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No Sign That Antidepressants in Pregnancy Harm Kids' Brains: Study

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 12, 2017 – For women battling depression, the decision over whether or not to continue their antidepressant during a pregnancy can be a difficult one. Now, reassuring news: A new study finds little risk of intellectual disability in children whose mothers take these pills while pregnant. The data "provides more information for clinicians to evaluate the risks in pregnant women taking antidepressants," said study co-author Abraham Reichenberg. He is a professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City. The new findings "should be factored into other considerations, such as the increased risk for the mother if [she is] not medicated, the drug's side effects, and other medical conditions," Reichenberg explained in a hospital news release. One specialist in the developing brain stressed that going without a needed antidepressant during ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Citalopram, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Mirtazapine, Escitalopram, Savella, Remeron, Nortriptyline, Elavil

Higher Pregnancy Weight Tied to Raised Odds for Birth Defects

Posted 15 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 – Women who are overweight or obese when they become pregnant face an elevated risk of having a baby with a major birth defect, new Swedish research warns. And the greater the excess pounds, the higher the apparent risk, the study authors said. The risk that a newborn will be found to have a major birth defect during the first year of life "progressively increases with a mother's overweight and degree of obesity," said lead investigator Dr. Martina Persson. She's a senior research fellow with the clinical epidemiology unit at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. The research team concluded that while it's impossible to prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship, it does appear that there is an ever-increasing association between birth defect risk and rising maternal weight. But Persson added that the absolute risk for obesity-related birth defects is ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Delivery, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Premature Labor, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Cesarean Section, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

1 in 20 Pregnant Women Infected With Zika Have Babies With Birth Defects: CDC

Posted 9 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – One in 20 women in the U.S. territories who were infected with Zika during pregnancy had babies with serious birth defects, officials reported Thursday. The exact percentage of infants born with these Zika-linked defects depended on when during pregnancy the woman was infected, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Among women infected in the first trimester, 8 percent had a baby with defects; 5 percent in second trimester, and 4 percent in third trimester. The findings also showed that birth defects could occur even in women who had no symptoms of Zika infection, CDC officials stressed. In fact, 5 percent of those with symptoms gave birth to an infant with a birth defect, while 7 percent of those who had no symptoms had a baby born with a birth defect, said CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat. "Just because you don't have ... Read more

Related support groups: Delivery, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Zika Virus Infection

Zika's Set to Return to Mainland U.S., But Budget Cuts Threaten Response

Posted 2 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 1, 2017 – The Zika virus will strike the continental United States again this summer, and looming federal budget cuts will make it hard for local officials to curb its spread, public health experts said Wednesday. The experts believe it's a foregone conclusion that more local Zika outbreaks will occur on the U.S. mainland in the coming months, much like what happened in Miami and Brownsville, Texas, last summer. "We can virtually guarantee there will be activity, particularly along the Gulf region," said Michael Osterholm. He directs the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. Local health departments will shoulder the burden of any response to a local Zika outbreak, infection control experts said during a media briefing hosted by the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO). Funding authorized by Congress last ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

'Groundbreaking Strides' Made in Zika Vaccine Research

Posted 10 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 10, 2017 – Development of a Zika vaccine is proceeding rapidly, but it still will be years before such a vaccine is available to the public, says the author of a new report on research efforts. Three leading vaccine candidates are being tested in humans. Two are based on cutting-edge DNA vaccine technology and the third is based on the more standard inactivated virus model, said Dr. Stephen Thomas. He's a professor of infectious disease with the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. "The pace of R&D for a Zika vaccine is incredibly brisk," Thomas said. "Truly, some groundbreaking strides have been made in very short periods of time." But Thomas believes it will be at least two to four years before a vaccine has received federal approval and enters mass production. Human testing currently is aimed at making sure that the vaccine is safe, ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

