Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Pain in Infancy Alters Response to Stress, Anxiety Later in Life

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



From the 30 October 2013 ScienceDaily article


Early life pain alters neural circuits in the brain that regulate stress, suggesting pain experienced by infants who often do not receive analgesics while undergoing tests and treatment in neonatal intensive care may permanently alter future responses to anxiety, stress and pain in adulthood, a research team led by Dr. Anne Murphy, associate director of the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University, has discovered.

n estimated 12 percent of live births in the U.S. are considered premature, researchers said. These infants often spend an average of 25 days in neonatal intensive care, where they endure 10-to-18 painful and inflammatory procedures each day, including insertion of feeding tubes and intravenous lines, intubation and repeated heel lance. Despite evidence that pain and stress circuitry in the brain are established and functional in preterm infants, about 65 percent of these procedures are performed without benefit of analgesia. Some clinical studies suggest early life pain has an immediate and long-term impact on responses to stress- and anxiety-provoking events.

The Georgia State study examined whether a single painful inflammatory procedure performed on male and female rat pups on the day of birth alters specific brain receptors that affect behavioral sensitivity to stress, anxiety and pain in adulthood. The findings demonstrated that such an experience is associated with site-specific changes in the brain that regulate how the pups responded to stressful situations. Alterations in how these receptors function have also been associated with mood disorders.

The study findings mirror what is now being reported clinically. Children who experienced unresolved pain following birth show reduced responsiveness to pain and stress.




Read the entire article here



October 31, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety | , , , | Leave a comment

Study Questions Giving Babies Botanical Supplements, Teas

HealthDay news image

Nearly 1 in 10 infants fed these largely unregulated products, researchers say

From the 2 May 2011 Health Day article

MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) — The use of botanical supplements and teas for infants is a surprisingly common practice, new research finds, but experts warn that such products might not be safe for babies.

The study, conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, found that nearly 10 percent of babies are given botanical supplements or teas during their first year of life. The researchers found that even babies as young as 1 month old were given these products.

“Our study is the first to examine the prevalence of dietary botanical supplement and tea use among a sample of U.S. infants,” wrote the study’s authors. “The wide variety of dietary botanical supplements and teas given to infants increases the likelihood that some are unsafe.”

Results of the study are published online May 2 in Pediatrics. The report is scheduled to appear in the June print version of the journal.

[The full text of this article is free and may be found here]

Dietary botanical supplements and herbal teas don’t receive the same scrutiny that pharmaceutical products do, according to background information in the study. Use of such products can cause adverse reactions with other medications, and these products may be inherently unsafe themselves.

Some supplements may contain heavy metals or other contaminants, and infants are more susceptible to such toxins, according to the study. In addition, some dietary supplements have caused seizures and even death in previously healthy infants. One dietary supplement was recalled in 2007 because of microbiological contamination…..

Click here for the rest of the article

Related Resources

Somewhat lengthy drug and over-the-counter medicationinformation with these sections: description, before using,
proper use, precautions and side effects. From Micromedex, a trusted source of healthcare information for
for health professionals.  

              Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and
potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers
and clinicians

May 4, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Infant Mortality and Pregnancy Loss

Infant Mortality and Pregnancy LossThe Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University released a
new edition of the knowledge path, Infant Mortality and Pregnancy Loss. The
knowledge path directs readers to resources that analyze data, report on
research aimed at identifying causes and promising intervention strategies,
and describe risk-reduction efforts as well as bereavement-support programs.
Separate sections present resources about factors that contribute to infant
mortality and pregnancy loss: birth defects, injuries, low birthweight and
prematurity, preconception and pregnancy, and safe sleep environments. The
knowledge path was created for health professionals, policymakers,
researchers, and families. View the path online at A resource brief
for families accompanies the knowledge path and is available at

December 22, 2010 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , | Leave a comment

Allô allô! Mom’s voice plays special role in activating newborn’s brain

Researchers applied electrodes to babies’ heads to analyze their brain activity.
Allô allô! Mom’s voice plays special role in activating newborn’s brain
Recordings within 24 hours of birth reveal brain parts that only react to her voice

From the December 15, 2010 Eureka news release

A mother’s voice will preferentially activate the parts of the brain responsible for language learning, say researchers from the University of Montreal and the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Centre. The research team made the discovery after performing electrical recordings on the infants within the 24 hours following their birth. The brain signals also revealed that while the infants did react to other women’s voices, these sounds only activated the voice recognition parts of the brains. “This is exciting research that proves for the first time that the newborn’s brain responds strongly to the mother’s voice and shows, scientifically speaking, that the mother’s voice is special to babies,” said lead researcher Dr. Maryse Lassonde of the University of Montreal’s Department of Psychology and the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Centre.

The research was published in Cerebral Cortex and received funding from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Canada Research Chairs programme.The full text of the article may be found here.



December 16, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , | Leave a comment


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