Tag Archives: Mayo Clinic

Stanford Medicine study: Older fathers associated with increased birth risks, study reports

8 Nov

Typically, older mothers are the subject of risk factor analysis for pregnancy after 35. The Mayo Clinic staff wrote in Pregnancy after 35: Healthy moms, healthy babies:

Understand the risks
The biological clock is a fact of life, but there’s nothing magical about age 35. It’s simply an age at which various risks become more discussion worthy. For example:
• It might take longer to get pregnant. You’re born with a limited number of eggs. As you reach your mid- to late 30s, your eggs decrease in quantity and quality. Also, older women’s eggs aren’t fertilized as easily as younger women’s eggs. If you are older than age 35 and haven’t been able to conceive for six months, consider asking your health care provider for advice.
• You’re more likely to have a multiple pregnancy. The chance of having twins increases with age due to hormonal changes that could cause the release of multiple eggs at the same time. The use of assisted reproductive technologies — such as in vitro fertilization — also can play a role.
• You’re more likely to develop gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes, which occurs only during pregnancy, is more common as women get older. Tight control of blood sugar through diet and physical activity is essential. Sometimes medication is needed, too. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause a baby to grow significantly larger than average — which increases the risk of injuries during delivery. Gestational diabetes can also increase the risk of premature birth, high blood pressure during pregnancy, and complications to your infant after delivery.
• You’re more likely to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy. Research suggests high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy is more common in older women. Your health care provider will carefully monitor your blood pressure and your baby’s growth and development. You will need more frequent obstetric appointments and you might need to deliver before your due date to avoid complications.
• You’re more likely to have a low birth weight baby and a premature birth. Premature babies, especially those born earliest, often have complicated medical problems.
• You might need a C-section. Older mothers have a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications that might lead to a C-section delivery. An example of a complication is a condition in which the placenta blocks the cervix (placenta previa).
• The risk of chromosome abnormalities is higher. Babies born to older mothers have a higher risk of certain chromosome problems, such as Down syndrome.
• The risk of pregnancy loss is higher. The risk of pregnancy loss — by miscarriage and stillbirth — increases as you get older, perhaps due to pre-existing medical conditions or fetal chromosomal abnormalities. Research suggests that the decrease in the quality of your eggs, combined with an increased risk of chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, could increase your risk of miscarriage. Ask your health care provider about monitoring your baby’s well-being during the last weeks of pregnancy.
While further research is needed, studies suggest that men’s ages at the time of conception — the paternal age — also might pose health risks for children…. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20045756

Stanford Medicine studied the risk factors associated with older fathers.

Science Daily reported in Older fathers associated with increased birth risks, study reports:

A decade of data documenting live births in the United States links babies of older fathers with a variety of increased risks at birth, including low birth weight and seizures, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The data even suggest that the age of the father can sway the health of the mother during pregnancy, specifically her risk for developing diabetes.
“We tend to look at maternal factors in evaluating associated birth risks, but this study shows that having a healthy baby is a team sport, and the father’s age contributes to the baby’s health, too,” said Michael Eisenberg, MD, associate professor of urology.
Data from more than 40 million births showed that babies born to fathers of an “advanced paternal age,” which roughly equates to older than 35, were at a higher risk for adverse birth outcomes, such as low birth weight, seizures and need for ventilation immediately after birth. Generally speaking, the older a father’s age, the greater the risk. For example, men who were 45 or older were 14 percent more likely to have a child born prematurely, and men 50 or older were 28 percent more likely to have a child that required admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.
Still, these numbers aren’t reason to drastically change any life plans, as the risks are still relatively low, Eisenberg said. He compared the increased risks to buying lottery tickets. “If you buy two lottery tickets instead of one, your chances of winning double, so it’s increased by 100 percent,” he said. “But that’s a relative increase. Because your chance of winning the lottery started very small, it’s still unlikely that you’re going to win the lottery. This is a very extreme example, but the same concept can be applied to how you think about these birth risks.”
Instead, Eisenberg sees the findings as informational ammunition for people planning a family and hopes that they will serve to educate the public and health officials.
A paper describing the study will be published online Nov. 1 in the The British Medical Journal. Eisenberg is the senior author. Resident physician Yash Khandwala, MD, is the lead author…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181101133759.htm

See, Pregnancy at Dr. Wilda https://drwilda.com/tag/pregnancy/

Citation:

Older fathers associated with increased birth risks, study reports
Date: November 1, 2018
Source: Stanford Medicine
Summary:
A decade of data documenting live births in the United States links babies of older fathers with a variety of increased risks at birth, including low birth weight and seizures, according to a new study.

Infants of older fathers are at greater risk of birth complications
BMJ 2018; 363 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4595 (Published 01 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4595
Linked research
Association of paternal age with perinatal outcomes
Paternal factors in preconception care: the case of paternal age
BMJ 2018; 363 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4466 (Published 31 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4466

Here is the press release from Stanford Medicine:

Older fathers associated with increased birth risks

From the data of more than 40 million births, scientists at Stanford have linked paternal age to birth risks, and even risks to the mother’s health.
A decade of data documenting live births in the United States links babies of older fathers with a variety of increased risks at birth, including low birth weight and seizures, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The data even suggest that the age of the father can sway the health of the mother during pregnancy, specifically her risk for developing diabetes.
“We tend to look at maternal factors in evaluating associated birth risks, but this study shows that having a healthy baby is a team sport, and the father’s age contributes to the baby’s health, too,” said Michael Eisenberg, MD, associate professor of urology.
Data from more than 40 million births showed that babies born to fathers of an “advanced paternal age,” which roughly equates to older than 35, were at a higher risk for adverse birth outcomes, such as low birth weight, seizures and need for ventilation immediately after birth. Generally speaking, the older a father’s age, the greater the risk. For example, men who were 45 or older were 14 percent more likely to have a child born prematurely, and men 50 or older were 28 percent more likely to have a child that required admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.
Still, these numbers aren’t reason to drastically change any life plans, as the risks are still relatively low, Eisenberg said. He compared the increased risks to buying lottery tickets. “If you buy two lottery tickets instead of one, your chances of winning double, so it’s increased by 100 percent,” he said. “But that’s a relative increase. Because your chance of winning the lottery started very small, it’s still unlikely that you’re going to win the lottery. This is a very extreme example, but the same concept can be applied to how you think about these birth risks.”
Instead, Eisenberg sees the findings as informational ammunition for people planning a family and hopes that they will serve to educate the public and health officials.
A paper describing the study was published online Nov. 1 in the British Medical Journal. Eisenberg is the senior author. Resident physician Yash Khandwala, MD, is the lead author.
Increased risks at 35
Back in 2017, Eisenberg published a study showing that the number of older men fathering children was on the rise. Now, about 10 percent of infants are born to fathers over the age of 40, whereas four decades ago it was only 4 percent.
“We’re seeing these shifts across the United States, across race strata, across education levels, geography — everywhere you look, the same patterns are being seen,” Eisenberg said. “So I do think it’s becoming more relevant for us to understand the health ramifications of advanced paternal age on infant and maternal health.”
Having a better understanding of the father’s biological role will be obviously important for the offspring, but also potentially for the mother.
Eisenberg and his colleagues used data from 40.5 million live births documented through a data-sharing program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics. The researchers organized the information based on the fathers’ age — younger than 25; 25 to 34; 35 to 44; 45 to 55; and older than 55 — and controlled for a variety of parameters that might skew the association between the father’s age and birth outcomes, such as race, education level, marital status, smoking history, access to care and the mother’s age.
The data suggested that once a dad hits age 35, there’s a slight increase in birth risks overall — with every year that a man ages, he accumulates on average two new mutations in the DNA of his sperm — but birth risks for infants born to fathers of the subsequent age tier showed sharper increases.
Compared with fathers between the ages of 25 and 34 (the average age of paternity in the United States), infants born to men 45 or older were 14 percent more likely to be admitted to the NICU, 14 percent more likely to be born prematurely, 18 percent more likely to have seizures and 14 percent more likely to have a low birth weight. If a father was 50 or older, the likelihood that their infant would need ventilation upon birth increased by 10 percent, and the odds that they would need assistance from the neonatal intensive care unit increased by 28 percent.
“What was really surprising was that there seemed to be an association between advanced paternal age and the chance that the mother would develop diabetes during pregnancy,” said Eisenberg. For men age 45 and older, their partners were 28 percent more likely to develop gestational diabetes, compared with fathers between 25 and 34. Eisenberg points out that possible biological mechanisms at play here are still a bit murky, but he suspects that the mother’s placenta has a role.
Beyond correlation
Moving forward, Eisenberg wants to look into other population cohorts to confirm the associations between age and birth risks, as well as begin to decode some of the possible biological mechanisms.
“Scientists have looked at these kinds of trends before, but this is the most comprehensive study to look at the relationship between the father’s age and birth outcomes at a population level,” said Eisenberg. “Having a better understanding of the father’s biological role will be obviously important for the offspring, but also potentially for the mother.”
Other Stanford co-authors of the study are professor of obstetrics and gynecology Valerie Baker, MD; professor of pediatrics Gary Shaw, DrPH; professor of pediatrics David K. Stevenson, MD; and professor of biomedical data, Ying Lu, PhD.
Eisenberg is a member of Stanford Bio-X, the Stanford Child Health Research Institute and the Stanford Cancer Institute.
Stanford’s Department of Urology also supported the work.
By HANAE ARMITAGE
Hanae Armitage is a science writer for the medical school’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs. Email her at harmitag@stanford.edu. http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2018/10/older-fathers-associated-with-increased-birth-risks.html

There are benefits and cautions for those becoming parents after 35.

