Tuesday February 25, 2020

Adversity During Childhood Increases Risk of Mental Health Disorder

Both poverty and traumatic stressful events were associated with abnormalities across measures of brain anatomy, physiology, and connectivity

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If your workplace is supporting its employees by reducing their job strain, it may boost in preventing new cases of common mental illness from occurring up to 14 per cent, a new study suggests.
Mental illness can be reduced by reducing the job pressure. Pixabay

Kids who grow up in poverty and face adverse experiences are at a greater risk of suffering from mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, warn researchers.

Low socioeconomic status and the experience of traumatic stressful events are also linked to accelerated puberty and brain maturation, abnormal brain development, and greater mental health disorders, said the study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

“The findings underscore the need to pay attention to the environment in which the child grows. Poverty and trauma have strong associations with behaviour and brain development, and the effects are much more pervasive than previously believed,” said study lead author Raquel E. Gur, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

For the study, the researchers analysed data of over 9,000 participants aged 8 to 21 years and found specific associations of low socioeconomic status and traumatic stressful events with psychiatric symptoms, cognitive performance, and several brain structure abnormalities.

The findings revealed that poverty was associated with a small elevation in the severity of psychiatric symptoms, including mood/anxiety, phobias, externalising behaviour and psychosis, as compared to individuals who did not experience poverty.

Elderly women beg money at a pavement in Calcutta on 11 September 2012. India’s official poverty rate as per Planning Commission, stands at 29.8 per cent, or near to 350 million people using the 2010 population figures. EPA/PIYAL ADHIKARY

The magnitude of the effects of traumatic stressful events on psychiatric symptom severity was unexpectedly large.

The research found that even a single traumatic event was associated with a moderate increase in severity for all psychiatric symptoms analysed, and two or more events showed large effect sizes, especially in mood/anxiety and in psychosis. Additionally, these effects were larger in females than in males.

Also Read- Incidence of Hepatitis-B Virus Higher Among the Tribals in India

Both poverty and traumatic stressful events were associated with abnormalities across measures of brain anatomy, physiology, and connectivity.

They also found evidence that adversity is associated with earlier onset of puberty. Both poverty and experiencing traumatic stressful events are associated with the child physically maturing at an earlier age, said the study. (IANS)

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Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Childhood Cancer

All you need to know about Pediatric Cancer

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Pediatric cancer
Each year, many children between birth and the age of 18 are diagnosed with cancer. Pixabay

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death from disease in childhood. Each year, many children between birth and the age of 18 are diagnosed with cancer.

The signs and symptoms of cancer in children could be very nonspecific leading to delayed diagnosis. There are certain red flags that can increase the index of suspicion and can help in making the diagnosis sooner than later.

Dr Vikas Dua, Additional Director & HOD, Pediatric Hematology Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram discusses about the top four childhood cancers and the signs and symptoms associated with them.

Pediatric cancer
The signs and symptoms of cancer in children could be very nonspecific leading to delayed diagnosis. Lifetime Stock

Acute Leukemia

Leukemia is the most common cancers observed in children. It commonly occurs in children between the ages of 2-4 years. Leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow. Three out of four childhood leukemia cases are Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). The rest are Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Symptoms of leukemia

Bone and joint pain
Fatigue
Weakness
Bleeding
Prolonged Fever
Weight loss

Brain Tumors

Brain tumors and other nervous system tumors are the second most common cancer seen in pediatric age group. Brain tumors are of many types and the outlook and treatment for each varies. In regard with brain tumors in children, it starts in the lower parts of the brain, such as the cerebellum or brain stem. Although brain tumors in children is typically different from that of brain tumors of adults, many of the symptoms remain the same.

Symptoms of brain tumors

Headaches (often with early morning vomiting) e Dizziness e Balance problems e Vision, hearing or speech problems
Frequent vomiting

Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma arises from immature nerve cells in infants and young children. Mainly found in children younger than age of 5 years, this disease often begins in the adrenal glands.

Pediatric cancer
Brain tumors and other nervous system tumors are the second most common cancer seen in pediatric age group. (Representational Image). Lifetime Stock

Symptoms of neuroblastoma

Impaired ability to walk
Change in eyes (droopy eyelids, bulging,)
Pain in different and various locations of the body
High blood pressure Lymphoma starts in certain cells of the immune system called lymphocytes.

This cancer affects lymph nodes and other lymph tissues, like the tonsils or thymus. These can also affect bone marrow as well as organs and can cause varied symptoms depending on where the cancer is growing.

Hodgkin lymphoma

Sometimes called Hodgkin disease, is rare in children younger than 5 years of age. This type of cancer is similar in both children and adults, including the types of treatment that works best.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

More likely to occur in younger children than Hodgkin lymphoma, but still rare in children younger than age group of 3. The most common types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma vary in children and adults. Often these cancers grow quickly which requires severe treatment, but they also tend to respond better to treatment than most non-Hodgkin lymphomas in adults.

Also Read- Coolest Places to Visit in the United States

Symptoms of lymphoma

Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin
Weight loss
Fever
Night Sweats
Weakness (IANS)