Mindfulness-based meditation helps teenagers with cancer

Mindfulness-based meditation could lessen some symptoms associated with cancer in teens, according to the results of a clinical trial intervention led by researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine children’s hospital.Mindfulness-based meditation focuses on the present moment and the connection between the mind and body. Adolescents living with cancer face not only the physical symptoms of their condition, but also the anxiety and uncertainty related to the progression of the disease, the anticipation of physical and emotional pain related to illness and treatment, the significant changes implied in living with cancer, as well as the fear of recurrence after remission. Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise of the university’s Department of Psychology presented the findings today at the American Psychosomatic Society Meeting in San Francisco.The researchers asked 13 adolescents with cancer to complete questionnaires covering mood (positive and negative emotions, anxiety and depression), sleep and quality of life. The group was divided in two: a first group of eight adolescents were offered eight mindfulness-based meditation sessions and the remaining five adolescents in the control group were put on a wait-list. The eight sessions were 90 minutes long and took place weekly. After the last meditation session, patients from both groups filled out the same questionnaires a second time. “We analyzed differences in mood, sleep and quality of life scores for each participant and then between each group to evaluate if mindfulness sessions had a greater impact than the simple passage of time. We found that teenagers that participated in the mindfulness group had lower scores in depression after our 8 sessions. Girls from the mindfulness group reported sleeping better. We also noticed that they developed mindfulness skills to a greater extent than boys during the sessions,” Malboeuf-Hurtubise said. …

Read more

Obese teenagers who lose weight are at risk for developing eating disorders

Sep. 5, 2013 — Obese teenagers who lose weight are at risk of developing eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, Mayo Clinic researchers imply in a recent Pediatrics article. Eating disorders among these patients are also not being adequately detected because the weight loss is seen as positive by providers and family members.In the article, Mayo Clinic researchers argue that formerly overweight adolescents tend to have more medical complications from eating disorders and it takes longer to diagnose them than kids who are in a normal weight range. This is problematic because early intervention is the key to a good prognosis, says Leslie Sim, Ph.D., an eating disorders expert in the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center and lead author of the study.Although not widely known, individuals with a weight history in the overweight (BMI-for-age greater than or equal to the 85th percentile but less than the 95th percentile, as defined by CDC growth chart) or obese (BMI-for-age greater than or equal to the 95th percentile, as defined by the CDC growth chart) range, represent a substantial portion of adolescents presenting for eating disorder treatment, says Dr. Sim.”Given research that suggests early intervention promotes best chance of recovery, it is imperative that these children and adolescents’ eating disorder symptoms are identified and intervention is offered before the disease progresses,” says Dr. Sim.This report analyzes two examples of eating disorders that developed in the process of obese adolescents’ efforts to reduce their weight. Both cases illustrate specific challenges in the identification of eating disorder behaviors in adolescents with this weight history and the corresponding delay such teenagers experience accessing appropriate treatment.At least 6 percent of adolescents suffer from eating disorders, and more than 55 percent of high school females and 30 percent of males report disordered eating symptoms including engaging in one or more maladaptive behaviors (fasting, diet pills, vomiting, laxatives, binge eating) to induce weight loss.Eating disorders are associated with high relapse rates and significant impairment to daily life, along with a host of medical side effects that can be life-threatening, says Dr. Sim.

