Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Not Asthma Related -- New Autism/Fragile X Research

As many of you know, one of my guys, in addition to being asthmatic, also has Asperger's Syndrome. Asperger's is on the autistic spectrum, but considered a form of "high functioning" autism. Like his asthma, the origin of this condition is unknown...we plan to test for Fragile X syndrome, which will determine if it's genetic. But it could have been caused by a vaccine, or by some other factor. (I try not to harp on this aspect of things too much.)

So research on Autistic Spectrum Disorders is as interesting to me as asthma research. Today's news was particularly fascinating, as researchers at MIT seem to be having success in treating lab rats with Autsim and Fragile-X related retardation with a particular enzyme.

Here's a snippet:

In a series of experiments on mice, the MIT investigators showed that they could undo the brain damage seen in a condition called Fragile X syndrome by inhibiting a key brain chemical called PAK....

The study raises the intriguing possibility that the brain damage seen in children with the condition can be rolled back and identifies a specific target for potential drug therapies.

"It opens up a new avenue for drug research to treat this condition," said Susumu Tonegawa, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and lead author of the paper.

Read the full article.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Antibiotic Use Linked to Peds Asthma

Just when I thought I was running out of things to be angry about.,..

From the IHT:

The use of antibiotics in the first year of life is associated with an increased risk for asthma at age 7, a new study has found, and the reason may be that antibiotics destroy not only disease-causing microbes, but also those that are helpful to the developing immune system.

Antibiotic use had a greater impact on children who would otherwise be considered at lower risk — children who lived in rural areas and those whose mothers did not have asthma — than on those who were already at increased risk because of an urban environment or genetic predisposition.

More here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Swimming Bad for Infants' Lungs?

Just saw this article in the ALA Weekly Breather, which I rarely get to read anymore. It's so good, though -- I highly recommend that newsletter to all parents of asthmatic kids.

Anyway, here's the article. Have to say I'm not a big fan of teaching anyone younger than 3 to swim -- no one that unstable walking should be near a pool without a vigilant grownup nearby anyway!!

Infant Swimming: Chlorine Lung Risk?...WebMD Medical News reported on June 4, 2007 that infant swimming lessons may lead to problems with children's lung development and possibly make asthma more likely, a new study suggests. The researchers included Alfred Bernard, PhD, of the public health department at Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium. They studied 341 Belgian schoolchildren who were about 11 years old, on average. The children provided blood samples and had their lung health tested. Bernard's team noted that 43 of the children had taken infant swimming lessons in indoor pools. The researchers also noted other lung health hazards, including maternal smoking during pregnancy and exposure to secondhand smoke. The lungs of children who had had infant swimming lessons appeared to be predisposed to developing asthma and recurrent bronchitis, according to the study, which appears in Pediatrics.

For the full article: click here.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Staying on Singulair

I think I've got three kids with sinus infections right now. B has been sniffling and coughing (goopy cough - not dry and/or tight) since he came off his Flovent three weeks ago. We were going to take him off the Singulair this summer, but I would say, with these symptoms...not bloody likely.

Also, I can't even TREAT the infection yet because he's still on Erythromycin (sp?) for the perioral dermatitis (rash) that he developed from the Flovent. We'll need to start Augmentin as soon as he's done with that three week course. Guess I'll be putting him on acidopholus then, too!!

Poor guy. I can barely treat the symptoms. He can't take Dimetapp because it knocks him out too much. And since he's such a heavy sleeper already, if I give it to him at bedtime, he will occasionally wet the bed -- which makes him sooooo sad.

I tried Claritin syrup, but it doesn't really help. Maybe we'll give Sudafed another shot. He's so low-energy anyway, might perk him up a bit. (Ah, I love jokes about drugging the kids.)

Meanwhile, Ig's on albuterol for a croupy-sounding cough, and Oz is just picking his nose a lot. :-)

Never a dull moment.