Dinah Wisenberg Brin wrote in the CNBC article Older-Parent Families: Advantages and Disadvantages:

Beyond the retirement and college-planning decisions, middle-aged parents may be caring for their own frail, elderly parents at the same time they’re raising preschoolers, a potentially costly prospect that points to another issue: No built-in support network of youthful grandparents who can babysit during parental getaways. CFP Kahler knows this first hand.
“Our childcare bill is as much as our airfare bill,” he says. Trading childcare with other families can defrays the costs, though, he adds.
The age factor similarly can make it difficult for middle-age parents to find willing and able guardians to name in their wills. Lindsay recalls a former client couple in their 40s with young children who had trouble completing their estate planning because they had only older siblings and no one willing to be named as guardians.
“Sometimes it just comes down to making the best decision out of a number of poor alternatives,” Kahler says. “It may mean sending them out of state to someone, you may be looking to nieces and nephews who could potentially raise a child.”
Older-parent families can face other advantages and disadvantages, as well.
“I think my kids will need less therapy than if I’d had kids in my 20s,” Kahler jokes. On the other hand, he notes there are costs associated with the care of an aging body. “I tell my kids, `The horsey can only go up and down the hallway a couple of times before the horsey runs out of gas.’ ” https://www.cnbc.com/id/44378785

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

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Washington State University study: BPA replacements in plastics cause reproductive problems in lab mice

16 Sep

Brent A. Bauer, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic provides a concise description of bisphenol A (BPA):

What is BPA, and what are the concerns about BPA?
Answer From Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s.
BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles. They may also be used in other consumer goods.
Epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. Some dental sealants and composites also may contain BPA.
Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. Additional research suggests a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. This assessment is based on review of hundreds of studies.
The FDA is continuing its review of BPA, including supporting ongoing research. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about BPA, you can take these steps to reduce your exposure:
• Use BPA-free products. Manufacturers are creating more and more BPA-free products. Look for products labeled as BPA-free. If a product isn’t labeled, keep in mind that some, but not all, plastics marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
• Cut back on cans. Reduce your use of canned foods since most cans are lined with BPA-containing resin.
• Avoid heat. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, advises against microwaving polycarbonate plastics or putting them in the dishwasher, because the plastic may break down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods.
• Use alternatives. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers….. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331

A Washington State University study found there could be problems with some replacements to BPA plastics.

Science Daily reported in BPA replacements in plastics cause reproductive problems in lab mice:

Twenty years ago, researchers made the accidental discovery that the now infamous plastics ingredient known as bisphenol A or BPA had inadvertently leached out of plastic cages used to house female mice in the lab, causing a sudden increase in chromosomally abnormal eggs in the animals. Now, the same team is back to report in the journal Current Biology on September 13 that the array of alternative bisphenols now used to replace BPA in BPA-free bottles, cups, cages, and other items appear to come with similar problems for their mice….

The new findings were uncovered much as before as the researchers again noticed a change in the data coming out of studies on control animals. Again, the researchers traced the problem to contamination from damaged cages, but the effects this time, Hunt says, were more subtle than before. That’s because not all of the cages were damaged and the source of contamination remained less certain.
However, she and her colleagues were able to determine that the mice were being exposed to replacement bisphenols. They also saw that the disturbance in the lab was causing problems in the production of both eggs and sperm.
Once they got the contamination under control, the researchers conducted additional controlled studies to test the effects of several replacement bisphenols, including a common replacement known as BPS. Those studies confirm that replacement bisphenols produce remarkably similar chromosomal abnormalities to those seen so many years earlier in studies of BPA.
Hunt notes that the initial inadvertent exposure of their animals was remarkably similar to what might happen in people using plastics in that the exposure was accidental and highly variable. Not all of the animals’ cages were damaged, and so the findings differed among animals in different cages.
She adds that — although determining the levels of human exposure is difficult — their controlled experiments were conducted using low doses of BPS and other replacement bisphenols thought to be relevant to exposure in people using BPA-free plastics.
These problems, if they hold true in people as has been shown in the case of BPA, will carry over to future generations through their effects on the germline. The researchers showed that, if it were possible to eliminate bisphenol contaminants completely, the effects would still persist for about three generations… https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180913113940.htm

Citation:

BPA replacements in plastics cause reproductive problems in lab mice
Date: September 13, 2018
Source: Cell Press
Summary:
Twenty years ago, researchers made the accidental discovery that BPA had leached out of plastic cages used to house female mice in the lab, causing an increase in chromosomally abnormal eggs. Now, the same team is back to report that the array of alternative bisphenols now used to replace BPA in BPA-free bottles, cups, cages, and other items appear to come with similar problems for their mice.
Journal Reference:
Tegan S. Horan, Hannah Pulcastro, Crystal Lawson, Roy Gerona, Spencer Martin, Mary C. Gieske, Caroline V. Sartain, Patricia A. Hunt. Replacement Bisphenols Adversely Affect Mouse Gametogenesis with Consequences for Subsequent Generations. Current Biology, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.06.070

Here is the press release from Washington State University:

WSU researchers see new plastics causing reproductive woes of old plastics
September 13, 2018

BPA has long been used in bottles, cups, medical and dental devices, and as coatings for food-can linings and cash register receipts.
By Eric Sorensen, WSU News

Washington State University researchers have found that plastic products meant to replace the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, are also causing genetic abnormalities in mice.

The discovery is a déjà vu moment for Patricia Hunt, who 20 years ago linked abnormalities in egg chromosomes to BPA released by a harsh detergent used on her lab’s mouse cages. This time, she saw reproductive defects in control animals housed in plastic cages made with BPA alternatives.

“There’s growing evidence that many of these common replacements are not safe,” said Hunt, a professor in WSU’s School of Molecular Biosciences and lead author of a study in the latest Current Biology. “We stumbled on an effect yet again. This is a more stable plastic but it induced similar effects on the process of making eggs and sperm. Importantly, when we tested the chemicals in controlled experiments, we got similar results for each of them.”

BPA has long been used in bottles, cups, medical and dental devices, and as coatings for food-can linings and cash register receipts. After Hunt and other researchers began tying BPA exposure to developmental defects in numerous animal species, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned it in baby bottles and children’s drinking cups. The Washington legislature has also limited its use.
Hunt and her colleagues say mice exposed to the common BPA replacement bisphenol S, or BPS, underwent changes in the way the germ cells in their testes and ovaries copy and splice DNA while producing sperm and eggs. Both sexes had problems getting DNA to recombine correctly, leading to a reduction in viable sperm and an increase in abnormal eggs. Hunt and her colleagues had similar results with the replacements BPF, BPAF, and diphenyl sulfone.

“These findings add to growing evidence of the biological risks posed by this class of chemicals,” Hunt and her colleagues write.

Problems in the male germline lasted several generations after the initial exposure.
In addition to risking human reproductive health, the replacement plastics can also be compromising the integrity of biological research.

“It’s now becoming almost impossible to run experiments without contamination,” said Hunt, called the “accidental toxicologist” by Scientific American magazine. “And it’s not that I live under my own black cloud. It’s that I have a super sensitive system. A germ line is like the canary in the coal mine. As soon as something hits, we see it. Other investigators in my facility don’t see it but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t impact their research.”

Hunt’s WSU colleagues in the research are Tegan Horan, a research intern and the paper’s first author, as well as scientific assistants Hannah Pulcastro and Crystal Lawson and former postdoctoral fellows Mary Gieske and Caroline Sartain. Joining them are Roy Gerona and Spencer Martin of the University of California, San Francisco.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Media contact:
Patricia Hunt, professor, WSU School of Molecular Biosciences, 509-335-4954, pathunt@wsu.edu

The question is whether there are safe plastics.

