Acta Paediatrica

Cover image for Vol. 106 Issue 10

Edited By: Hugo Lagercrantz

Impact Factor: 2.043

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 45/121 (Pediatrics)

Online ISSN: 1651-2227


Editor's Choice


October

October 2017: Helping Babies Breathe training can improve neonatal resuscitation
Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is a neonatal resuscitation programme that is designed to train health professionals in low-resource settings. A study by Rule et al showed that 10 months after HBB training in a rural referral hospital in Kenya, the suspected hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (SHIE) rate had decreased by 53% to 7.1/1,000. However, the rates increased after the initial decline and investigations revealed that half of the midwives who received HBB training had been transferred. When the data were presented to healthcare administration personnel this improved staff retention and the SHIE rate then decreased again. Enweronu-Laryea and Robertson comment on the study. Readers may also be interested in the editorial by Niermeyer, who comments on Wrammert et al’s paper on an HBB project in Nepal, which was published in the previous issue.

Read the full articles for free in the October issue


September

September 2017: Preterm birth needs to be considered a chronic condition throughout life
In this review, Raju et al report that an overwhelming majority of adults born preterm were healthy and well. However, a small, but significant, fraction of them still faced a higher risk of developing neuropsychological and behavioural problems, hypersensitive disorders and metabolic syndrome earlier than their term-born counterparts. The authors maintain that preterm birth needs to be considered a chronic condition, with a slight increase in the risk for long-term morbidities. Therefore, obtaining a birth history from all patients, irrespective of their age, should be routine, as this would help early diagnoses and timely interventions. Nilsson and Ignell discuss the paper.

Read the full articles for free in the September issue

August

August 2017: Neonatal pain is often neglected in European NICUs
Neonatal pain has been recognised since the late 1980s, but the focus has mainly been on acute and procedural pain and little attention has been paid to continuous pain. A study by Anand et al, which was conducted in 243 NICUs in 18 European countries as a part of the NeoOpioid project, showed that pain levels were scored in less than one-third of the infants admitted to NICUs. Daily pain assessments were only performed in 10% of these neonates. The authors strongly recommend routine assessments of continuous pain in newborn infants. Van Ganzewinkel and Andriessen discuss the findings.

Read the full articles for free in the August issue

July

July 2017: Insufficient evidence for the shaken baby syndrome triad?
Shaken baby syndrome, or abusive head trauma, has been associated with findings of subdural haematoma, retinal haemorrhages and encephalopathy, which are referred to as the triad. Over the last decade, the certainty with which the triad can indicate that an infant has been violently shaken has been increasingly questioned. In 2016, the Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services conducted a systematic review to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the triad. A summary of that review is presented in this issue by Lynoe et al (1), who conclude that the triad provides insufficient, specific scientific evidence to prove that traumatic shaking has occurred. The review on shaken baby syndrome has been criticized by a number of experts, including the present and previous chairpersons of the Swedish Paediatric Society (2). Ludvigsson points out that the review may lead to fewer reports from physicians to social services (3). Levin states that the retinal haemorrhages seen in traumatic shaking are very specific and should not be confused with those due to other causes (4). He is supported by eight leading ophtalmologists in Sweden, who add that it is unfortunate that the panel did not include a paediatrician and a paediatric ophthalmologist with experience of child abuse to facilitate a correct interpretation of the cited papers (5). Bilo et al point out that using Table 1 in the report will not help courts to deliver justice (6), while Narang et al raise concerns about the methodology, objectivity and transparency of the study (7). Lynoe et al reply to their critics and one response (8) states that the triad can be seen in many other conditions. For example retinal bleeding is much more common among infants who are delivered vaginally than after Caesarean sections and it is possible that this is due to the squeezing and squashing of the fetus during normal birth.

Read the full articles for free in the July issue

June

June 2017: Parent-infant closeness in European neonatal intensive care units
Raiskila et al’s study focused on how much time the parents of preterm infants spent in 11 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Italy and Spain. The result showed that the parents’ presence ranged from a median of 3.3 hours per day in Como, Italy, to 22.3 hours per day in Stockholm, Sweden. Skin-to-skin contact ranged from an average of half an hour to nine hours per day. Allowing parents to stay overnight in NICUs was the most important factor in establishing parent-infant closeness, according to the authors.

