-leading destination for brain research and advanced patient care. Since its founding in 1934 by renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Wilder Penfield, The Neuro has grown to be the largest specialized neuroscience research and clinical centre in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. The seamless integration of research, patient care, and training of the world’s top minds make The Neuro uniquely positioned to have a significant impact on the understanding and treatment of nervous system disorders. In 2016, The Neuro became the first institute in the world to fully embrace the Open Science philosophy, creating the Tanenbaum Open Science Institute. The Montreal Neurological Institute is a McGill University research and teaching institute. The Montreal Neurological Hospital is part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. For more information, please visit http://www.theneuro.ca
Contact Information
Contact:
Shawn Hayward
Organization:
Communications Officer, Montreal Neurological Institute
Email:
shawn.hayward@mcgill.ca
Office Phone:
514 893 3376
Secondary Contact Information
Contact:
Jeff Heinrich
Organization:
International Press Attaché, Université de Montreal
Secondary Email:
jeff.heinrich@umontreal.ca
Office Phone:
514 343 7593

WebMD has a good description of what a concussion is and the signs of concussion

A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by a sudden blow to the head or to the body. The blow shakes the brain inside the skull, which temporarily prevents the brain from working normally….
Symptoms of a concussion include:
· Passing out.
· Not being able to remember what happened after the injury.
· Acting confused, asking the same question over and over, slurring words, or not being able to concentrate.
· Feeling lightheaded, seeing “stars,” having blurry vision, or experiencing ringing in the ears.
· Not being able to stand or walk; or having coordination and balance problems.
· Feeling nauseous or throwing up.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a small child has a concussion. If your child has had a head injury, call your doctor for advice on what to do.
Occasionally a person who has a more serious concussion develops new symptoms over time and feels worse than he or she did before the injury. This is called post-concussive syndrome. If you have symptoms of post-concussive syndrome, call your doctor. Symptoms of post-concussive syndrome include:
· Changes in your ability to think, concentrate, or remember.
· Headaches or blurry vision.
· Changes in your sleep patterns, such as not being able to sleep or sleeping all the time.
· Changes in your personality such as becoming angry or anxious for no clear reason.
· Lack of interest in your usual activities.
· Changes in your sex drive.
· Dizziness, lightheadedness, or unsteadiness that makes standing or walking difficult.

Parents must be alert to what is happening with the children when they participate in athletic events and activities.

Resources:

Concussions http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/first_aid/concussions.html#a_What_Is_a_Concussion_and_What_Causes_It_
Concussion
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/concussion/article_em.htm

Concussion – Overview
http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/traumatic-brain-injury-concussion-overview

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