Timothy Banas wrote in the Livestrong.com article, Which Plastic Containers Can I Safely Use?

Type 1: Polyethylene Teraphthalate – Do Not Reuse
You commonly find Type 1 plastic in bottles for juices, salad dressing, water, vegetable oil and mouthwash. Peanut butter and pickle jars often contain type 1 plastic as well. Polyethylene teraphthalate is light-weight, clear and smooth; its manufacturers intend it for a single use only.
While it does not contain bisphenol A or phthalates, it does contain antimony, a possible human carcinogen. Also, harmful bacteria can build up in it as you reuse it. Polyethylene teraphthalate containers may have the symbol “PET” on them.

Type 2: High-Density Polyethylene – Safe
Milk containers, detergent bottles, freezer bags and plastic grocery bags often contain high-density polyethylene, a relatively stiff plastic. Type 2 plastic neither contains bisphenol A nor phthalates. It is not known to contain other harmful chemicals. High-density polyethylene containers may have the symbol “HDPE” on them.
Type 3: Polyvinyl Chloride – Contains Phthalates
Polyvinyl chloride contains phthalates that can cause reproductive problems in animals and humans. Type 3 plastic can be plasticized or unplasticized; the former is clear and flexible, the latter is more rigid. Food containers commonly made with polyvinyl chloride include fruit juice bottles, cooking oil bottles and clear food packaging. Plasticized PVC pipes and siding contain phthalates as well. Polyvinyl chloride containers may have the symbol “V” on them.
Type 4: Low-Density Polyethylene – Safe
Frozen foods packaging and condiment squeeze bottles often contain Type 4 plastic because it is flexible and resistant to solvents. Type 4 plastic does not contain any known harmful chemicals. Low-density polyethylene containers may have the symbol “LDPE” on them.
Type 5: Polypropylene – Safe
Polypropylene containers do not leach harmful chemicals into foods or liquids. They commonly contain yogurt, medicine, drinks, ketchup and medicines. Type 5 plastic is flexible, hard and semi-transparent and has high resistance to solvents. Polypropylene containers may have the symbol “PP” on them.
Type 7: Polycarbonate
You should avoid type 7 plastic containers because they may contain bisphenol A that leaches into their contents. Type 7 plastics often have the symbol “PC” or “Other” on them. You will find polycarbonate plastics in 3- and 5-gallon water-cooler bottles; hard, plastic reusable water bottles; and to-go coffee mugs. Manufacturers use polycarbonate for these purposes because it is virtually shatter-proof…. https://www.livestrong.com/article/158674-which-plastic-containers-can-i-safely-use/

The Washington State University research indicates that this list may have to be studied further to determine safety.

Resources:

Safe Plastic Numbers (Guide)                                             http://www.babygreenthumb.com/p-122-safe-plastic-numbers-guide.aspx

Pots, Pans, and Plastics: A Shopper’s Guide to Food Safety https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/cookware-plastics-shoppers-guide-to-food-safety#1

Which Plastics Are Safe?                                                  https://www.care2.com/greenliving/which-plastics-are-safe.html

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Mayo Clinic study: Suicide attempt a stronger predictor of completed suicide than previously thought

24 Sep

People of all ages may have feelings of profound sadness, loss, and depression. There is no one on earth, despite what the ads attempt to portray, who lives a perfect life. Every life has flaws and blemishes; it is just that some cope better than others. For every person who lives to a ripe old age, during the course of that life they may encounter all types of loss from loss of a loved one through death, divorce or desertion, loss of job, financial reverses, illness, dealing with A-holes and twits, plagues, pestilence, and whatever curse can be thrown at a person. The key is that they lived THROUGH whatever challenges they faced AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME. Woody Allen said something like “90% of life is simply showing up.” Let moi add a corollary, one of the prime elements of a happy life is to realize that whatever moment you are now in, it will not last forever and that includes moments of great challenge. A person does not have to be religious to appreciate the story of Job. The end of the story is that Job is restored. He had to endure much before the final victory, though.

Science Daily reported in Suicide attempt a stronger predictor of completed suicide than previously thought:

While a prior history of suicide attempt is one of the strongest predictors of completed suicide, a Mayo Clinic study finds it is more lethal than previously known.

Researchers find that suicide risk was nearly 60 percent higher than previously reported when based on a population-based cohort focusing on individuals making first lifetime attempts and including those whose first attempts were fatal. This risk was dramatically higher for attempts using firearms. The population sample was identified through the Rochester Epidemiology Project.

“We hoped to address the shortcomings of earlier studies by including two groups previously overlooked by other studies,” says J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., a psychiatrist on Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus and the lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. “Our study enrolled individuals whose first-ever suicide attempt presented to medical attention. Not only did we include those who survived this initial attempt, but we also included those who died on their first attempt and ended up on the coroner’s slab rather than in the emergency room. These are large groups that have been routinely ignored in calculation of risk.” Since suicide is one of the 10 most common causes of death in the U.S., it is a major public health concern. The study found that nearly 60 percent of people who attempted suicide died on their first attempt….                                                                                                                                https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160912161259.htm

Citation:

Suicide attempt a stronger predictor of completed suicide than previously thought

Date:         September 12, 2016

Source:     Mayo Clinic

Summary:

While a prior history of suicide attempt is one of the strongest predictors of completed suicide, a new study finds it is more lethal than previously known.

Journal Reference:

  1. J. Michael Bostwick, Chaitanya Pabbati, Jennifer R. Geske, Alastair J. McKean. Suicide Attempt as a Risk Factor for Completed Suicide: Even More Lethal Than We Knew. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2016; appi.ajp.2016.1 DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.15070854

Here is the press release from the Mayo Clinic:

  • By Duska Anastasijevic

Suicide attempt a stronger predictor of completed suicide than previously thought

September 12, 2016

ROCHESTER, Minn. — While a prior history of suicide attempt is one of the strongest predictors of completed suicide, a Mayo Clinic study finds it is more lethal than previously known.

Researchers find that suicide risk was nearly 60 percent higher than previously reported when based on a population-based cohort focusing on individuals making first lifetime attempts and including those whose first attempts were fatal. This risk was dramatically higher for attempts using firearms. The population sample was identified through the Rochester Epidemiology Project.

“We hoped to address the shortcomings of earlier studies by including two groups previously overlooked by other studies,” says J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., a psychiatrist on Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus and the lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. “Our study enrolled individuals whose first-ever suicide attempt presented to medical attention. Not only did we include those who survived this initial attempt, but we also included those who died on their first attempt and ended up on the coroner’s slab rather than in the emergency room. These are large groups that have been routinely ignored in calculation of risk.”

Since suicide is one of the 10 most common causes of death in the U.S., it is a major public health concern. The study found that nearly 60 percent of people who attempted suicide died on their first attempt.

“Almost no other study in the literature includes individuals who die on that first attempt,” Dr. Bostwick adds. “A large part of the reason that such a high proportion of the total suicides occurred on first attempt can be attributed to firearm usage. The results show that it is a 140 time more likely for firearms to cause suicide, compared to all other methods. That means nearly three-fourths of all deaths at first suicide attempt were caused by using firearms. This shows that guns are, unfortunately, but not surprisingly, remarkably effective.”

The study also revealed that the male-female ratio was higher (1.7-to-1) among those making their attempts than what other studies previously purported. Older age in men also is associated with higher suicide risk. Nearly one-third of men over 65 in the study killed themselves.

MEDIA CONTACT: Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

The Rochester Epidemiology Project diagnostic index was searched electronically to identify 1,490 Olmsted County residents whose first suicide attempt came to medical attention between Jan. 1, 1986, and Dec. 31, 2007. The study included 555 males and 935 females followed for three to 25 years.

While the study confirmed previous findings that the risk decreased in survivors given a follow-up psychiatry appointment, the vast majority of survivors, irrespective of gender, killed themselves within a year after the index attempt. This underscores how important it is that survivors have psychiatric follow-up scheduled after the first attempt and how the first year following a suicide attempt is a critical window for a repeat fatal attempt.

Other authors include: Alastair J. McKean, M.D. and Jennifer R. Geske, M.S., of Mayo Clinic, and Chaitanya Pabbati, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego;

###

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

What Should You Do if You Know Someone Who Thinking About Suicide?