Read the full article for free in the June issue

May

May 2017: Increased risk of haematological cancers in children born after fertility treatment
Medically assisted fertility treatment, including assisted reproductive technology, is increasingly being used and the subsequent child health outcomes are of interest. This literature review by Reigstad et al, which was based on 23 cohort and case-control studies, found elevated risks of cancers at specific sites, especially haematological cancers, but little evidence of an overall higher cancer risk.

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Literature review on cancer risk in children born after fertility treatment suggests increased risk of haematological cancers

Marte M. Reigstad, Nan B. Oldereid, Anne K. Omland and Ritsa Storeng


April

April 2017: Microbiota and the brain and gut in infant colic
The aetiology of colic crying remains unresolved and treatment options are limited. Savino et al compared the gut microbiota composition of 77 formula-fed infants and found that the faeces of the infants with colic contained a lower number of total bacteria than the faeces of the infants without colic. The results support the idea that the microbiota-gut-brain axis plays an important role in the mechanisms of colic. Pärtty and Kalliomäki comment on the findings.

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Comparison of formula-fed infants with and without colic revealed significant differences in total bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae and faecal ammonia

Francesco Savino, Andrea Quartieri, Angela De Marco, Maria Garro, Alberto Amaretti, Stefano Raimondi, Marta Simone and Maddalena Rossi


March

March 2017: Swiss end-of-life decisions in the French, German or Italian way
Hendriks et al. conducted a nationwide telephone survey of the general population in the French, German and Italian speaking regions of Switzerland, to explore attitudes and values with regard to extreme prematurity. The majority of the 1,210 respondents, almost 78%, showed a strong preference for shared decision-making, although this was lower in the Italian region (66%) than in the German (78%) and French (80%) regions. In the accompanying editorial, Bührer asks whether end-of-life decisions about extremely preterm infants are influenced by language, gender and education.

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Attitudes towards decisions about extremely premature infants differed between Swiss linguistic regions in population-based study
Manya J. Hendriks, Sabine D. Klein, Hans Ulrich Bucher, Ruth Baumann-Hölzle, Jürg C. Streuli and Jean-Claude Fauchère


February

February 2017: Incidence of apparent life-threatening events and post-neonatal risk factors
An apparent life-threatening event (ALTE) is when a baby demonstrates one or more of the following for less than a minute: bluish skin, poor breathing, weakness or poor responsiveness. Monti et al used a regional database to study the occurrence of ALTEs in Northern Italy from 2002 to 2006. The incidence was 4.1 cases per 1000 live births, and the presence of gastroesophageal reflux and a family history of sudden death were found to be significant risk factors. If an ALTE is unexplained after a thorough investigation, the recommended term is now a brief resolved unexpected event (BRUE), and if it occurs immediate after birth, the term sudden unexpected postnatal collapse (SUPC) is used. See the accompanying editorial by Herlenius.

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Incidence of apparent life-threatening events and post-neonatal risk factors

Maria C. Monti, Paola Borelli, Luana Nosetti, Silvia Taje, Milena Perotti, Domenico Bonarrigo, Marco S. Badiale and Cristina Montomoli


January

January 2017: Being born large for gestational age leads to early puberty
Children who were born large for gestational age (LGA) entered puberty earlier than children born appropriate for gestational age, according to an Italian study by Ilaria Di Giovanni et al. They collected longitudinal growth data from 70 children and also reported that children who were born LGA experienced longer growth duration. The results highlight the importance of monitoring pubertal growth in children born LGA.

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Being born large for gestational age is associated with earlier pubertal take-off and longer growth duration: a longitudinal study

Ilaria Di Giovanni, M. Loredana Marcovecchio, Valentina Chiavaroli, Tommaso de Giorgis, Francesco Chiarelli and Angelika Mohn


December

December 2016: The ongoing story of the Bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccination
In 1908, Camille Guérin and Albert Calmette announced that they had achieved a strain that could possibly form a vaccine against tuberculosis. They called it the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, but it was not until 1921 that they felt that they had got an effective and safe BCG vaccine. The first recipients were a number of infants in Paris. The news of a vaccine against tuberculosis soon spread around the world, but acceptance was low and resistance was strong in many places. Arvid Wallgren in Sweden played an important role in the development of the BCG-vaccine. Gunnar Boman tells the ongoing story of the BCG vaccine in his medical essay. Readers may also be interested in the paper by Rutger Bennet and Margareta Eriksson, who found that paediatric tuberculosis cases increased in Stockholm from 1971 to 2015.

