New Clues to Link Between MS Drug Tysabri and Rare Brain Disease

HealthDay News — Researchers report that they think they have figured out why patients who take the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri face a high risk of developing a rare, and sometimes fatal, brain infection.A common virus that can cause the brain disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy PML likes to infect and hide in certain blood cells that are triggered to mobilize by Tysabri, the study authors explained. Even more troubling, the researchers discovered that current tests may be missing some who harbor the virus.

via New Clues to Link Between MS Drug Tysabri and Rare Brain Disease.

As Genzyme waits for FDA ruling, its multiple sclerosis drug wins approval in Canada – Business news – Boston.com

As Cambridge biotech Genzyme awaits an upcoming US regulatory decision on its experimental multiple sclerosis drug, the medicine has won approval for sale in Canada.

Genzyme said Friday that the regulatory agency Health Canada signed off on its Lemtrada therapy as a treatment for adults with relapsing remitting MS who did not respond to drugs already on the market north of the border. More than 2.3 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with MS, a disease of the central nervous system, including about 100,000 in Canada.

via As Genzyme waits for FDA ruling, its multiple sclerosis drug wins approval in Canada – Business news – Boston.com.

Low Iron in Brain a Sign of ADHD?

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) — A newer MRI method can detect low iron levels in the brains of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The method could help doctors and parents make better informed decisions about medication, a new study says.

Psychostimulant drugs used to treat ADHD affect levels of the brain chemical dopamine. Because iron is required to process dopamine, using MRI to assess iron levels in the brain may provide a noninvasive, indirect measure of the chemical, explained study author Vitria Adisetiyo, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Medical University of South Carolina.

If these findings are confirmed in larger studies, this technique might help improve ADHD diagnosis and treatment, according to Adisetiyo.

via Low Iron in Brain a Sign of ADHD?.

Childhood Depression and Sleep Apnea

We have noted a significant correlation between depression and sleep disorders in adults for years. However, in this month’s issue of Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, a study entitled The Relationship between Depressive Symptoms and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pediatric Populations: A Meta-Analysis, demonstrated the increased incidence of depression in children from preschool up to age 18 with sleep apnea.It is well-known that childhood depression is a significant problem. Depression affects 1% of preschoolers, 2% of school-age children, and up to 8% of adolescents. If untreated, it poses a significant risk for increased psychosocial problems, as well as substance abuse and suicide. It is also known that about 2% of all children in this age group suffer from sleep-disordered breathing.

via Childhood Depression and Sleep Apnea – Sleep Answers.

Brain Connections Strengthen As Kids Sleep, Study Suggests

HealthDay News — As young children sleep, the connections between the right and left sides of their brains strengthen, according to a small new study.Researchers measured the brain activity of eight children while they slept at ages 2, 3 and 5 years. They found that connections in the brain generally became stronger during sleep as the children aged.

via Brain Connections Strengthen As Kids Sleep, Study Suggests.

Laser Toys Can Damage Eyes: Report

(HealthDay News) — Popular laser toys can cause serious and potentially permanent eye damage, a new report warns.

The high-powered blue laser gadgets, sold over the Internet, are increasingly sought after by male teens and young adults, according to the researchers.

The study authors report on 14 cases of laser-caused eye damage treated at Saudi Arabia’s King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital between 2012 and 2013. The injuries were caused by high-power blue laser gadgets and included four cases of perforations of the retina, the part of the eye responsible for detailed central vision.

via Laser Toys Can Damage Eyes: Report.

Dark Side of ‘Chat Rooms’ for Troubled Teens: Talk of Self-Harm

HealthDay News — While social media can help vulnerable teenagers seeking support, Internet use can do more harm than good for young people at risk of self-harm or suicide, a new study suggests.Researchers from Oxford University in England found conflicting evidence on whether online activity poses a positive or negative influence for vulnerable teens, but observed a strong link between the use of Internet forums or “chat rooms” and an increased risk of suicide.

via Dark Side of ‘Chat Rooms’ for Troubled Teens: Talk of Self-Harm.

Think You Know What Your Child’s Up to Online? Think Again

(HealthDay News) — Parental perceptions can be way off when it comes to what their kids are exposed to while surfing the Internet, according to a new study that puts an e-spin on the enduring generation gap.

The survey of 456 parent-child pairs revealed that although nearly one-third of the 10- to 16-year-olds polled said they had been bullied online, just 10 percent of parents were aware of that.

Parents also underestimated how often their child was exposed to online pornography, the survey found.

Such parent-child disconnects highlight the need for greater parental involvement in their child’s cyber world, the researchers said.

via Think You Know What Your Child’s Up to Online? Think Again.

Walking Speed a Good Gauge of MS Disability, Study Says

(HealthDay News) — Measuring the walking speed of multiple sclerosis patients can help doctors assess progression of the disease and the severity of disability, a new study suggests.

In people with multiple sclerosis (MS), the immune system damages the protective myelin sheath around the body’s nerves.

“We already know that the timed 25-foot walk test is a meaningful way to measure disability in MS,” study author Dr. Myla Goldman, of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. “Our study builds on that research by providing a clearer idea of how walk time can provide information about how a person’s disease progression and disability impacts their everyday activities and real-world function.”

via Walking Speed a Good Gauge of MS Disability, Study Says.

Young Athletes Concussions Often Unreported: Report

HealthDay News — A “culture of resistance” pervasive in many youth sports often keeps athletes from reporting concussions and obtaining needed treatment, a new U.S. report finds.This culture persists despite a growing understanding that all concussions cause some degree of brain injury, according to the report released Wednesday by the Institute of Medicine IOM.”We know that concussions are frequent and potentially serious,” said IOM committee vice-chair Dr. Frederick Rivara, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

via Young Athletes Concussions Often Unreported: Report.