If you are thinking of suicide or you know someone who is thinking about suicide, GET HELP, NOW!!!! The Suicide Prevention Resource Center http://www.sprc.org/basics/roles-suicide-prevention has some excellent advice about suicide prevention http://www.sprc.org/basics/roles-suicide-prevention

Resources:

Suicide Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/youth_suicide.html

Teen Suicide Overview
http://www.teensuicidestatistics.com/

Teen’s Health’s Suicide
http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/feeling_sad/suicide.html

American Academy of Adolescent Psychiatry http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Teen_Suicide_10.aspx

Suicide Prevention Resource Center
http://www.sprc.org/basics/roles-suicide-prevention

Teen Depression
http://helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen.htm

Jared Story.Com
http://www.jaredstory.com/teen_epidemic.html

CNN Report about suicide                                                                                                     http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/10/20/lia.latina.suicides/index.html

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
http://www.afsp.org This group is dedicated to advancing the knowledge of suicide and the ability to prevent it.

A\VE – Suicide Awareness\Voices of Education
http://www.save.org SA\VE offers information on suicide prevention. Call (800) SUICIDE

About.Com’s Depression In Young Children                                                                http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

Psych Central’s Depression In Young Children                                          http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

Psychiatric News’ Study Helps Pinpoint Children With Depression
http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=106034

Family Doctor’s What Is Depression?
http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/depression.html

WebMD’s Depression In Children
http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-children

Healthline’s Is Your Child Depressed?
http://www.healthline.com/hlvideo-5min/how-to-help-your-child-through-depression-517095449

Medicine.Net’s Depression In Children                                                                http://www.onhealth.com/depression_in_children/article.htm

If you or your child needs help for depression or another illness, then go to a reputable medical provider. There is nothing wrong with taking the steps necessary to get well.

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

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Case Western Reserve University study: Fungus in humans identified as key factor in Crohn’s disease

22 Sep

Heathline describes Crohn’s disease:

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in which an abnormal immune system response causes chronic inflammation in the digestive tract. Crohn’s is often confused with ulcerative colitis, a similar IBD that only affects the large intestine.

According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, about 1.4 million Americans have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Of those, about 700,000 have Crohn’s. In the years between 1992 and 2004, there was a 74 percent increase in doctor’s office visits due to Crohn’s disease. In 2004, Crohn’s disease was the cause of 57,000 hospitalizations.

Who Gets Crohn’s Disease

Anyone can develop Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. However, IBDs are usually diagnosed in young adults between the ages of 15 and 30. Children are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Crohn’s as ulcerative colitis. Boys develop IBDs at a slightly higher rate than girls.

In the United States, males and females get Crohn’s at about the same rate. Caucasians and Ashkenazi Jews develop Crohn’s at a higher rate than other ethnicities. The highest rates occur in Canada. In general, people who live in higher latitudes are more likely to develop Crohn’s than those in lower latitudes. When relocating from a low-latitude to a high-latitude region, the risk of developing Crohn’s matches that of the high-latitude region within a single generation.

In Crohn’s disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy bacteria in the GI tract. Chronic inflammation causes thickening of the intestinal wall, which triggers the symptoms. The exact reason this occurs is not clear, but there is a hereditary factor. According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, between 5 and 20 percent of people who have an IBD have a first-degree relative with one. The risk is higher in Crohn’s than ulcerative colitis, and higher when both parents are affected.

There may also be an environmental element. Rates of Crohn’s are higher in developed countries, urban areas, and northern climates. Stress and diet may worsen Crohn’s, but neither is thought to cause the disease. It’s likely that Crohn’s is caused by a combination of factors….      http://www.healthline.com/health/crohns-disease/facts-statistics-infographic#2

See, Epidemiology of the IBD          http://www.cdc.gov/ibd/ibd-epidemiology.htm

Bret Lashner, MD of the Cleveland Clinic describes the symptoms of Crohn’s disease:

Signs and Symptoms

Patients with new-onset Crohn’s disease usually present with inflammatory-type symptoms, with such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, stomatitis, anal fissures, and weight loss. The abdominal pain usually is insidious, is in the right lower quadrant, occurs soon after eating, and may be associated with a tender inflammatory mass. When the inflammatory process affects the large bowel, there may be hematochezia, but bleeding is much less common in Crohn’s disease patients than in ulcerative colitis patients. Extra-intestinal manifesations of disease, such as peripheral arthritis, axial arthritis, and erythema nodosum also may be presenting features. Cigarette smoking is seen much more commonly in Crohn’s disease patients (upwards of 50% of patients) compared to an unaffected adult population.

As Crohn’s disease becomes more advanced, strictures and fistulas may develop (Figure 1)4. Patients with strictures often present the obstructive symptoms, such as severe abdominal pain, distension, bloating, and vomiting. Patients who develop fistulas, or perforating-type complications, may present with perianal fistulas and abscesses, ventral wall drainage, pneumaturia, or intra-abdominal or retroperitoneal abscesses. Children with extensive small bowel involvement with their Crohn’s disease can present with growth retardation and delayed puberty. Interestingly, nutritional support can reverse some of manifestations of growth retardation….              http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/gastroenterology/crohns-disease/

See, Crohn’s Disease            https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/crohns-disease/Pages/overview.aspx

Science Daily reported in Fungus in humans identified for first time as key factor in Crohn’s disease:

A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine-led team of international researchers has for the first time identified a fungus as a key factor in the development of Crohn’s disease. The researchers also linked a new bacterium to the previous bacteria associated with Crohn’s. The groundbreaking findings, published on September 20th in mBio, could lead to potential new treatments and ultimately, cures for the debilitating inflammatory bowel disease, which causes severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue….

Both bacteria and fungi are microorganisms — infinitesimal forms of life that can only be seen with a microscope. Fungi are eukaryotes: organism whose cells contain a nucleus; they are closer to humans than bacteria, which are prokaryotes: single-celled forms of life with no nucleus. Collectively, the fungal community that inhabits the human body is known as the mycobiome, while the bacteria are called the bacteriome. (Fungi and bacteria are present throughout the body; previously Ghannoum had found that people harbor between nine and 23 fungal species in their mouths.)

The researchers assessed the mycobiome and bacteriome of patients with Crohn’s disease and their Crohn’s-free first degree relatives in nine families in northern France and Belgium, and in Crohn’s-free individuals from four families living in the same geographic area. Specifically, they analyzed fecal samples of 20 Crohn’s and 28 Crohn’s-free patients from nine families and of 21 Crohn’s-free patients of four families. The researchers found strong fungal-bacterial interactions in those with Crohn’s disease: two bacteria (Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens) and one fungus (Candida tropicalis) moved in lock step. The presence of all three in the sick family members was significantly higher compared to their healthy relatives, suggesting that the bacteria and fungus interact in the intestines. Additionally, test-tube research by the Ghannoum-led team found that the three work together (with the E. coli cells fusing to the fungal cells and S. marcescens forming a bridge connecting the microbes) to produce a biofilm — a thin, slimy layer of microorganisms found in the body that adheres to, among other sites, a portion of the intestines — which can prompt inflammation that results in the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

This is first time any fungus has been linked to Crohn’s in humans; previously it was only found in mice with the disease. The study is also the first to include S. marcescens in the Crohn’s-linked bacteriome. Additionally, the researchers found that the presence of beneficial bacteria was significantly lower in the Crohn’s patients, corroborating previous research findings….                     https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160920151435.htm

Citation:

Fungus in humans identified for first time as key factor in Crohn’s disease

Date:         September 20, 2016

Source:     Case Western Reserve University

Summary:

A fungus has been identified as a key factor in the development of Crohn’s disease, an international team of researchers has identified for the first time.

Journal Reference:

  1. G. Hoarau, P. K. Mukherjee, C. Gower-Rousseau, C. Hager, J. Chandra, M. A. Retuerto, C. Neut, S. Vermeire, J. Clemente, J. F. Colombel, H. Fujioka, D. Poulain, B. Sendid and M. A. Ghannoum. Bacteriome and Mycobiome Interactions Underscore Microbial Dysbiosis in Familial Crohn’s Disease. mBio, September 2016 DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01250-16

Here is the press release from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine:

Case Western Reserve-Led International Team Identifies Fungus in Humans for First Time as Key Factor in Crohn’s Disease

Novel Finding Opens Door for Potential Treatment

September 20, 2016

A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine-led team of international researchers has for the first time identified a fungus as a key factor in the development of Crohn’s disease. The researchers also linked a new bacterium to the previous bacteria associated with Crohn’s. The groundbreaking findings, published on September 20th in mBio, could lead to potential new treatments and ultimately, cures for the debilitating inflammatory bowel disease, which causes severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue.