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The ongoing story of the Bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccination

Gunnar Boman


November

November 2016: The Wahakura safe sleep device and falling postperinatal mortality in New Zealand
The decline in postneonatal mortality in New Zealand plateaued in 2000. Recognition of the fact that more than 50% of sudden unexpected deaths in infancy were associated with unsafe sleeping, especially bed sharing, led to various safe sleep initiatives. The most important of these was the introduction of the Wahakura, a portable infant safe sleeping device that can be placed in the adult bed to improve the safety of bed sharing. Māori midwives issued the Wahakura, and the similar Pēpi-Pod device, to families together with advice on safe sleep. The successful programme, described in detail in Edvin A Mitchell et al’s paper, resulted in a 29% decrease in postperinatal mortality in New Zealand from 2009 to 2015. Göran Wennergren comments on the paper.

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The recent fall in postperinatal mortality in New Zealand and the Safe Sleep programme

Edwin A. Mitchell, Stephanie Cowan and David Tipene-Leach


October

October 2016: Increased physical activity at school enhanced bone mass and muscle strength
In Jesper Fritz et al's intervention study, the amount of physical education (PE) in a school in southern Sweden was increased from 60 minutes to 200 minutes per week over seven years. This resulted in increased gains in bone mass in the girls and enhanced gains in muscle strength in both genders, compared with control groups from three schools that continued with 60 minutes of PE per week. Luis Gracia-Marco comments on the findings. Readers may also be interested in the paper by Natascia Rinaldo et al, who found that a 12-week soccer training programme improved the body composition of pre-adolescent boys and increased their satisfaction with their body image.

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A seven-year physical activity intervention for children increased gains in bone mass and muscle strength
Jesper Fritz, Björn E. Rosengren, Magnus Dencker, Caroline Karlsson and Magnus K. Karlsson


September

September 2016: The brain connectomes of children with and without autism
Brain connectomics is a relatively new field of research that maps the brain's large-scale structural and functional networks at rest. Katell Mevel and Peter Fransson describe the theory behind the concept and the development and dynamics of brain networks and explain how this knowledge could be used to further our understanding of autism spectrum disorders. In the accompanying editorial, Christopher Smyser explains why he feels that the use of this technique has fundamentally altered the landscape of paediatric functional neuroimaging.

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The brain connectomes of children with and without autism
Katell Mevel and Peter Fransson


August

August 2016: Is hospital-assisted home care after early discharge from a neonatal intensive care unit safe?
Björn Lundberg et al. have reviewed the files of 1,410 infants enrolled in hospital-assisted neonatal home care at a Swedish neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) from 2002-2011. The programme was found safe for the vast majority of infants (94.8%). However, Gorm Greisen, who recently published experiences from an early discharge programme in Denmark, expresses his concerns in the accompanying editorial. He states that two cases of sudden infant death syndrome out of a combined total of 2,000 infants in the two studies suggests that there may be a problem. Readers may also be interested to see the paper by Charlotta Robinson et al, who report that using telemedicine to help care for newborn infants after their NICU discharge reduced the need for hospital visits.

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Hospital-assisted home care after early discharge from a Swedish neonatal intensive care unit was safe and readmissions were rare
Björn Lundberg, Carl Lindgren, Charlotte Palme-Kilander, Annica Örtenstrand, Anna-Karin Edstedt Bonamy and Ihsan Sarman


July

July 2016: Decreased head size is already evident by mid-pregnancy in alcohol-exposed fetuses
Only a minority of pregnant women who abuse alcohol, drugs or medication are recognised by healthcare providers and receive the help they need. Prenatal substance exposure leads to a wide range of problems, but we lack reliable tools to detect the early effects. This study by Anni Lehikoinen et al. is the first to show that a decrease in head circumference was already evident during mid-pregnancy in alcohol or drug-exposed fetuses. The head circumference and height of the exposed children remained reduced compared to the population reference at 2.5 years of age.

