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Sleep Recommendations for Children

Sleep Recommendations for Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement of endorsement supporting guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) that outline recommended sleep duration for children from infants to teens. The guidelines, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, encourage clinicians to discuss the recommended sleep time and healthy sleep habits with parents and teenagers during office visits. “Adequate sleep is essential for optimal health in children and adolescents,” says Shalini Paruthi, MD, who was lead author of the AASM guidelines. “Recent research studies indicate that adequate sleep duration can improve attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health. Failure to get enough sleep, or getting too much sleep, regularly is associated with higher risks of injuries, hypertension, obesity, and depression. Teenagers who slept outside the recommended ranges were at higher risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts.” It is important to remember that most studies reviewed were cross-sectional, and thus showed associations, not causation. In addition, the AAP suggests that all screens be turned off 30 minutes before bedtime and that televisions, computers, and other screens not be allowed in children’s bedrooms. For infants and children of all ages, the AAP notes that it is especially important to establish a bedtime routine to ensure adequate sleep amounts each night. “Children and teenagers with sleep durations that regularly fall outside of these recommended sleep times are at higher risk for physical and mental health problems,” adds Dr. Paruthi. Important Implications According to Dr. Paruthi, clinicians should be aware of the AAP’s recommended sleep durations and discuss them with parents and children...
Inherited Retinal Disease Trials Recruiting Participants

Inherited Retinal Disease Trials Recruiting Participants

Inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) are retinal conditions that are passed down through family members. Many IRDs are rare and have no current medical treatments. Gene therapy, which introduces a functional copy of a gene to correct a genetic defect, has been shown to improve vision in canine and sheep animal models. Based on these promising findings, clinical trials are currently underway to evaluate if gene therapies have the potential to improve vision or slow IRD progression in humans. The Retina Foundation of the Southwest is one of seven U.S. locations participating in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial studying an investigational gene therapy candidate for the treatment of X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS). XLRS is a rare IRD caused by mutations in the RS1 gene that leads to splitting of the retina. It causes poor visual acuity in young boys that can progress to legal blindness in adults. A separate Phase 1/2 clinical study is ongoing to evaluate a novel gene therapy for achromatopsia (ACHM). This IRD is associated with visual acuity loss, severe nystagmus (a condition in which the eyes make repetitive uncontrolled movements which results in reduced vision and depth perception, affecting balance and coordination) and extreme light sensitivity resulting in daytime blindness and total loss of color discrimination. Because IRDs are associated with specific gene mutations and may have similar symptoms to other retinal conditions, it is important that patients receive genotype testing to confirm a specific diagnosis. For more information, please view the following pages at ClinicalTrials.gov at bit.ly/2riMePl (XLRS) and bit.ly/2qXDSJD...
Fitness Trackers Accurately Measure Heart Rate But Not Calories Burned, Study Finds

Fitness Trackers Accurately Measure Heart Rate But Not Calories Burned, Study Finds

Millions of people wear some kind of wristband activity tracker and use the device to monitor their own exercise and health, often sharing the data with their physician. But is the data accurate? Such people can take heart in knowing that if the device measures heart rate, it’s probably doing a good job, a team of researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine reports. But if it measures energy expenditure, it’s probably off by a significant amount. An evaluation of seven devices in a diverse group of 60 volunteers showed that six of the devices measured heart rate with an error rate of less than 5 percent. The team evaluated the Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, Mio Alpha 2, PulseOn and the Samsung Gear S2. Some devices were more accurate than others, and factors such as skin color and body mass index affected the measurements. Related Articles No Evidence Activity Tracker Devices Raise Fitness Levels ACC: Wrist Heart Rate Monitors Less Accurate Than Chest Strap In contrast, none of the seven devices measured energy expenditure accurately, the study found. Even the most accurate device was off by an average of 27 percent. And the least accurate was off by 93 percent. “People are basing life decisions on the data provided by these devices,” said Euan Ashley, DPhil, FRCP, professor of cardiovascular medicine, of genetics and of biomedical data science at Stanford. But consumer devices aren’t held to the same standards as medical-grade devices, and it’s hard for doctors to know what to make of heart-rate data and other data from a patient’s wearable device, he...
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