“We already know that bacteria, in addition to genetic and dietary factors, play a major role in causing Crohn’s disease,” said the study’s senior and corresponding author, Mahmoud A Ghannoum, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center “Essentially, patients with Crohn’s have abnormal immune responses to these bacteria, which inhabit the intestines of all people. While most researchers focus their investigations on these bacteria, few have examined the role of fungi, which are also present in everyone’s intestines. Our study adds significant new information to understanding why some people develop Crohn’s disease. Equally important, it can result in a new generation of treatments, including medications and probiotics, which hold the potential for making qualitative and quantitative differences in the lives of people suffering from Crohn’s.”

Both bacteria and fungi are microorganisms – infinitesimal forms of life that can only be seen with a microscope. Fungi are eukaryotes: organism whose cells contain a nucleus; they are closer to humans than bacteria, which are prokaryotes: single-celled forms of life with no nucleus. Collectively, the fungal community that inhabits the human body is known as the mycobiome, while the bacteria are called the bacteriome. (Fungi and bacteria are present throughout the body; previously Ghannoum had found that people harbor between nine and 23 fungal species in their mouths.)

The researchers assessed the mycobiome and bacteriome of patients with Crohn’s disease and their Crohn’s-free first degree relatives in nine families in northern France and Belgium, and in Crohn’s-free individuals from four families living in the same geographic area. Specifically, they analyzed fecal samples of 20 Crohn’s and 28 Crohn’s-free patients from nine families and of 21 Crohn’s-free patients of four families. The researchers found strong fungal-bacterial interactions in those with Crohn’s disease: two bacteria (Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens) and one fungus (Candida tropicalis) moved in lock step. The presence of all three in the sick family members was significantly higher compared to their healthy relatives, suggesting that the bacteria and fungus interact in the intestines. Additionally, test-tube research by the Ghannoum-led team found that the three work together (with the E. coli cells fusing to the fungal cells and S. marcescens forming a bridge connecting the microbes) to produce a biofilm – a thin, slimy layer of microorganisms found in the body that adheres to, among other sites, a portion of the intestines – which can prompt inflammation that results in the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

This is first time any fungus has been linked to Crohn’s in humans; previously it was only found in mice with the disease. The study is also the first to include S. marcescens in the Crohn’s-linked bacteriome. Additionally, the researchers found that the presence of beneficial bacteria was significantly lower in the Crohn’s patients, corroborating previous research findings.

“Among hundreds of bacterial and fungal species inhabiting the intestines, it is telling that the three we identified were so highly correlated in Crohn’s patients,” said Ghannoum. “Furthermore, we found strong similarities in what may be called the ‘gut profiles’ of the Crohn’s-affected families, which were strikingly different from the Crohn’s-free families. We have to be careful, though, and not solely attribute Crohn’s disease to the bacterial and fungal makeups of our intestines. For example, we know that family members also share diet and environment to significant degrees. Further research is needed to be even more specific in identifying precipitators and contributors of Crohn’s.”

In addition to Ghannoum, other Case Western Reserve University investigators equally contributing to the study are Pranab Mukherjee, Chris Hager, Jyotsna Chandra, Mauricio Retuerto, and Hisashi Fujioka. Other members of the study team are from France and Belgium, as well as the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York City.

###

The research was supported by National Institutes of Health grants R01DE024228 to MAG and PKM, RO1DE17846, the Oral HIV AIDS Research Alliance (OHARA, BRS-ACURE-S-11-000049-110229) to MAG and a Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Core Center (DDRCC) Pilot and Feasibility project (supported by NIH/NIDDK P30 DK097948) to MAG, and R21EY021303 and R21AI074077 to PKM. Funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-2007-2013) under HEALTH-F2-2010-260338-ALLFUN, the Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique du Ministère des Affaires Sociales, de la Santé et de la Ville PHRC 1918, 2011 Candigène, France, to B.S. the UEG Research Prize 2009 to JFC

For more information about Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, please visit: http://case.edu/medicine.

About Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation’s top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School’s innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes–research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism–to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Nine Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the School of Medicine.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 MD and MD/PhD students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report’s “Guide to Graduate Education.”

The School of Medicine’s primary affiliate is University Hospitals Case Medical Center and is additionally affiliated with MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002. case.edu/medicine.

Media Contact(s):

Marc Kaplan
Associate Dean, Marketing and Communications
The School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University
Office: 216-368-4692
Marc.Kaplan@case.edu

The Mayo Clinic offers the following advice:

Treatment for Crohn’s disease usually involves drug therapy or, in certain cases, surgery. There is currently no cure for the disease, and there is no one treatment that works for everyone. Doctors use one of two approaches to treatment — either “step-up,” which starts with milder drugs first, or “top-down,” which gives people stronger drugs earlier in the treatment process.

The goal of medical treatment is to reduce the inflammation that triggers your signs and symptoms. It is also to improve long-term prognosis by limiting complications. In the best cases, this may lead not only to symptom relief but also to long-term remission…..                                   http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/basics/treatment/con-20032061

As with any medical condition, consult competent medical professionals.

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University of Texas Health Sciences study: Children born with cleft lip or palate and spina bifida are at an increased risk for abuse

11 Dec

The American Psychological Association lists the reasons children are abused in Why Do Adults Hurt Children?

It takes a lot to care for a child. A child needs food, clothing and shelter as well as love and attention. Parents and caregivers want to provide all those things, but they have other pressures, too. Sometimes adults just can’t provide everything their children need.

Adults may not intend to hurt the children they care for. But sometimes adults lose control, and sometimes they hurt children.

Adults may hurt children because they:

  • Lose their tempers when they think about their own problems.

  • Don’t know how to discipline a child.

  • Expect behavior that is unrealistic for a child’s age or ability.

  • Have been abused by a parent or a partner.

  • Have financial problems.

  • Lose control when they use alcohol or other drugs….                                                                       http://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/abuse.aspx

A University of Texas Health Sciences study concludes that children born with cleft lip or palate and spina bifida are at an increased risk for abuse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes what a cleft lip or palate are:

What is Cleft Lip?

The lip forms between the fourth and seventh weeks of pregnancy. As a baby develops during pregnancy, body tissue and special cells from each side of the head grow toward the center of the face and join together to make the face. This joining of tissue forms the facial features, like the lips and mouth. A cleft lip happens if the tissue that makes up the lip does not join completely before birth. This results in an opening in the upper lip. The opening in the lip can be a small slit or it can be a large opening that goes through the lip into the nose. A cleft lip can be on one or both sides of the lip or in the middle of the lip, which occurs very rarely. Children with a cleft lip also can have a cleft palate.

What is Cleft Palate?

The roof of the mouth (palate) is formed between the sixth and ninth weeks of pregnancy. A cleft palate happens if the tissue that makes up the roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy. For some babies, both the front and back parts of the palate are open. For other babies, only part of the palate is open.

Other Problems

Children with a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate or a cleft palate alone often have problems with feeding and speaking clearly and can have ear infections. They also might have hearing problems and problems with their teeth….                                                                                                   http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/CleftLip.html

Another group of children at high risk of abuse are those with spina bifida. The Mayo Clinic describes spina bifida:

Spina bifida is part of a group of birth defects called neural tube defects. The neural tube is the embryonic structure that eventually develops into the baby’s brain and spinal cord and the tissues that enclose them.

Normally, the neural tube forms early in the pregnancy and closes by the 28th day after conception. In babies with spina bifida, a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close properly, causing defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine.

Spina bifida occurs in various forms of severity. When treatment for spina bifida is necessary, it’s done surgically, although such treatment doesn’t always completely resolve the problem….                   http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spina-bifida/basics/definition/CON-20035356

Children with a medical condition are vulnerable to abuse.

Alyson Sulaski Wyckoff , Associate Editor of AAP wrote in Maltreatment of child under 2 more likely if certain birth defects present:

Children younger than 2 years were more likely to be maltreated if they had spina bifida or cleft lip/palate than if they had Down syndrome, according to a population-based study of 3 million children born in Texas from 2002-’09.

Birth defects occur in one in 33 U.S. births, and children with disabilities face an increased risk for maltreatment and out-of-home placement. It is not known how the risk might vary by type of birth defect.

The study was conducted to assess whether the risks and predictors of maltreatment vary by three types of birth defects: Down syndrome (intellectual impairment), cleft lip with or without cleft palate (facial malformation and speech impairment) and spina bifida (physical disability). Children with these disabilities were compared to an unaffected group.

The risk of any type of maltreatment was significantly higher for children with spina bifida and cleft lip/palate, an increase of 58% and 40%, respectively, even after adjusting for child-, family-, and neighborhood-level factors. Children with Down syndrome, however, were not at increased risk of maltreatment before age 2.