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Maternal drug or alcohol abuse is associated with decreased head size from mid-pregnancy to childhood
Anni Lehikoinen, Maija-Riitta Ordén, Seppo Heinonen and Raimo Voutilainen


June

June 2016: Burnout syndrome is a common problem for paediatric‎ residents
Anarella de Andrade et al. investigated the prevalence of burnout syndrome in 28 paediatric residents in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and used function magnetic resonance imaging to assess cerebral function. They found that 53% of the residents had moderate or high burnout syndrome and that increased brain activation during an attention task was associated with higher burnout scores. In the accompanying commentary, Julian Macoveanu discusses whether existing knowledge of depression treatment could aid recovery from burnout syndrome.

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Higher burnout scores in paediatric residents are associated with increased brain activity during attentional functional magnetic resonance imaging task
Anarella Penha Meirelles de Andrade, Edson Amaro Jr., Sylvia Costa Lima Farhat and Claudio Schvartsman


May

May 2016: How acceptable is it to prolong life for organ donations?
Is it right to prolong a child’s life, with no expected benefit to the child, if it can save another person’s life? Alissa Jivraj et al. present the results of a small UK survey showing clinicians’ attitudes towards the elective ventilation of babies born with anencephaly, to enable subsequent organ donations. The majority stated that it was acceptable. In the accompanying commentaries, Antoine Payot points out that dying in the parents’ arms is very different from dying in an operating room full of monitors, while Niels Lynöe asks whether we are really prepared to risk critical reactions from parents and the media if we introduce this as a routine procedure.

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Elective ventilation to facilitate organ donation in infants with anencephaly: perinatal professionals’ views and an ethical analysis
Alisa Jivraj, Angie Scales and Joe Brierley


April

April 2016: Skin-to-skin contact leads to better stabilisation and relieves pain
Newborn low birthweight infants stabilise better with skin-to-skin contact than when they are separated from their mothers, according to a randomised controlled trial carried out in Vietnam by Chi Luong Kim et al. On the same topic, Emma Olsson et al report that skin-to-skin contact between premature infants and their mothers during blood sampling had a pain-relieving effect, confirmed by cortical pain responses measured with near infrared spectroscopy. Kerstin Hedberg Nyquist and Pierre Kuhn comment on the findings.

Read the full articles for free:

Newly born low birthweight infants stabilise better in skin-to-skin contact than when separated from their mothers: a randomised controlled trial
Kim Chi Luong, Tien Long Nguyen, Duy Huong Huynh Thi, Henri P.O. Carrara and Nils J. Bergman

Skin-to-skin contact reduces near-infrared spectroscopy pain responses in premature infants during blood sampling
Emma Olsson, Gunilla Ahlsén and Mats Eriksson


March

March 2016: Less screen time and more outdoors playtime may improve children’s sleep
Sleep duration and patterns have important implications for children’s health. This Chinese study of 369 children aged two to five years found that more screen time was associated with less nocturnal sleep duration, prolonged sleep latency and delayed bedtime. On the other hand, more outdoor playtime was associated with less likelihood of waking up at night. These findings lead the authors, Huilan Xu et al, to suggest that reducing screen time and increasing outdoor playtime might help improve children’s sleep.

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Associations of outdoor play and screen time with nocturnal sleep duration and pattern among young children
Huilan Xu, Li Ming Wen, Louise L. Hardy and Chris Rissel


January

February 2016: How can clinicians detect and treat autism early?
This literature review examined the quantifiable technology methods used to detect early autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and found that the most frequently used technologies were electroenceplalograms, magnetic resonance imaging and eye tracking. The use of quantifiable technology has increased in recent decades, but has had limited impact on early ASD detection and treatment. Further scientific developments are anticipated and Sven Bölte and his co-authors hope that they will be increasingly used in clinical practice.

