Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Research on Vitamin D

The current recommendation on the dose of vitamin D of 400 units daily for children living far away from the equator (Europe, USA, Canada) will certainly be changed. More research is indicating that a low blood level of vitamin D is associated with a large number of otherwise unrelated diseases and conditions. The most recent data shows that a low level of vitamin D in the blood of children at the age of one year is associated with a higher level of food allergies. The incidence of food allergies among children living close to the equator and having sufficient exposure to ultraviolet radiation was almost 4 times lower than in children living in a temperate climate. Waiting for recommendations to increase the daily dose of vitamin D does not make sense - it may take years to be approved and published.

Sergei Shushunov, MD

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cerebral Concussions in Children

Brain (cerebral) concussions, otherwise called "mild traumatic brain injuries" in children are attracting more attention these days due to proliferation of research in this area.
Concussions can lead to long term problems involving cognitive functions - poor memory, attention span, learning and also behavioral changes. Diagnosis of concussion is usually based on a history of trauma and neurological evaluation. Headache, nausea, vomiting, poor balance, dizziness, being dazed are very obvious signs.
Less noticeable problems include sensitivity to light and noise, numbness, feeling tired, slow responses to questions.
Old treatment of brain concussion was physical rest - including bed rest in case of dizziness and vomiting. Now days in addition to physical rest doctors also advise to have so called "cognitive" rest - the avoidance of all activities that could increase brain metabolic rate and blood flow. The cognitive rest means forgoing video games, board games, and computers, studying, reading as well as avoiding noisy, busy and stressful environments.

Sergei Shushunov, MD