Author: Ellen Greenlaw

Tuberous sclerosis: Clinical clues for early diagnosis

A scan of the brain of a tuberous sclerosis patient.

Tuberous sclerosis is a rare neurological condition characterized by benign tumor growth in various parts of the body. It often affects the brain, eventually causing epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders. One challenge has been diagnosing the condition in infants, as they often don’t present with many clinical signs. However, a recent study published in Pediatrics has shed some light on early manifestations of this condition that may help lead to earlier diagnosis — and possibly earlier and more aggressive treatment.

To better understand clinical clues that may be seen in pediatric practice, Notes sat down with principal investigator of the study, Mustafa Sahin, MD, PhD, director of the Translational Neuroscience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. He and his team in the Tuberous Sclerosis Program at Boston Children’s follow about 300 children with the condition. …Read More

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Is it Kawasaki disease? Diagnosing challenging cases

Is it Kawasaki disease?A young child presents in your office with a fever of several days, erythema of the palms and soles of the feet, a rash on the trunk and a bright red tongue. For most pediatricians, this classic presentation of Kawasaki disease is fairly straightforward to diagnose.

“A majority of pediatricians have seen at least one case of Kawasaki in training,” says David Fulton, MD, chief emeritus of the Division of Cardiology Outpatient Services at Boston Children’s Hospital. “And most know how to make a diagnosis when all the clinical signs are present. But it’s important to understand the features of this disease that can make diagnosis more challenging.” …Read More

Hemodialysis simulator: An interactive learning experience for clinicians

Last year, OPENPediatrics announced the release of their newest simulator, the Hemodialysis Simulator. It has already won accolades, as it was named a 2016 winner of the American Society of Nephrology’s Innovations in Kidney Education Contest.

OPENPediatrics’ work in simulation has also been recognized through their selection as a finalist for the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Award, which promotes innovative projects from around the world that address global educational challenges. …Read More

Helping Teens with Depression

A recent study published in Pediatrics set off alarm bells for many people who care for teens and young adults. The researchers found an increase in the rate of depression in this population between 2005 and 2014. The most dramatic rise was in girls ages 12 to 18.

Yet, despite the rising numbers of young people facing depression, the study found no correlating increase in the number of teens or young adults seeking treatment. This is worrisome to the study’s authors, who called for more outreach efforts from pediatricians and school health services.

“Overall, I think many Massachusetts pediatricians are doing an excellent job of diagnosing and managing depression in young people,” says Oscar Bukstein, MD, MPH, associate psychiatrist-in-chief and vice chairman of psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital. “We’re going in the right direction, but we have a huge population. There’s really no other chronic condition that affects such a large percentage of the population. And the numbers are rising.” …Read More