Read more

Dialectical behavioral therapy improves adherence in teens with chronic illness

Sep. 5, 2013 — Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) shows early evidence as an effective tool in improving medical regimen adherence in adolescents with chronic kidney disease (CKD), enabling them to accept their illness, have a better quality of life and gain eligibility for organ transplantation. This study, by investigators at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM), was published today in the journal Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology.DBT teaches patients skills to cope with stress, control emotions and improve relationships with others. It has proven effective in adult and adolescent patients with a range of psychiatric conditions and behavioral problems, so the investigators adapted the therapy to study whether it would be effective with a teen medical population, who are also traditionally difficult-to-reach, manage and treat.Six teenagers with end-stage renal disease, who were in need of a kidney transplant, completed a nine-session DBT program. Participants’ self-reported several measures pre- and post-intervention, with feelings of depression among participants decreasing 77.5 percent. Additionally, physicians reported improvements in adherence at the end of the intervention and 100 percent of participants transitioned to active status on the transplant list. Two patients have received a kidney transplant, while the others continue to wait for their transplants and have maintained all behavioral gains post-treatment.”Adolescents with chronic kidney disease often engage in non-adherent behaviors such as skipping their medications, missing medical appointments and not following diet restrictions, resulting in poorer health outcomes,” said lead author Becky Hashim, Ph.D., attending clinical psychologist, Behavioral Consultation Team, CHAM, and assistant professor, departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. “The ultimate goal of this intervention was to help improve adherence so the patients could be eligible for transplantation, thereby improving the quality of their lives.”Approximately 14 million pediatric patients in the U.S. have end-stage renal disease, the most life-threatening stage of CKD when treatment with dialysis or transplant is required to survive. This condition is associated with cardiovascular diseases and bone disorders, and increases the risk of emotional and behavioral disorders such as depression, anxiety and social issues, which are often linked to non-adherence.Patients in this study, prior to the intervention, expressed negative thoughts and emotions related to their illness, difficulty accepting their conditions and reported feeling “different” from their peers. …

Read more

Brain size may signal risk of developing an eating disorder

Aug. 22, 2013 — New research indicates that teens with anorexia nervosa have bigger brains than teens that do not have the eating disorder. That is according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine that examined a group of adolescents with anorexia nervosa and a group without. They found that girls with anorexia nervosa had a larger insula, a part of the brain that is active when we taste food, and a larger orbitofrontal cortex, a part of the brain that tells a person when to stop eating.Guido Frank, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at CU School of Medicine, and his colleagues report that the bigger brain may be the reason people with anorexia are able to starve themselves. Similar results in children with anorexia nervosa and in adults who had recovered from the disease, raise the possibility that insula and orbitofrontal cortex brain size could predispose a person to develop eating disorders.”While eating disorders are often triggered by the environment, there are most likely biological mechanisms that have to come together for an individual to develop an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa,” Frank says.The researchers recruited 19 adolescent girls with anorexia nervosa and 22 in a control group and used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study brain volumes. Individuals with anorexia nervosa showed greater left orbitofrontal, right insular, and bilateral temporal cortex gray matter compared to the control group. In individuals with anorexia nervosa, orbitofrontal gray matter volume related negatively with sweet tastes. An additional comparison of this study group with adults with anorexia nervosa and a healthy control group supported greater orbitofrontal cortex and insula volumes in the disorder across this age group as well.The medial orbitofrontal cortex has been associated with signaling when we feel satiated by a certain type of food (so called “sensory specific satiety”). This study suggests that larger volume in this brain area could be a trait across eating disorders that promotes these individuals to stop eating faster than in healthy individuals, before eating enough.The right insula is a region that processes taste, as well as integrates body perception and this could contribute to the perception of being fat despite being underweight.This study is complementary to another that found adults with anorexia and individuals who had recovered from this illness also had differences in brain size, previously published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, 2013.This study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, July 22, 2013.

