Author: Emmanuel Romero

Why do teenage suicides happen in clusters?

suicide post SMALLGlenn Saxe, MD, FRCP, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center for Refugee Trauma and Resilience and director of the Children’s Hospital Youth Centered Suicide Prevention Program, responds to recent studies coming out of Columbia University that investigate reasons why suicide can be attractive to teenagers and young adults, and why suicide “clusters” (3 or more suicides in a row) are more common in young people.

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Reporting on opioids: Breaking the news or fueling the epidemic?

24233396News stories ranging from high-profile government hearings to celebrity scandals point to an increasing trend in the abuse of prescription opioids, such as OxyContin. But is the media merely reporting these news stories, or is it possible that their coverage of opioid abuse is piquing the public’s curiosity and subtly (if unintentionally) encouraging them to give the drugs a try?

A retrospective study by John Brownstein, PhD, of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program (CHIP) and Children’s Division of Emergency Medicine, compares data from Google News Archives with death records from the National Center for Health Statistics. The natural assumption, Brownstein says, is that increases in deaths from opioids would be followed by increases in media coverage of the problem, reflecting reporting on issues of social concern. But statistical analysis showed that the reverse was true — within two to six months after major media reporting, opioid-related deaths increased.

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A gentler breath of fresh air for premature babies

Maggie.070709-1Nearly 13 percent of U.S. babies are born prematurely, according to a recent report from the March of Dimes. These babies face a host of health problems – including taking their first breath, which for a premature newborn can be difficult if not impossible. Preemies are frequently placed on ventilators to pump oxygen into their tiny, immature lungs, but this treatment is often part of the problem: the constant air pressure from the ventilators can cause inflammation and lead to chronic lung disease. Now, however, there’s an alternative.

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Catching dyslexia before your child starts to read

stock-boy with bookAny child learning how to read can become frustrated at first, but once he gets the hang of it, reading can become fun. For a child with dyslexia, that day may never come.

Nadine Gaab, PhD, of Children’s Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience is enrolling 4- to 6-year-old children in a study to identify children at risk for dyslexia before reading instruction has even started.

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