Children’s hyperactivity ‘is not a real disease

Children’s hyperactivity ‘is not a real disease

One of the world’s leading neuroscientists, whose work has been acknowledged by work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, has suggested that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not “a real disease”.

On the eve of a visit to Britain to meet Duncan Smith and the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, Dr Bruce D Perry told the Observer that the label of ADHD outlined a broad set of symptoms. “It is best thought of as a description...

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Quality early childhood programs help prevent chronic diseases in later life

Quality early childhood programs help prevent chronic diseases in later life

Disadvantaged children who attend high-quality early childhood development programs including healthcare and nutrition have significantly improved health as adults, reports a new study.

The study was led by researchers from UCL (University College London), the University of Chicago and the University of North Carolina. These findings build upon existing evidence that high-quality early childhood programs produce better economic and social outcomes for disadvantaged children.

Based on more than three decades of studying children involved in the Abecedarian program in North Carolina, this new ...

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Obesity prevention programs can lower kids’ blood pressure, even if they don’t reduce body fat

Obesity prevention programs can lower kids’ blood pressure, even if they don’t reduce body fat

Even modest elevations in the BP of adolescents, according to recent research, can pose cardiovascular problems later in life.

A systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies of the effect of child obesity intervention programs on blood pressure has found that whether such programs prevented obesity or not, many of them reduced BP in children. It also found that the most effective programs in this regard promoted both healthy eating and physical activity.

The study, one of the first of its kind, “Effect of Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs on BP: A Systematic Review and Meta-Ana...

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Decline in preterm births and asthma linked with smoking bans

Decline in preterm births and asthma linked with smoking bans

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

The analysis has been published in The Lancet and assesses 11 studies conducted in North America and Europe. In total, this involves over 2.5 million births and 250,000 asthma aggravations.

Researchers from the study say that, worldwide, 40% of children a...

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Parenting scheme cuts number of children going into care

Parenting scheme cuts number of children going into care

Every one of the six women clutching their bumps at this specialist prenatal parenting session has had a child removed into care – one has lost three – and they all know that the same thing could happen again, unless they co-operate with this pioneering scheme, which is making parenting professionals across the UK sit up and take notice.

At Little Hulton Children’s Centre in Salford, Bolton community midwife Wendy Warrington and her Salford parenting practitioner colleague Elly Siddall are delivering Strengthening Families (SF)...

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Fewer children at risk for deficient vitamin D

Fewer children at risk for deficient vitamin D

The study, led by Holly Kramer, MD, MPH, and Ramon Durazo-Arvizu, PhD, is published online ahead of print in the Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism.

New Institute of Medicine guidelines say most people get sufficient vitamin D when their blood levels are at or above 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). The Pediatric Endocrine Society has a similar guideline. However, other guidelines recommend vitamin D levels above 30 ng/mL.

Loyola researchers studied vitamin D data from a nationally representative sample of 2,877 U.S...

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Children’s physical activity influenced by their mothers

Children’s physical activity influenced by their mothers

Parents are strong influences in the lives of young children, with patterns of behaviour established in the early years laying the foundation for future choices. A new study suggests that, when it comes to levels of physical activity, it is mothers who set (or don’t set) the pace.

An analysis of the physical activity levels of more than 500 mothers and pre-schoolers, assessed using activity monitors to produce accurate data, found that the amount of activity that a mother and her child did each day was closely related...

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Autism begins in pregnancy

Autism begins in pregnancy

The study will be published in the March 27 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers — Eric Courchesne, PhD, professor of neurosciences and director of the Autism Center of Excellence at UC San Diego, Ed S. Lein, PhD, of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, and first author Rich Stoner, PhD, of the UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence — analyzed 25 genes in post-mortem brain tissue of children with and without autism...

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Childhood Abuse May Lead to Health Ills as Adult

Childhood Abuse May Lead to Health Ills as Adult

Childhood abuse or neglect could take a lasting toll on physical health, a new study suggests.

It found that child maltreatment may trigger long-term hormone problems that increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and other health problems in adulthood.

Researchers examined levels of weight-regulating hormones in 95 adults, aged 35 to 65, who suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect as children. They were grouped according to the severity of abuse and neglect.

Three hormones were examined in the study. Leptin is involved in appetite regulation and is linked to fat levels...

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Violent video games associated with increased aggression in children

Violent video games associated with increased aggression in children

Habitually playing violent video games appears to increase aggression in children, regardless of parental involvement and other factors.

More than 90 percent of American youths play video games, and many of these games depict violence, which is often portrayed as fun, justified and without negative consequences.

The authors tracked children and adolescents in Singapore over three years on self-reported measures of gaming habits, aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition (AC, such as aggressive fantasies, beliefs about aggression, and attaching motives of hostility to ambiguous provocations) an...

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