Houston Area Pediatric Specialists

Independent pediatric specialists aim to serve our community. We want to share news and analysis regarding our specialties and our practices.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Great Site for the Autism Skeptic

Great Site for the Autism Skeptic

This is a great one stop shop for rational inquiry.

Seizure Diary on iPhone/iPod App

Keeping a record of seizures and response to medicines is important.

Introducing My Epilepsy Diary

Just create a My Epilepsy Diary profile. Whenever you experience a seizure, side effect, mood change, or other personal event related to your epilepsy, log onto My Epilepsy Diary from your browser or smart phone. Record what happened and fill in the details quickly using the many common situations My Epilepsy Diary already provides.

My Epilepsy Diary also helps you track all your medications and dosages, even for non-epilepsy medications and vitamins. You can evenset up email or text reminders to take your medications!

Before your doctor's appointment, simply print out a report. My Epilepsy Diary provides your doctor a complete, organized, and easy-to-read record of your recent epilepsy history, as well as long-term trends that show how effective your treatment has been and whether it may need to be changed.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eating Chocolate Is Linked To Depression

From Dr. Wright

Eating Chocolate Is Linked To Depression

People who eat more chocolate are more likely to be depressed than people who eat less chocolate, a new study has found.

What isn't clear, though, is whether people who were more likely to be depressed ate more chocolate in the study—or whether chocolate itself is linked to depression.

"It's possible chocolate has antidepressant effects and that's why they are eating chocolate," said Beatrice Golomb, one of the study's researchers and an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego. "I think many of us believe chocolate consumption, at least in the short term, makes us feel better."...


Pfizer Epilepsy Scholarship

What Is Pfizer's Epilepsy
Scholarship Award?

A 1-year, $2000 scholarship honoring outstanding students who have:

Overcome the challenges of epilepsy
Been successful in school
Done well in activities outside the classroom or in the community
Shown a desire to make the most out of college or graduate school

Experts in education and medicine will choose the winners.

Winners will receive a 1-year, $2000 scholarship!


Monday, April 26, 2010

School in Spring Branch with Neurologic Differences Profiled on NPR

School in Spring Branch with Neurologic Differences Profiled on NPR

by: Wendy Siegle

April is Autism Awareness Month. Around one in 100 children has a disorder in the autism spectrum and for these kids, learning in a traditional school environment is challenging. Wendy Siegle recently made a trip out to a northwest Houston neighborhood, where there's an innovative school that caters to students with neurological differences. It's the latest installment of the KUHF NewsLab's series, "Exploring Houston."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vitamin D helps fend off flu, asthma attacks: study

Vitamin D is a hot topic....

Vitamin D helps fend off flu, asthma attacks: study

Last Updated: 2010-03-19 13:34:17 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In a study of Japanese schoolchildren, vitamin D supplements taken during the winter and early spring helped prevent seasonal flu and asthma attacks.

The idea for the study, study chief Dr. Mitsuyoshi Urashima, told Reuters Health, came from an earlier study looking at whether vitamin D could help prevent the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. The researchers in that study noticed that people taking vitamin D were three times less likely to report cold and flu symptoms.

This led Urashima, of Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, and colleagues to randomly assign a group of 6- to 15-year-old children to take vitamin D3 supplements (1,200 international units daily) or inactive placebo during a cold and flu season.

Vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol, is more readily absorbed by the body and more potent than vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, the form often found in multivitamins.


Summer ADHD Survival Tips

Start thinking about this.....

ADHD Summer Survival Tips

How to keep ADHD kids happy and healthy all summer long. Plus, is summer the right time for a medication vacation?
By Denise Mann
WebMD the Magazine - Feature

When her son Anthony was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at age 6, Mary Robertson quickly became an amateur travel agent during his summer vacations.

She didn't have much of a choice. "One day Anthony came home hiding a handsaw behind his back because he had sawed down a neighbor's tree to see how old it was," recalls the oncology-nurse-turned-ADHD-patient-advocate. "I realized pretty quickly that to stay at home and not have something planned was not gonna work."