Zika Risk May Be Lower Than Thought for Some Pregnant Women

Posted 9 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 9, 2017 – U.S. women traveling to areas where the Zika virus is circulating might be less likely to be infected than expected, but risk remains, a new study suggests. Only one out of 185 pregnant women at a Los Angeles clinic who visited an active Zika area between January and August 2016 wound up infected, researchers report. "Overall, for women who have had exposures to Zika virus, the risk of maternal infection is low," said lead researcher Dr. Rashmi Rao, an obstetrician and gynecologist with the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. But, the risk of Zika infection "isn't zero, and I want to make that very clear," Rao continued. "Our party line for women remains that we don't recommend they travel to these areas at all, particularly if they are considering pregnancy or are pregnant." The one woman who contracted Zika developed her infection during a ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Delivery, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Hydrocephalus, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Cesarean Section, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

'Brain Age' May Help Predict When You'll Die

Posted 27 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – When the brain ages faster than normal, people are at heightened risk for brain disease and impairment, as well as early death, a new British study suggests. The study authors said the finding may introduce a way to use imaging of the brain as a biomarker – a way to measure a biological condition or process. "Such biomarkers could potentially identify those at risk of age-associated health problems years before symptoms appear, and be used as outcome measures in trials of therapeutics aimed at delaying the onset of age-related disease," said study lead author James Cole, from Imperial College London. The researchers conducted brain scans of almost 700 adults in Scotland who were all born in 1936. Those whose brains appeared older on imaging scans than their chronological age tended to have weaker grips, poorer lung function, slower walking speed and more ... Read more

Related support groups: Mild Cognitive Impairment, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital

Zika Can Harm Babies' Vision, Too

Posted 18 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 – Although Zika virus is most well-known for the devastating neurological damage it can cause in the womb, a new study reports that some babies infected with Zika also may have lifelong vision impairment. Forty-three babies born in Colombia and Venezuela suffered damage to both eyes after being exposed to Zika through their pregnant mothers, researchers said. Their mothers showed no signs of eye problems. The damage mainly involved scar tissue on their retinas and optic nerves. But, five babies also appeared to have congenital glaucoma, said Dr. Fernando Arevalo, chair of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. Congenital glaucoma is a condition that causes increased pressure in the eye, likely because the eye's drainage system didn't develop properly. It can cause damage to the optic nerve, according to the Glaucoma Research ... Read more

Related support groups: Glaucoma, Hydrocephalus, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Zika Virus Infection, Visual Defect/Disturbance

Epilepsy: Another Potential Zika Threat to Babies

Posted 17 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 – Beyond its known links to birth defects and other problems, the Zika virus may also trigger cases of epilepsy in infants, warn experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among 48 babies from Brazil with probable congenital Zika infection, "50 percent reportedly had clinical seizures," said Dr. Daniel Pastula, Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp and Rosemarie Kobau. All three have studied Zika at the CDC, and co-wrote an essay on the Zika-epilepsy connection, published online April 17 in JAMA Neurology. The Zika virus is transmitted via mosquito bites, and its most devastating effects occur when pregnant women are infected. In those cases, Zika can trigger severe neurological birth defects such as microcephaly, where infants are born with underdeveloped skulls and brains. Thousands of such cases have occurred in South America, most notably in ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Zika Virus Infection

U.S. Blood Supply Safe From Zika Virus, Officials Say

Posted 7 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 – U.S. blood banks are confident they have the tools to protect America's blood supply from possible new Zika virus outbreaks during the upcoming mosquito season. A transfusion of Zika-tainted blood can pass the virus to an unsuspecting recipient, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But sophisticated genetic tests and blood processing procedures make it highly unlikely that anyone will contract Zika from donated blood, according to a series of articles in a special issue of the journal Transfusion. Every blood donation in the United States undergoes testing for the presence of Zika virus, based on guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said Susan Stramer, vice president of scientific affairs for the American Red Cross. About 40 U.S. donations have tested positive for Zika since screening began, mostly in Florida, Stramer ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Transfusion, Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Blood Cell Transplantation