The study also found that children with birth defects are at risk for different types of maltreatment than other children. The risk of medical neglect was three to six times higher in the three birth defects groups compared with the unaffected group, which may be related to the medical complexity of the children’s conditions.

Maltreated children tended to be males and those born prematurely. Parents were the most frequent perpetrators, especially those living in poverty.

The risk of maltreatment was elevated for children whose mothers were young, white non-Hispanic, unmarried and who did not indicated paternity information on birth certificates. They were more likely to have a high school education or less, to have given birth previously and to have had the birth covered by Medicaid.

Future studies could inform policies and services aimed at improving outcomes of at-risk families by targeting populations with the highest risk for maltreatment, the authors noted.

Children with developmental delays, including those with the birth defects examined in this study, qualify for early childhood intervention services (Part C) under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, but many qualifying children do not receive these services, the study points out….                                                                                                                                                   http://www.aappublications.org/news/2015/12/01/Maltreatment120115

Citation:

Children with specific birth defects at increased risk for abuse

Date:           December 10, 2015

Source:       University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Summary:

Children born with cleft lip or palate and spina bifida are at an increased risk for abuse before the age of two, according to researchers. The researchers found that compared to children without birth defects the risk of maltreatment in children with cleft lip and/or palate was increased by 40 percent and for children with spina bifida, the risk was increased by 58 percent.

Journal Reference:

  1. B. S. Van Horne, K. B. Moffitt, M. A. Canfield, A. P. Case, C. S. Greeley, R. Morgan, L. E. Mitchell. Maltreatment of Children Under Age 2 With Specific Birth Defects: A Population-Based Study. PEDIATRICS, 2015; 136 (6): e1504 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-1274                                  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151210140510.htm

Here is the press release from UT Health Sciences:

Public Release: 10-Dec-2015

UTHeath study: Children with specific birth defects at increased risk for abuse

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

HOUSTON – (Dec. 10, 2015) – Children born with cleft lip or palate and spina bifida are at an increased risk for abuse before the age of 2, according to researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).The results were published in the December issue of the journal Pediatrics.

In the study, researchers found that compared to children without birth defects the risk of maltreatment in children with cleft lip and/or palate was increased by 40 percent and for children with spina bifida, the risk was increased by 58 percent. These rates were especially high during the first year of life. However, children with Down syndrome were not at an increased risk compared to children with no birth defects.

“A baby with Down syndrome develops just like any other baby unless they have another congenital defect. When they start missing developmental milestones is when the intellectual impairments associated with Down syndrome become more apparent. Additionally, they typically do not have the same level of medical complexity as babies with cleft lip with or without cleft palate and spina bifida, who likely have a lot of medical needs and complications. If you’ve just given birth and have to deal with a lot more complexity and care, it’s hard,” said Bethanie Van Horne, Dr.P.H., assistant director of state initiatives at UTHealth’s Children’s Learning Institute. Van Horne conducted the study as part of her dissertation at UTHealth School of Public Health.

Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy. A baby can have a cleft lip, a cleft palate, or both a cleft lip and cleft palate. Spina bifida is a neural tube defect that affects the spine and is usually apparent at birth. Children with spina bifida have physical impairments ranging from mild to severe depending where on the spine the opening is located.

The researchers drew data from several sources from 2002 to 2011: birth and death records from the Texas Department of State Health Services Vital Statistics Unit, surveillance of children born with birth defects from the Texas Birth Defects Registry and child maltreatment information from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

In Texas, maltreatment is defined as neglectful supervision, physical abuse, physical neglect, medical neglect, sexual abuse, abandonment, emotional abuse or refusal to assume parental responsibility.

Among children with substantiated abuse, the risk of medical neglect was three to six times higher among all three birth defect groups than in the unaffected group. The complexity of their medical conditions may be a contributing factor for the increased risk of medical neglect versus other forms of neglect, according to Van Horne.

Researchers also studied how family factors affected risk of abuse. Children were more likely to be abused or neglected if their mothers had less than a high school education, had more children and used Medicaid. This was true even if a child did not have a birth defect. Van Horne said that poverty was likely the main factor in this finding.

“Physicians and medical personnel have to understand that the risk for abuse varies by specific disability. In general, when children are born with medical complexities like a birth defect, we need to be really supportive of those families. If we can identify them early and start services, we can help them understand what’s to come. A lot of providers do this, but we can do more,” said Van Horne.

###

Karen B. Moffitt, M.P.H., Mark A. Canfield, Ph.D., and Amy P. Case, Ph.D., from the Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch of the Texas Department of State Health Services were study co-authors, as was Christopher Greeley, M.D., a former faculty member at UTHealth, who is now with Texas Children’s Hospital. Co-authors from the School of Public Health included Robert Morgan, Ph.D., and Laura E. Mitchell, Ph.D.

The study, titled ‘Maltreatment of Children under Age 2 with Specific Birth Defects: A Population-Based Study,’ was funded through a cooperative agreement (#5U01DD000494-04) between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Texas Department of State Health Services, as well as through funding from the Title V Block Grant at the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.                   http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-12/uoth-usc121015.php

Stepparents and Abuse

It is difficult to find statistics on abuse by step-parents, but one study out of Sweden, Step-parents abuse children to death more often provide some food for thought.

258 children under the age of 16 were killed by their parents between 1965 and 1999. 23 of the children (9%) were abused to death. Stepchildren are more often killed by abuse than children who are killed by their biological parents, according to new research from the University of Stockholm. More than half of the 258 children were killed in connection with a conflict between the parents e.g. divorce or custody battle. Most of these children died in connection with the extended suicide where the perpetrator took or tried to take his own life. The men who murdered their children also often took the life of their partner. On the other hand, no woman tried to kill their partner when she murdered the children, writes senior lecturer Hans Temrin and PhD student Johanna Nordlund at The University of Stockholm.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has statistics about infanticide but it is difficult to determine specific abuse by step-parents because of the reporting.

Note: Parents includes stepparents.

Of all children under age 5 murdered from 1976-2005 —

  • 31% were killed by fathers

  • 29% were killed by mothers

  • 23% were killed by male acquaintances

  • 7% were killed by other relatives

  • 3% were killed by strangers

Of those children killed by someone other than their parent, 81% were killed by males.

How to Spot Signs of Abuse

Child Information Welfare Gateway has an excellent guide for how to spot child abuse and neglect The full list of symptoms is at the site, but some key indicators are:

                         The Child:

Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance

Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention

Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes

Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen

Lacks adult supervision

Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn

Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home

The Parent:

Shows little concern for the child

Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child’s problems in school or at home

Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves

Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome

Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve

Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs

The Parent and Child:

Rarely touch or look at each other

Consider their relationship entirely negative

State that they do not like each other                                                                                                                  https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/whatiscan.pdf#page=5&view=Recognizing%20Signs%20of%20Abuse%20and%20Neglect

If people suspect a child is being abused, they must get involved. Every Child Matters can very useful and can be found at http://www.everychildmatters.org/ and another organization, which fights child abuse is the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform http://nccpr.info/   People must push for tougher standards against child abuse.

Many Single Parents are not Going to Like these Comments

Queen Victoria had it right when she was rumored to have said something to the effect that she did not care what two consenting single adults did as long as they did not do it in the streets and scare the horses. A consenting single parent does not have the same amount of leeway as a consenting childless single adult because the primary responsibility of any parent is raising their child or children. People have children for a variety of reasons from having an unplanned pregnancy because of irresponsibility or hoping that the pregnancy is the glue, which might save a failing relationship, to those who genuinely want to be parents. Still, being a parent is like the sign in the china shop, which says you break it, it’s yours. Well folks, you had children, they are yours. Somebody has to be the adult and be responsible for not only their care and feeding, but their values. I don’t care if he looks like Brad Pitt or Denzel Washington. I don’t care if she looks like Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry or they have as much money as Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, if they don’t like children or your children, they have to be kicked to the curb. You cannot under any circumstances allow anyone to abuse your children or you. When you partner with a parent, you must be willing to fully accept their children. If you can’t and they are too gutless to tell you to hit the road, I’ll do it for them. Hit the road.