Read more

Sensitive parenting can boost premature children’s school performance

July 31, 2013 — Sensitive parenting helps protect against the negative effects of being born prematurely on children’s school success, a new study has found.Children born prematurely are at risk of a variety of neurological impairments which can mean they are more likely to need special educational support when they reach school age.But a new study led by the University of Warwick shows that parents of very preterm and very low birthweight (VP/VLBW) children can increase their child’s academic achievement through sensitive and cognitively stimulating parenting.Researchers looked at parenting styles of parents of children aged 6 to see what effect they had on those children’s school success when they reached the age of 13.The study found that highly sensitive parenting at age 6 boosted the academic performance of VP/VLBW children when they reached 13 to levels similar to full-term children. A parallel increase was not seen for full-term children.However, the results also showed that more cognitively stimulating early home environments benefit all children’s long-term school success, regardless of whether they were premature or not.Professor Dieter Wolke of University of Warwick said: “By sensitive parenting, we mean adapting one’s parenting to the individual child’s behaviour and responses, while clearly remaining the more competent partner and setting age appropriate limits.””So for example providing gentle feedback and suggesting potential solutions rather than taking over and solving the tasks for the child.”Cognitively stimulating parenting is where parents include activities designed to get children thinking such as reading to them or doing puzzles together.”We found that both these styles of parenting have a positive effect in increasing school performance, with sensitive parenting particularly effective at closing the gap in achievement between preterm and low birth-weight children and their full-term counterparts.”The study, Effects of Sensitive Parenting on the Academic Resilience of Very Preterm and Very Low Birth Weight Adolescents was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.The researchers sought to clear up uncertainty among the scientific community about whether parenting has an influence on academic achievement of preterm children.They looked at two groups of German children — 314 very preterm/very low birth weight children and a control group of 338 full-term children.They were studied from birth to age 13, with the researchers analysing socioeconomic status, neurological and physical impairment at age 20 months and levels of parental sensitive and cognitive stimulation at age 6 years. School success was measured from six to 13 years of age.The study defined very preterm as babies born at less than 32 weeks gestation or weighing less than 1500g (3lb 5 oz).The researchers found that the 15 per cent of highly sensitive parents within the VP/VLBW group had children whose academic performance at 13 years was similar to the full-term children.In contrast, parents of VP/VLBW children who showed low sensitivity had children who required more special educational help and had more schooling problems.Maternal sensitivity made little difference to the grades or academic performance of full-term children, who were much less susceptible to parenting differences.The research found that cognitively stimulating parenting raised academic performance across both groups of children.Professor Wolke said: “The results suggest that sensitive parenting boosts children’s self-control and attention regulation, which are important for school success.”We would like to see increased investment in programmes that equip parents of VP/VLBW with the skills needed to provide appropriate and sensitive support to their children.”

Read more

Eating eggs is not linked to high cholesterol in adolescents, study suggests

July 19, 2013 — Although in the late 20th century it was maintained that eating more than two eggs a week could increase cholesterol, in recent years experts have begun to refute this myth. Now, a new study has found that eating more eggs is not associated with higher serum cholesterol in adolescents, regardless of how much physical activity they do.A new study led by researchers at the University of Granada has analysed the link between egg intake in adolescents and the main risk factors for developing cardiovascular diseases, such as lipid profile, excess body fat, insulin resistance and high blood pressure.As Alberto Soriano Maldonado, primary author of the study, explains: “Health professionals traditionally insisted that eating eggs increased cholesterol levels, so in recent decades there has been a tendency to restrict intake championed by various public health organisations.”However, the most recent research suggests that increased serum cholesterol is more affected by intake of saturated fats and trans fats — present in red meat, industrial baked goods, etc. — than by the amount of cholesterol in the diet.The results of this article, part of the European study HELENA involving nine countries, demonstrated that eating larger amounts of egg is neither linked to higher serum cholesterol nor to worse cardiovascular health in adolescents, regardless of their levels of physical activity.”The conclusions, published in the journal Nutrición Hospitalaria, confirm recent studies in healthy adults that suggest that an intake of up to seven eggs a week is not associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases,” notes Soriano.As a result, the authors suggest reviewing dietary recommendations for adolescents, although they add that it would be useful to conduct similar research on a sample group with higher egg intake.”Egg is a cheap food that is rich in very high-quality proteins, minerals, folates and B vitamins. Thus it can provide a large quantity of nutrients necessary for optimum development in adolescents,” according to the researcher.Banishing the egg mythIn 1973, the American Heart Association recommended limiting egg intake to a maximum of three per week, an idea that was accepted by health experts for years.However, although the majority of foods rich in cholesterol are usually also rich in saturated fats, a medium-size egg contains 200 milligrams of cholesterol but has more unsaturated fats than saturated fats and only has 70 calories.