Read the full article for free:

How can clinicians detect and treat autism early? Methodological trends of technology use in research
S. Bölte, K.D. Bartl-Pokorny, U. Jonsson, S. Berggren, D. Zhang , E. Kostrzewa, T. Falck-Ytter, C. Einspieler, F.B. Pokorny, E.J.H. Jones, H. Roeyers, T. Charman and P.B. Marschik


January

January 2016: Diarrhoea in Danish day care centres
Diarrhoea is a considerable disease burden in children attending day care centres and leads to consequences such as parental absence from work and loss of earnings. In this Danish cohort study, Bettina Jensen et al found that a history of infant colic, low birthweight and, to a lesser extent, antibiotic use are predisposing risk factors for diarrhoea in children attending day care centres. In an editorial, Margareta Söderström describes the difficulties in carrying out research in day care centre settings

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Childhood diarrhoea in Danish day care centres could be associated with infant colic, low birthweight and antibiotics
Hebbelstrup Jensen B, Röser D, Utoft Andreassen B, Olsen KEP, Vedel Nielsen H, Roldgaard BB, et al.

Read the related editorial from Margareta Söderström here


December

December 2015: Transition between stunted and nonstunted status in Malawi children
Global estimates suggest that 162 million children under the age of five suffer from stunting, faltered length or height gain, as a result of chronic under nutrition and more than a third live in sub-Saharan Africa. Tiina Teivaanmäki et al have followed the growth of 767 children in Malawi from the foetal period until 15 years of age. Most two-year olds (80%) were stunted, but this had declined to 37% at 15 years of age, although new cases had occurred too. Only 9% of boys and 20% of girls had reached advanced puberty by the age of 15, suggesting significant further growth potential.

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Transition between stunted and nonstunted status: both occur from birth to 15 years of age in Malawi children
Tiina Teivaanmäki, Yin Bun Cheung, Emma Kortekangas, Kenneth Maleta and Per Ashorn


November

November 2015: Preterm birth may be a larger risk factor for increased blood pressure than intrauterine growth restriction
Very low birthweight (VLBW) and prematurity have been associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure. Emma Steen et al have compared stress response in adolescents who were born VLBW but appropriate for gestational age (AGA) with adolescents born VLBW and small for gestational age and a group of term-born AGA controls. Dynamic blood pressure responses differed between adolescents born VLBW-AGA and the other groups, indication that extremely preterm birth may be a larger risk factor for increased blood pressure than intrauterine growth restriction.

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Preterm birth may be a larger risk factor for increased blood pressure than intrauterine growth restriction
Emma Steen, Anna-Karin Bonamy, Mikael Norman and Lena Hellström-Westas


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October 2015: Perception of light stimuli by very preterm infants
Very preterm infants are exposed to much more illumination in the incubator than they would have been if they had still been in the foetal environment. Claire Zores and her co-authors analysed the physiological responses of 27 incubated very preterm infants to a total of 332 light changes over a 10-hour period. They found that the infants were able to detect small variations in environmental light levels, especially in mild light protection conditions.

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Very preterm infants can detect small variations in light levels in incubators

Claire Zores, André Dufour, Thierry Pebayle, Claire Langlet, Dominique Astruc and Pierre Kuhn

Robert D. White comments on the findings in the editorial Perception of stimuli by preterm infants




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September 2015: Ex-preemies are less happy as adults than as adolescents
Extremely preterm born (EPB) infants in western Norway were followed by self-assessment of their quality of life (HRQoL) from adolescence to young adulthood. At 24 years of age EPB subjects without disabilities reported lower scores of social functioning and mental health and reported more psychological health complaints. See the article by Berit Båtsvik et al.

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Health-related quality of life may deteriorate from adolescence to young adulthood after extremely preterm birth
Berit Båtsvik, Bente J. Vederhus, Thomas Halvorsen, Tore Wentzel-Larsen, Marit Graue and Trond Markestad



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August 2015: Has neonatal dialysis become morally obligatory? Lessons from baby doe
In their article, Aaron Wightman and Jennifer Kett describe a situation with a seven-day-old baby born at term. The child had a kidney disease and doctors recommended the initiation of dialysis with the goal of pursuing kidney transplantation in about two years. But the baby’s parents did not wish to pursue dialysis or renal transplant. Should the parents’ refusal be accepted?

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Has neonatal dialysis become morally abligatory? Lessons from Baby Doe
Aaron Wightman and Jennifer Kett

An editorial on this topic from William Meadow is also available.