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Dyslexia is difficult to correctly diagnose

2 Mar

The National Center for Learning Disabilities described dyslexia in What Is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia at a Glance
Dyslexia is the name for specific learning disabilities in reading. Dyslexia is often characterized by difficulties with accurate word recognition, decoding and spelling. Dyslexia may cause problems with reading comprehension and slow down vocabulary growth. Dyslexia may result in poor reading fluency and reading out loud. Dyslexia is neurological and often genetic. Dyslexia is not the result of poor instruction. With the proper support, almost all people with dyslexia can become good readers and writers.
As with other learning disabilities, dyslexia is a lifelong challenge that people are born with. This language processing disorder can hinder reading, writing, spelling and sometimes even speaking. Dyslexia is not a sign of poor intelligence or laziness. It is also not the result of impaired vision. Children and adults with dyslexia simply have a neurological disorder that causes their brains to process and interpret information differently.
Dyslexia occurs among people of all economic and ethnic backgrounds. Often more than one member of a family has dyslexia. According to the National Institute of Child and Human Development, as many as 15 percent of Americans have major troubles with reading.
Much of what happens in a classroom is based on reading and writing. So it’s important to identify dyslexia as early as possible. Using alternate learning methods, people with dyslexia can achieve success.
http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/what-is-dyslexia

Dyslexia is a neurological and genetic disease.

Medical News Today reported in the article, What Is Dyslexia? What Causes Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific reading disability due to a defect in the brain’s processing of graphic symbols. It is a learning disability that alters the way the brain processes written material. It is typically characterized by difficulties in word recognition, spelling and decoding. People with dyslexia have problems with reading comprehension.
The National Center for Learning Disabilities1 says that dyslexia is a neurological and often genetic condition, and not the result of poor teaching, instruction or upbringing.
Dyslexia is not linked to intelligence.
What is dyslexia?
The problem in dyslexia is a linguistic one, not a visual one. Dyslexia in no way stems from any lack of intelligence. People with severe dyslexia can be brilliant.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) lived with dyslexia.
The effects of dyslexia, in fact, vary from person to person. The only shared trait among people with dyslexia is that they read at levels significantly lower than typical for people of their age. Dyslexia is different from reading retardation which may reflect mental retardation or cultural deprivation.
According to the University of Michigan Health System, dyslexia is the most common learning disability2. Eighty percent of students with learning disabilities have dyslexia.
The International Dyslexia Association3 estimates that 15% to 20% of the American population have some of the symptoms of dyslexia, including slow or inaccurate reading, poor spelling, poor writing, or mixing up similar words.
The National Health Service4, UK, estimates that 4-8% of all schoolchildren in England have some degree of dyslexia.
It is estimated that boys are one-and-a-half to three times more likely to develop dyslexia than girls. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/186787.php

Since individuals manifest the condition of dyslexia in different ways, a debate is occurring about whether the diagnosis of dyslexia has meaning.

Nick Morrison wrote in the Forbes article, ‘Dyslexia’ Is A Meaningless Label And Should Be Ditched:

For millions of parents, a dyslexia diagnosis that not only unlocks the door to extra help, but also allows them to understand why their child has problems reading. So it is no surprise that a suggestion the term is overused and should be ditched has been greeted with howls of protest.
But once the initial furore has died down, it is worth wondering whether affixing a label makes any real difference. Perhaps we should spend more time making sure children get the help they need than working out whether they fall into a neat category.
The controversy centers on a book co-authored by academics either side of the Atlantic: Julian Elliott, professor of education at Durham University in the U.K., and Elena L. Grigorenko, professor of psychology at Yale in the U.S.
In The Dyslexia Debate, they argue a diagnosis of dyslexia is often highly questionable and the term has become a meaningless catch-all that encompasses a wide variety of problems with reading. In addition, the pair argue that parents are often mistaken if they believe that a diagnosis will mean their children get the help they need…
Amid the sound and fury it is easy to overlook the fact that Elliott is not suggesting that dyslexia itself does not exist.
Studies show that some people do have real and complex problems with decoding text and relating sounds in spoken language to written symbols. These affect about 1-2% of the population and are thought to be caused by one or more of genetic, immunological or nutritional factors. They are also often linked to difficulties in sequencing, putting the numbers, months, days of the week in order, and telling left and right apart, as well as allergies.
Elliott’s argument is that dyslexia is so misused it encompasses virtually any difficulty where there is a discrepancy between reading performance and IQ. Although the numbers involved have not been quantified, an estimated 5-10% of the population are classed as dyslexic.
But far from helping children, a dyslexia diagnosis could get in the way of the targeted support they need. By taking a wide range of difficulties under its umbrella, it makes it harder to find specific solutions for specific problems….. http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorrison/2014/02/27/dyslexia-is-a-meaningless-label-and-should-be-ditched/

The diagnosis of dyslexia is complex.

The Mayo Clinic staff wrote in Tests and diagnosis:

There’s no one test that can diagnose dyslexia. Your child’s doctor will consider a number of things, such as:
•Answers to a number of questions. These will likely include questions about your child’s development, education and medical history. The doctor may also want to know about any conditions that run in your child’s family, and may ask if any family members have a learning disability.
•Questionnaires. Your child’s doctor may have your child, family members or teachers answer written questions. Your child may be asked to take tests to identify his or her reading and language abilities.
•Vision, hearing and brain (neurological) tests. These can help determine whether another disorder may be causing or adding to your child’s poor reading ability.
•Psychological testing. The doctor may ask you or your child questions to better understand your child’s psychological state. This can help determine whether social problems, anxiety or depression may be limiting your child’s abilities.
•Testing reading and other academic skills. Your child may take a set of educational tests and have the process and quality of his or her reading skills analyzed by a reading expert. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dyslexia/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20021904

There are certain cues that will lead parents to find a competent physician to examine their child for signs of a learning disability.

Sally Shaywitz, M.D. wrote in the Great Schools article, Should My Child Be Evaluated for Dyslexia?

Clues to Dyslexia in Early Childhood
The earliest clues involve mostly spoken language. The very first clue to a language (and reading) problem may be delayed language. Once the child begins to speak, look for the following problems:
The Preschool Years
• Trouble learning common nursery rhymes such as “Jack and Jill” and “Humpty Dumpty”
• A lack of appreciation of rhymes
• Mispronounced words; persistent baby talk
• Difficulty in learning (and remembering) names of letters
• Failure to know the letters in his own name
Kindergarten and First Grade
• Failure to understand that words come apart; for example, that batboy can be pulled apart into bat and boy, and, later on, that the word bat can be broken down still further and sounded out as: “b” “aaaa” “t”
• Inability to learn to associate letters with sounds, such as being unable to connect the letter b with the “b” sound
• Reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters; for example, the word big is read as goat
• The inability to read common one-syllable words or to sound out even the simplest of words, such as mat, cat, hop, nap
• Complaints about how hard reading is, or running and hiding when it is time to read
• A history of reading problems in parents or siblings.
In addition to the problems of speaking and reading, you should be looking for these indications of strengths in higher-level thinking processes:
• Curiosity
• A great imagination
• The ability to figure things out
• Eager embrace of new ideas
• Getting the gist of things
• A good understanding of new concepts
• Surprising maturity
• A large vocabulary for the age group
• Enjoyment in solving puzzles
• Talent at building models
• Excellent comprehension of stories read or told to him http://www.greatschools.org/special-education/LD-ADHD/845-should-my-child-be-evaluated-for-dyslexia.gs?page=all

Shaywitz’s article is quite extensive and is a good resource for parents. It includes information about possible symptoms from second grade on and symptoms for young adults and adults. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the treatment and more options which are available.

Angela Stevens of the Reading Corner wrote How to Get a Professional Dyslexia Diagnosis:

Another problem that you may encounter even if you do find the proper professional to assist you is that most professionals require that your child is school aged before they will conduct a diagnosis.
Licensed Psychologists:
Licensed psychologists are most commonly suggested for obtaining a dyslexia diagnosis, specifically neuropsychologists. Because neuropsychologists specialize in brain functioning, and dyslexics have a unique wiring in their brain, neuropsychologists can usually offer a proper diagnosis as well as the best additional information for helping your child or loved one with their dyslexia. Another option you may want to pursue is child psychologists.
Medical Doctor:
Contacting your family physician about getting a diagnosis, or where to get a diagnosis could also prove to be effective. Some people offer this as a good approach while others haven’t had success.
Universities:
Another venue you can receive a professional diagnosis from is the speech pathology or special education department of various universities. This option is not widely known, but there are universities that offer this service.
Schools:
There is a surprising amount of controversy surrounding the option of obtaining a dyslexia diagnosis through your child’s school. There are parents that have successfully got their child diagnosed through their school, but there are many more that say schools will not specifically diagnose dyslexia. We have received many calls from parents that are frustrated by their child’s school because it refuses to diagnose dyslexia.
Schools are required by law to test to see if a child is eligible for special education services, but in the case of dyslexia they are often only able to show a “language learning deficit.” This is mostly due to a lack of professional ability, because neuropsychologists are not typically staffed in school. It has become a barrier for parents to receive help, but schools can and often do provide direction on where and how you can get a child diagnosed.
If a school does offer a dyslexia diagnosis, it will most likely not be a professional diagnosis. If the school has a licensed neuropsychologist then the diagnosis will likely be official, however, if they simply perform assessments it may simply be an evaluation and will not be a formal diagnosis.
Eye Doctors:
Eye Doctors sometimes offer a dyslexia diagnosis; however, technically an eye doctor can only test for a visual perception disorder. This disorder is called Irlen Syndrome and often occurs with dyslexia, however, does not dictate that a child or adult truly does have dyslexia.
Dyslexia Centers:
There are many dyslexia centers that assess dyslexia, but unless the assessor is a licensed professional, their diagnosis will not be official.
Because many parents want their child to get a diagnosis before they are school aged, a general assessment may be helpful to help you understand if this may be a problem for your child so you can begin to remediate it as quickly as possible.
Reading Horizons offers a free assessment that although it will not provide you with a professional diagnosis, it is of a professional grade and similar to the assessments used by licensed professionals. It can be found at: http://athome.readinghorizons.com/assessments/dyslexic-assessment-part1.aspx
Also there is a list of dyslexia centers and professionals by state at this website: http://www.iser.com/dyslexia.html http://athome.readinghorizons.com/community/blog/how-to-get-a-professional-dyslexia-diagnosis/

