A new study finds that children from homes with low-income whose mothers frequently use toxic chemicals such as household cleaners are at higher risk of delays in language development by age 2.
For the study, a team of researchers analyzed data taken from 190 families within the Kids in Columbus Study, a Crane Center research project that followed children from birth until they turned five. The kids were born in low-income families in Columbus.
Laura Justice, co-author of the study and executive director of The Crane Center comments: “When kids reach about 2 years old, that is a peak time for brain development. If the use of toxic chemicals is interfering with that development that could lead to problems with language and cognitive growth.”
New research from St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto finds that children who drink cow’s whole milk have 40 per cent lower risk of being overweight or obese than children who drink reduced-fat milk.
To investigate this relationship, a team of researchers analyzed 28 studies from 7 countries which involved data on around 21,000 children aged 1 to 18 years.
The analysis showed none of the studies showed that kids drinking reduced-fat milk had a lower risk of being overweight or obese while 18 of 28 studies suggested the children who drank whole milk were less likely to be overweight or obese.
Dr. Jonathon Maguire, the lead author of the review and a pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, says: “The majority of children in Canada and the United States consume cow’s milk on a daily basis and it is a major contributor of dietary fat for many children. In our review, children following the current recommendation of switching to reduced-fat milk at age two were not leaner than those consuming whole milk.”
Recent research from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louise, US, suggests that pregnant women who eat a diet high in fat and sugar during pregnancy increase their child’s risk of having heart issues in the future.
For their study, the researchers used a mouse model. They found that most of the children of obese mouse mothers who ate an unhealthy diet had an increase in weight of the left ventricle, a part of the heart that pumps blood out of the heart.
Co-senior author Dr. Abhinav Diwan, an associate professor of medicine at Washington University, comments: “The cardiac abnormalities seem to dissipate somewhat over the generations, which is intriguing. There were also differences in male and female hearts that we can’t explain yet. In many ways, this study presents more questions than it answers, and we plan to continue studying these mice to help answer them.”
According to the findings of a recent research, published in the JNeurosci, regular talking to young children associated with the stronger connections between two developing brain regions critical for language.
The research was held independently of parental income and education. This means that engaging children in a conversation from an early age may promote their language skills regardless of socioeconomic status.
For the study, the team of researchers analyzed data received from 40 of children aged from 4 to 6 years. The scientists discovered that greater conversational turn-taking was associated with the stronger connections between brain regions that are critical for the comprehension and production of speech (Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area).
Last year a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US, developed a simple blood test for diagnosing ASD (autism spectrum disorder). At the present moment, a follow-up study confirms the original finding.
In this test, there is an algorithm that takes into account the presence and concentration of numerous chemicals in the blood associated with ASD.
To make the test more predictive, the scientists worked with children divided into several groups within the existing studies. Using the test, they found 154 aged from 2 5o 17 years.
Systems biologist and senior author Juergen Hahn says: “This is an approach that we would like to see move forward into clinical trials and ultimately into a commercially available test.” She also adds: “We were able to predict with 88% accuracy whether children have autism.”
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