Learning to read

July 2015: From emergent literacy to reading: how learning to read changes a child's brain
Reading is a new human invention that only dates back approximately 5000 years. As this is an insufficient amount of time to evolve neural circuits dedicated to this skill, successful reading acquisition depends on reshaping of established networks at a young age, to extract meaning from an abstract array of visual symbols, i.e. letters. A critical factor fuelling this process is the level of verbal stimulation during early childhood. In this review, Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus and John S Hutton describe the cognitive processes and neural circuits involved in narrative comprehension and highlight the unique contribution of neuroimaging to an understanding of the transition from oral to written language.

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From emergent literacy to reading: how learning to read changes a child's brain
Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus and John S. Hutton



SIDS

June 2015: Ultrasound scans show how smoking affects unborn babies
The harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy may be seen in the facial movements of unborn babies. When Nadja Reissland et al investigated foetal subtle movements, using 4 D ultrasound scans of smoking and nonsmoking mothers, they found that foetuses of smoking mothers showed a significantly higher rate of mouth movements and self-touch compared to foetuses of nonsmoking mothers. The researchers suggest that the reason for the difference might be that the central nervous system in the foetuses of smoking mothers does not develop in the same manner as in foetuses of mothers who do not smoke during pregnancy (pp. 596-603).

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Ultrasound observations of subtle movements: a pilot study comparing foetuses of smoking and non-smoking mothers
Nadja Reissland, Brian Francis, Kumar Kumarendran and James Mason



SIDS

May 2015: Updated Swedish advice on reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome
This study reviews updated advice from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare on reducing risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The aim of the update is to maintain the current low Swedish incidence of SIDS and reduce it still further. Issues like sleeping positions. smoking, breastfeeding, bed sharing and using pacifiers are covered. The guidelines conclude that infants under three months of age are safest sleeping in their own cot and that a pacifier can be used when they are going to sleep (pp. 444-448).

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Updated Swedish advice on reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome
Göran Wennergren, Kerstin Nordstrand, Bernt Alm, Per Möllborg, Anna Öhman, Anita Berlin, Miriam Katz-Salamon and Hugo Lagerkrantz



Autism

April 2015: Several studies have shown promising result on behavioural outcome measures in children with autism spectrum disorders after repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). In this review article, Manuel Casanova and his colleagues summarise the results of clinical trials using rTMS in autism treatment. Moreover, they describe the neuropathological findings in the brains of individuals with autism and explain how these abnormalities, primarily within the periphery of minicolumns in the brain, are amenable to treatment with rTMS (pp. 346-355).

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Autism spectrum disorder: linking neuropathological findings to treatment with transcranial magnetic stimulation
Manuel F. Casanova, Estate Sokhadze, Ioan Opris, Yao Wang and Xiaoli Li



Music


March 2015: Predictors of continued playing or singing – from childhood and adolescence to adult years
Many individuals play an instrument or sing during childhood, but they often stop later in life. Töres Theorell et al have identified several significant factors that determine whether children continue to engage in music as adults. Young starting age, taking music classes more than once a week, male sex, improvisation, and the type of music played, were some of the identified predictors. (pp. 274-284).

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Predictors of continued playing or singing – from childhood and adolescence to adult years
T. Theorell, A.-K. Lennartsson, G. Madison, M.A. Mosing and F. Ullén



February

February 2015: Why are there fewer obese children in France than in other Western European countries?
France has one of the lowest levels of child obesity in the developed world. The hypotheses of the French eating culture, educational interventions and genetics have been highlighted as some of the factors lowering the obesity rates. In an editorial, Patrick Tounian describes and discuss the different hypotheses for the low prevalence of child obesity in France (pp. 118-120).

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Why are there fewer obese children in France than in other Western European countries?
Patrick Tounian



January

January 2015: Health-related quality of life in indigenous Sami schoolchildren in Sweden
Swedish Sami schoolchildren experience lower health-related quality of life than Swedish children in general, with regard to their school situation, financial resources, parental relationships, physical wellbeing and social support from peers. These findings are based on a study of 120 children from 12 to 18-years-of-age, who attended specific Sami school programmes in Sweden. In general, functioning and well-being decreased by age, particularly among the girls, who suffered from lower physical well-being and more negative feelings and self-perception than the boys. In addition, more than half of the Sami children had experienced negative treatment as a result of their ethnicity and these children reported lower functioning and well-being than those who did not. See the paper by Lotta Omma and Solveig Petersen (pp. 75-83) and the editorial by Laurence J Kirmayer (pp. 2-4).