Birth Defects Strike 1 in 10 U.S. Pregnancies Affected by Zika

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 4, 2017 – One in 10 pregnant U.S. women with confirmed Zika infection in 2016 had a baby with virus-related birth defects, federal health officials reported Tuesday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year received reports from 44 states of nearly 1,300 expecting mothers with possible Zika infection. In most cases, Zika was acquired during travel abroad to an area with active transmission of the mosquito-borne virus. Lab tests confirmed Zika infection in 250 of the women. Of those, 24 completed their pregnancy with a fetus or baby that suffered birth defects linked to the virus, the CDC said. The new report "confirms the now indisputable evidence that Zika has a great capacity to cause birth defects, especially in the first trimester," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an affiliated scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. "Among ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Scientists Probe Zika's Path to the Fetus

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 4, 2017 – In order for the mosquito-borne Zika virus to cause birth defects, it must first cross an infected woman's placenta to infect the fetus. Now, researchers led by Dr. Robert Linhardt of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore say they've identified how Zika does this – and possible ways to stop it. Throughout South America, the Zika virus has so far caused thousands of cases of devastating birth defects, most often microcephaly – babies born with a smaller-than-normal head and underdeveloped brains. So far, only a few such cases have occurred in the United States, but infections are a concern as the summer mosquito season nears. "We think Zika is going to come back with a vengeance this summer. That's why we are working really hard to understand Zika as best as we can, as fast as we can," Linhardt, a chemical biologist at Hopkins, said in a news release from the ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Zika Virus May Also Harm the Heart

Posted 9 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 9, 2017 – Zika may cause heart problems in some people infected with the mosquito-borne virus, researchers report. A new study has identified nine Venezuelan patients who suffered from heart problems shortly after coming down with Zika virus symptoms. Eight of the nine patients developed dangerous heart rhythm disorders, and two-thirds had evidence of heart failure, a condition in which the heart isn't pumping enough blood to meet the body's needs. Lead researcher Dr. Karina Gonzalez Carta said doctors should consider electrocardiograms (ECG) for all Zika-infected patients, and follow-up testing if an irregular heartbeat is detected. "While we anticipated we would see cardiovascular effects from Zika, we were surprised at the severity of the findings," said Carta, a Venezuelan native, and a cardiologist and research fellow at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. This is ... Read more

Related support groups: Eye Conditions, Heart Disease, Conjunctivitis, Hydrocephalus, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Risk of Birth Defects 20 Times Higher for Zika Moms: CDC

Posted 2 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 2, 2017 – Pregnant women infected with the Zika virus are 20 times more likely to have a baby born with certain birth defects as mothers who gave birth before the Zika epidemic began, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. Even worse, "when you look just at brain abnormalities and microcephaly, what we are seeing is more than 30 times higher than the prevalence before Zika was introduced to the Americas," said Margaret Honein. She is chief of the birth defects branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With microcephaly, babies are born with a smaller-than-normal head and an underdeveloped brain. Since the mosquito-borne virus first began to spread through South America in April 2015, thousands of babies have been born with Zika-linked microcephaly. The large majority have been born in Brazil, but the consequences of Zika infection during pregnancy ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Delivery, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Zika Virus Infection

Zika Infection Shrinks Testicles in Mice

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Zika virus can be sexually transmitted through semen, and a new mouse study could help explain why that occurs – and how the virus might damage male fertility. In lab research, Zika attacked the testicles of mice, targeting cells that produce the male hormone testosterone and ultimately causing testes to shrink, the researchers said. These findings "explain the persistence of the virus in semen," said Dr. Amesh Adalja. "If these findings hold in humans, the long-term consequences could include diminished fertility in males who were infected with Zika," said Adalja, an affiliated scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. He was not involved in the study. Zika typically is transmitted via mosquito bites, but researchers have learned that the virus also can be transmitted through a man's semen. As a result, the U.S. Centers for ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

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