Read more

Conversations with teens about weight linked with increased risk of unhealthy eating behaviors

June 24, 2013 — Conversations between parents and adolescents that focus on weight and size are associated with an increased risk for unhealthy adolescent weight-control behaviors, according to a study published Online First by JAMA Pediatrics.The study by University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, researchers also found that overweight or obese adolescents whose mothers engaged in conversations that were focused only on healthful eating behaviors were less likely to diet and use unhealthy weight-control behaviors (UWCBs).”Because adolescence is a time when more youths engage in disordered eating behaviors, it is important for parents to understand what types of conversations may be helpful or harmful in regard to disordered eating behaviors and how to have these conversations with their adolescents,” Jerica M. Berge, Ph.D., M.P.H., L.M.F.T., of the University of Minnesota Medical School, and colleagues write in the study background.The study used data from two linked population-based studies and included surveys completed by adolescents and parents. The study’s final sample consisted of 2,348 adolescents (average age, 14.4 years) and 3,528 parents.Among overweight adolescents whose mothers engaged in healthful eating conversations compared with those whose mothers did not engage in healthful eating conversations, there was a significantly lower prevalence of dieting (40.1 percent vs. 53.4 percent, respectively) and UWCBs (40.6 percent vs. 53.2 percent, respectively), according to the study results.The results also indicate that weight conversations from one parent or from both parents were associated with a significantly higher prevalence of dieting relative to parents who engaged in only healthful eating conversations (35.2 percent and 37.1 percent vs. 21.2 percent, respectively). The study also found that adolescents whose fathers engaged in weight conversations were significantly more likely to engage in dieting and UWCBs than adolescents whose fathers did not.”Finally, for parents who may wonder whether talking with their adolescent child about eating habits and weight is useful or detrimental, results from this study indicate that they may want to focus on discussing and promoting healthful eating behaviors rather than discussing weight and size, regardless of whether their child is nonoverweight or overweight,” the authors conclude.

Read more

Reduced brain volume in kids with low birth-weight tied to academic struggles

June 10, 2013 — An analysis of recent data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of 97 adolescents who were part of study begun with very low birth weight babies born in 1982-1986 in a Cleveland neonatal intensive care unit has tied smaller brain volumes to poor academic achievement.More than half of the babies that weighed less than 1.66 pounds and more than 30 percent of those less than 3.31 pounds at birth later had academic deficits. (Less than 1.66 pounds is considered extremely low birth weight; less than 3.31 pounds is labeled very low birth weight.) Lower birth weight was associated to smaller brain volumes in some of these children, and smaller brain volume, in turn, was tied to academic deficits.Researchers also found that 65.6 percent of very low birth weight and 41.2 percent of extremely preterm children had experienced academic achievement similar to normal weight peers.The research team — led by Caron A.C. Clark, a scientist in the Department of Psychology and Child and Family Center at the University of Oregon — detected an overall reduced volume of mid-brain structures, the caudate and corpus callosum, which are involved in connectivity, executive attention and motor control.The findings, based a logistic regression analyses of the MRIs done approximately five years ago, were published in the May issue of the journal Neuropsychology. The longitudinal study originally was launched in the 1980s with a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (National Institutes of Health, grant HD 26554) to H. Gerry Taylor of Case Western University, who was the senior author and principal investigator on the new paper.”Our new study shows that pre-term births do not necessarily mean academic difficulties are ahead,” Clark said. “We had this group of children that did have academic difficulties, but there were a lot of kids in this data set who didn’t and, in fact, displayed the same trajectories as their normal birth-weight peers.”Academic progress of the 201 original participants had been assessed early in their school years, again four years later and then annually until they were almost 17 years old. “We had the opportunity to explore this very rich data set,” Clark said. “There are very few studies that follow this population of children over time, where their trajectories of growth at school are tracked. We were interested in seeing how development unfolds over time.”The findings, Clark added, provide new insights but also raise questions such as why some low-birth-weight babies develop normally and others do not? “It is very difficult to pick up which kids will need the most intensive interventions really early, which we know can be really important.”The findings also provide a snapshot of children of very low birth weights who were born in NICU 30 years ago. …

Read more

Utilizzando il sito, accetti l'utilizzo dei cookie da parte nostra. maggiori informazioni

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close