Read the full articles for free:

Health-related quality of life in indigenous Sami schoolchildren in Sweden
Lotta Omma and Solveig Petersen

The health and well-being of Indigenous youth
Laurence J. Kirmayer



December

December 2014:Pacifier use does not alter sleep and spontaneous arousal patterns
Epidemiological studies have shown that pacifier use may protect against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), even when infants sleep prone. Failure to arouse from sleep is thought to increase the risk for SIDS, but any preventative effect of pacifiers for SIDS seems to be through mechanisms other than increased arousability. When Alexandra Odoi and her colleagues examined spontaneous arousals in 30 infants over the first six months of life, they found no differences in sleep or spontaneous arousal patterns between pacifier users and nonusers (pp. 1244-1250).

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Pacifier use does not alter sleep and spontaneous arousal patterns in healthy term-born infants

Alexsandria Odoi, Shanelle Andrew, Flora Y Wong, Stephanie R Yiallourou and Rosemary S C Horne



November

November 2014: Baby swimming and rhinovirus-induced wheezing
Baby swimming is very popular in many countries, but it may be a risk factor for rhinovirus-induced wheezing illnesses, particularly in children with atopic eczema. This finding comes from a birth cohort study in which 1827 children were followed until 17 months of age. Data on infant swimming, bronchiolitis, recurrent wheezing and viral diagnostics were collected. “Our results suggest human respiratory virus as a pathophysiological link between infant swimming and wheezing illnesses in atopic infants”, Linnea Schuez-Havupalo and her co-authors conclude (pp. 1153-1158).

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Association between infant swimming and rhinovirus-induced wheezing
Linnea Schuez-Havupalo, Sinikka Karppinen, Laura Toivonen, Anne Kaljonen, Tuomas Jartti, Matti Waris and Ville Peltola



October

October 2014: Maternal singing comforts both preterm infants and their mothers

A mother who sings to her preterm infant while providing skin-to-skin contact may see improvements in both her child’s and her own health, according to a study of 86 mother-infant pairs in an Israeli neonatal intensive care unit. Infants whose mothers both held them skin-to-skin and sang to them had improved heart rate variability patterns compared with infants whose mothers just held them. This combined effect of holding and singing also caused mothers to feel less anxiety.

Read the full article by Shmuel Arnon et al (pp. 1039-1044) for free:

Maternal singing during kangaroo care led to autonomic stability in preterm infants and reduced maternal anxiety

And the editorial by Ulrika Ådén (pp. 995-996) here:
Maternal singing for preterm infants during kangaroo care comforts both the mother and baby



Hemangioma

September 2014: Propranolol is an effective treatment for infantile haemangiomas

Systemic propranolol was found to be highly effective for treatment of complicated infantile haemangiomas according to a retrospective study of 207 children. It gave rapid responses and a significant reduction in haemangioma scores. Relevant side effects that might have made it necessary to discontinue the treatment were not observed. ‘Our study demonstrates that systemic propranolol is a highly effective treatment that is nearly always safe’, Markus Schneider and his co-authors conclude. See (pp. 977–983).

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A retrospective analysis of systemic propranolol for the treatment of complicated infantile haemangiomas

In an editorial, Rupert Handgretinger describes how an accidental discovery paved the way for the treatment of complicated infantile haemangiomas.
How an accidental discovery paved the way for the treatment of complicated infantile haemangiomas



Gut microbiota in early life

August 2014: Gut microbiota in early life affects brain and behaviour

The infant gut microbiome is dynamic and radical shifts in composition occur during the first three years of life. Recent studies have found that the gut microbiota may alter brain function and regulate complex behaviour. In this review article, Gerard Clarke et al describe how disruptions to normal early-life gastrointestinal colonisation might be linked to central nervous system dysfunction later in life (pp. 812-819).

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Priming for health: gut microbiota acquired in early life regulates physiology, brain and behaviour

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