Robertson's challenge is one all parents face, especially during the summer, and doubly so for those who have kids with ADHD, a behavioral disorder that affects about 2 million children in the United States, according to the National Institute ofMental Health in Bethesda, Md.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Behavioural rewards 'work like drugs' for ADHD

From Dr Wright -

Behavioural rewards 'work like drugs' for ADHD

Behavioral Reward Incentives May Benefit Children With Attention-Deficit Disorders.
BBC News (4/18) reported that, according to a study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, "the brains of children with attention-deficit disorders respond to on-the-spot rewards in the same way as they do to medication." Researchers in the UK came to this conclusion after using electroencephalograms to measure "brain activity as children played a computer game, offering extra points for less impulsive behaviour." The investigators "found that the incentives helped the children perform better at the game, although not to the same extent as the child's normal dose of" medications, such as Ritalin (methylphenidate).


Monday, April 19, 2010

Fever + Mitochondrial Disease May cause Autistic Regression

Fever + Mitochondrial Disease May cause Autistic Regression

Autistic spectrum disorders encompass etiologically heterogeneous persons, with many genetic causes. A subgroup of these individuals has mitochondrial disease. Because a variety of metabolic disorders, including mitochondrial disease show regression with fever, a retrospective chart review was performed and identified 28 patients who met diagnostic criteria for autistic spectrum disorders and mitochondrial disease. Autistic regression occurred in 60.7% (17 of 28), a statistically significant increase over the general autistic spectrum disorder population (P < .0001). Of the 17 individuals with autistic regression, 70.6% (12 of 17) regressed with fever and 29.4% (5 of 17) regressed without identifiable linkage to fever or vaccinations. None showed regression with vaccination unless a febrile response was present. Although the study is small, a subgroup of patients with mitochondrial disease may be at risk of autistic regression with fever. Although recommended vaccinations schedules are appropriate in mitochondrial disease, fever management appears important for decreasing regression risk.

Editor's Note - This is a startling observational summary of children in one mitochondrial clinic. ask your neurologist if your child should be evaluated for mitochondrial disease.

Make sure tests are sent to standardized labs and collected appropriately. Would you live in a house built with "nonstandard" engineering methods?


Dr. Rotenberg 713-464-4107


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sleep Apnea Tied to Increased Risk of Stroke

Researchers from the Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS) report that the risk of stroke appears in men with mild sleep apnea and rises with the severity of sleep apnea. Men with moderate to severe sleep apnea were nearly three times more likely to have a stroke than men without sleep apnea or with mild sleep apnea. The risk from sleep apnea is independent of other risk factors such as weight, high blood pressure, race, smoking, and diabetes.


Editor's note- Research is mounting that sleep apena is a cause of vascular disease. Consdier it for primary or secondary prevention.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Doubles Risk for Stroke and Death

"The obstructive sleep apnea syndrome significantly increases the risk of stroke or death from any cause, and the increase is independent of other risk factors, including hypertension."


Monday, April 5, 2010

Morality and Magnetic Stimulation of the Brain

A Magnetic Field Applied to the Brain Can Alter People's Sense of Morality

Moral judgments often have less to do with outcome and more to do with intention. Take murder, for instance: The U.S. legal system makes distinctions between a crime committed in the heat of the moment and one that is planned ahead of time. But moral judgments may not be as sacrosanct as we believe: MIT scientists have shown that they can alter our moral judgmentssimply by magnetically interfering with a certain part of the brain....


Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Teen Brain: It's Just Not Grown Up Yet

The Teen Brain: It's Just Not Grown Up Yet

When adolescence hit Frances Jensen's sons, she often found herself wondering, like all parents of teenagers, "What were you thinking?"

"It's a resounding mantra of parents and teachers," says Jensen, who's a pediatric neurologist at Children's Hospital in Boston.

Like when son number one, Andrew, turned 16, dyed his hair black with red stripes and went off to school wearing studded leather and platform shoes. And his grades went south.


Welcome to Our Blog

From time to time, the independent pediatric specialists meet for dinner in Houston. Its always a remarkable gathering. My colleagues are smart, educated at the best institutions and warm human beings.

I always learn form them and wish I could see them more often.

So, I stole some time from my family (...be there in 1 minute dear...) to start this very personal and barely-commercial blog to share our observations and news.

Ground rules:
  • Collegiality is the foundation.
  • Specific patient information is, of course, not permitted.
  • Community news and announcements are welcome. I just hope someone is reading this...Be advised, news and announcements that toot our horns are welcome too.
  • Independent specialists are welcome to participate.
  • Advertisement will be indicated as such. Grandiose, offensive, kooky and false claims are filtered.
  • Please dont use this forum to contact us about a specific patient or medical emergency. we do not check this email link. Please call our offices!
  • The editor can add, modify rules as we go/grow.
I hope you enjoy our blog.

Josh Rotenberg MD