January 27, 2010 at 10:01 am Comments (0)
A mother in Michigan is facing charges after deliberately giving her child methadone in a bid to evade having a positive drug result by trying to use her 4 year old daughter’s urine in place of her own. Carr was given a four-year and nine-month to 20-year prison term by Judge Margaret M.S. Noe who presides over the case. Carr had been caught drug trafficking in May 2008. She was being monitored for drug abuse when she came up with the plan to use her daughter’s urine to pass routine screenings while using drugs. Carr was prescribed methadone as a treatment for heroin addiction, so she gave her daughter methadone to make sure the girl’s urine would test positive for that drug to keep her substitution secret.
Asking her older daughters to keep the drugging secret Carr had hoped to evade being caught but was found out anyway. Her public defender argued in court that methadone does not meet the state’s definition of a harmful substance, argued her daughter did not suffer bodily injury, and that Carr did not obstruct justice by telling her two daughters not to let anyone know. He went on to defend her actions by referring to her long history with drug abuse which stemmed from childhood. Noe argued that there was no way that the drugging could be seen as anything but child abuse and neglect that warranted harsh punishment to make Carr’s abuse for the purpose of continued drug use clear.
Michigan Drug Screening
October 21, 2009 at 6:02 am Comment (1)
A case in Japan has proven that cancer can be passed on to an unborn child from an affected mother, a potential risk that has long been considered possible by researchers. While there is a small risk of this phenomena occurring it’s unlikely, most cells from the mother are blocked by the placenta and these cells are destroyed before they can transfer from mother to baby. The immune system of the baby is already in defense mode in the womb and so it’s rare that the cancer is able to get past those defenses.
The mother in this case developed leukemia just after giving birth to her daughter who developed the same cancer at 11 months. Both mother and daughter were genetically tested and came up positive for the same cancer gene called BCR-ABL1. The gene wasn’t inherited though and developed independently in the child. By way of genetic fingerprinting the researchers discovered that the cancer cells had developed and passed to the child in utero. The cancer was also found to have destroyed part of the infant’s DNA that distinguishes the separation point between a mother and child’s cells. The cells are believed to have passed through the placenta and implanted without having been distinguished as a threat by her developing immune system.
The rarity of this happening is increased by the rarity of cancers developing in pregnancy. Very few mothers find themselves with malignant tumors or cancerous cells during pregnancy and of those who do a very small fraction have children who’ve developed the cancer as well.
September 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm Comments (0)
According to recent research using guinea pigs at the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen the early brain development of infants could be being affected by vitamin C deficiency. In this study guinea pigs who were offered a diet moderately lower in vitamin C had a clear reduction in spatial memory and a 30% lower level of hippocampal neurons than those who received a normal diet. Why guinea pigs? Like guinea pigs human are reliant on vitamin C rich diets for proper development and health. This study’s finding seems to indicate that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who don’t keep the vitamin in their diets could cause their fetal and newborn children to have poor brain development that can affect them throughout their lives.
The neonatal brain is by far most vulnerable to lowering levels of vitamin C, even a small reduction can harm it’s function. The neurons of the brain have the highest levels of vitamin C. Whatever is left over from the neurons is used to secure the brain. The severe brain damage found in baby mice with lower vitamin C levels is similar to that of premature infants who face cognitive and learning disabilities later in life.
Vitamin C deficiency tends to be more common in certain areas of the world. The fact that the damage caused by this is so easy to prevent should make getting vitamin supplements to at risk mothers that much more important.
August 27, 2009 at 5:30 am Comments (2)
It’s not just smoking that kills. Passive smoking kills as well, and the age group that is most affected by this are the children. Each year thousands of children are hospitalized with cases of asthma and other breathing related difficulties as a result of breathing cigarette smoke. They also suffer from conditions like pneumonia and bronchitis, both types of lung infection.
Moreover, maternal smoking is also responsible with what is known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Moreover, if a woman is pregnant and still does not give up smoking during her pregnancy, the chances of SIDS increase manifold. Ear infections in children might also be a result of the chemicals in the smoke. The symptoms of this infection, which affects the lining of the Eustachian tube, include pain, which could ultimately lead to a loss of hearing.
Various birth defects could arise if the mother smoked during pregnancy.
For full version of this article, please visit “Children – Primary Sufferers of Passive Smoking Related Conditions“.
August 22, 2009 at 10:42 pm Comments (0)
A very rare mutation has been found in a mother and daughter which allows them to feel fully rested from 6 hours sleep which may offer new insight into the way sleep affects our health. According to the National Institute of Health the average adult requires 7-9 hours of sleep every night to maintain good health. Getting less sleep than is necessary on a regular basis leaves the subject open to developing health problems such as memory impairment and a weakened immune system. Chronic insomnia is estimated to affect as many as 30 million in the U.S. alone and is only one of several sleep disorders that affect millions more in America.
Researchers have long sought a gene that could help resolve these problems. In 2001 University of California, San Francisco researchers discovered a mutation that affected carriers’ sleep patterns, causing them to go to sleep at 7:30p.m. and wake up at 3 a.m. This same team discovered the mother (age 69 years) and daughter(age 44) with a shorter sleep pattern which causes them to go to bed around 10 p.m. and awaken at 4 or 4:30 a.m. with no side effects. This gene, called DEC2, affects the circadian rhythm. When fruit flies and mice were bred with the same gene they too began to require less sleep and for the mice it meant a much quicker recovery form a lack of sleep.
San Francisco Drug Screening
August 6, 2009 at 3:58 pm Comments (2)
According to a study printed in The Lancet, pregnant women could be at a much higher risk when they contract the H1N1 swine flu. The affects of the virus are believed to travel much faster through a pregnant woman’s body and as a result can hit her much harder with complications that are four times more likely to send her to the hospital than another swine flu sufferer. This news has prompted pregnant women to be pushed to the front of the line for the vaccine as suggested by the study.
H1N1 remains a global pandemic, which is still infecting and killing people that contract it. Over 10% of the deaths related to flu this year have been pregnant women. This trend matches up to the flu pandemics in 1918 and 1957, where pregnant women were also at a much higher risk for dying from the virus. Although the effects of H1N1 on a pregnant mother are known to be higher the risks for the virus and the vaccine for her unborn child aren’t as clear. This raises questions for many mothers whether or not they should seek the vaccine but doctors in the study stand by the belief that the benefits far out-measure the risks involved.
August 1, 2009 at 3:18 pm Comments (0)
Patients facing childhood leukemia have been proven to have higher levels of pesticides in their urine according to a study conducted by the Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. The study compared urine samples from children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and their moms with healthy children and their mothers. Their finding found that there were much higher levels of household pesticides in the mother-child pairs which were affected by cancer. Although these health hazard findings do prove the need for more research into the affects of these pesticides it doesn’t prove that they cause the cancer for certain.
These pesticides are found in the environment and can be easily absorbed by the skin and through ordinary respiration. 33% of mothers who had children affected by leukemia reported use of household pesticides in their home while only 14% of mothers who had healthy children could say the same. It seems clear that although the link doesn’t prove these pesticides caused the cancer it would be advisable to reduce their use to help prevent the risk from being increased. Sprays, bombs, and strips are all pesticides that are commonly used in the home. The children in this study were between the ages of 2 and 7 an age which is particularly vulnerable to environmental affects. If you feel your child could be at risk reduce or discontinue use of these household pesticides as soon as possible.