Lifescript Doctor has reviews for doctors all over the country http://www.lifescript.com/doctor-directory/condition/d-dyslexia.aspx?gclid=CPbzja799LwCFZRqfgodGhAAUw&ef_id=UxO40gAABQoDQqAf:20140302231438:s
Getting a correct early diagnosis of dyslexia, which is a learning disability is crucial to a child’s academic success.

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Mayo Clinic study: Teachers more likely to develop speech disorders

1 Nov

Leigh Ann Morgan listed the hazards of the teaching profession in The Hazards of Being a Teacher:

Disease Transmission
Teachers spend their days with students, colleagues and parents, making them susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. In fact, a study led by investigators from the MGEN Foundation for Public Health revealed that teachers are more susceptible to certain types of infections than other workers. During the study, researchers surveyed 1,817 non-teachers and 3,679 teachers ranging in age from 20 to 60. After adjusting for variables, they found that male and female teachers had a higher lifetime prevalence of laryngitis and rhinopharyngitis, two infections of the upper respiratory tract. They also found that female teachers had a higher lifetime prevalence of bronchitis. The results of this study appeared in the April 21, 2006, online edition of “BMC Public Health.”
Workplace Violence
The American Psychological Association reports that approximately 7 percent of teachers in the United States are threatened with injury each year. These threats are more prevalent in urban high schools, and female teachers receive more than twice as many threats as male teachers. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed students as part of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance. Nearly 6 percent of the students surveyed admitted carrying a gun, knife or club on school property during the 30 days preceding the survey. This increases the risk for physical violence.
Ergonomic Issues
Ergonomics involves fitting the work environment to the employee instead of forcing the employee to fit the work environment. Employers use the principles of ergonomics to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries and other occupational health problems. Teachers spend much of their time standing, and may have to bend, stretch and lift to use educational aids and equipment such as blackboards and projectors. This puts them at risk for varicose veins and for injuries, including sprains, strains, pulled muscles, and back injuries. For teachers who spend a lot of time using a computer, the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome is also a concern.
Work-Related Stress
Teachers have several sources of stress in the workplace. They include increased class sizes, student performance objectives, lack of control over work hours and methods, lack of student motivation, difficulty working with parents, lack of professional recognition, and inadequate salary. Although everyone reacts to stress differently, too much stress can affect mood, behavior and physical health. The Mayo Clinic says that stress can lead to headaches, sleep problems, fatigue, muscle tension, upset stomach, chest pain and muscle pain. It can also cause anxiety, irritability, depression, anger, drug or alcohol abuse, social withdrawal, and changes in appetite.
Legal Considerations
Educators must comply with laws designed to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, enacted in 1990, gives students with disabilities access to special education services. The act also protects the right of students with disabilities to receive a free public education regardless of their ability. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 implemented education reforms designed to improve student achievement and hold educators responsible for student progress.
Teachers and administrators must also adhere to the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The act gives parents the right to review the education records of their minor children and request the correction of any inaccuracies. It also prohibits educators from releasing information from a student’s education record without written permission from the parent. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as releasing information requested by authorities or complying with a judicial order, but educators need to be aware of these exceptions and release information only when required. Failing to comply with these laws and any state-specific education laws puts teachers at risk of being sued or losing their professional credentials. http://work.chron.com/hazards-being-teacher-9309.html

In addition to the hazards listed by Morgan, a Mayo Clinic study found teachers are more likely to have speech disorders.

Science Daily reported in the article, Teachers More Likely to Have Progressive Speech, Language Disorders:

Mayo Clinic researchers have found a surprising occupational hazard for teachers: progressive speech and language disorders. The research, recently published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias, found that people with speech and language disorders are about 3.5 times more likely to be teachers than patients with Alzheimer’s dementia.1
Speech and language disorders are typically characterized by people losing their ability to communicate — they can’t find words to use in sentences, or they’ll speak around a word. They may also have trouble producing the correct sounds and articulating properly. Speech and language disorders are not the same as Alzheimer’s dementia, which is characterized by the loss of memory. Progressive speech and language disorders are degenerative and ultimately lead to death anywhere from 8-10 years after diagnosis.
In the study, researchers looked at a group of about 100 patients with speech and language disorders and noticed many of them were teachers. For a control, they compared them to a group of more than 400 Alzheimer’s patients from the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging. Teachers were about 3.5 times more likely to develop a speech and language disorder than Alzheimer’s disease. For other occupations, there was no difference between the speech and language disorders group and the Alzheimer’s group.
When compared to the 2008 U.S. census, the speech and language cohort had a higher proportion of teachers, but it was consistent with the differences observed with the Alzheimer’s dementia group.
This study has important implications for early detection of progressive speech and language disorders, says Mayo Clinic neurologist, Keith Josephs, M.D., who is the senior author of the study. A large cohort study focusing on teachers may improve power to identify the risk factors for these disorders….
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015094508.htm

Citation:

Journal Reference:
1. C. F. Lippa. Loss of Language Skills in Teachers: Is There a Link to Frontotemporal Degeneration? American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 2013; 28 (6): 549 DOI: 10.1177/1533317513502251
Mayo Clinic (2013, October 15). Teachers more likely to have progressive speech, language disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1,

Here is the press release from the Mayo Clinic:

Mayo Clinic Study: Teachers More Likely to Have Progressive Speech and Language Disorders
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic researchers have found a surprising occupational hazard for teachers: progressive speech and language disorders. The research, recently published in theAmerican Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias, found that people with speech and language disorders are about 3.5 times more likely to be teachers than patients with Alzheimer’sdementia.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For audio and video of Dr. Josephs talking about the study, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Speech and language disorders are typically characterized by people losing their ability to communicate — they can’t find words to use in sentences, or they’ll speak around a word. They may also have trouble producing the correct sounds and articulating properly. Speech and language disorders are not the same as Alzheimer’s dementia, which is characterized by the loss of memory. Progressive speech and language disorders are degenerative and ultimately lead to death anywhere from 8-10 years after diagnosis.
In the study, researchers looked at a group of about 100 patients with speech and language disorders and noticed many of them were teachers. For a control, they compared them to a group of more than 400 Alzheimer’s patients from the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging. Teachers were about 3.5 times more likely to develop a speech and language disorder than Alzheimer’s disease. For other occupations, there was no difference between the speech and language disorders group and the Alzheimer’s group.
When compared to the 2008 U.S. census, the speech and language cohort had a higher proportion of teachers, but it was consistent with the differences observed with the Alzheimer’s dementia group.
This study has important implications for early detection of progressive speech and language disorders, says Mayo Clinic neurologist, Keith Josephs, M.D., who is the senior author of the study. A large cohort study focusing on teachers may improve power to identify the risk factors for these disorders.
“Teachers are in daily communication,” says Dr. Josephs. “It’s a demanding occupation, and teachers may be more sensitive to the development of speech and language impairments.”
The study was funded by National Institute of Health grants R01 DC010367 and P50 AG16574.
###
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit MayoClinic.com or MayoClinic.org/news.
Journalists can become a member of the Mayo Clinic News Network for the latest health, science and research news and access to video, audio, text and graphic elements that can be downloaded or embedded.

Of course, more information will be needed about whether further studies confirm the Mayo Clinic study and what links, if any, the skill set necessary to be a teacher has to later speech problems. Still, the study has an interesting result.

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