Sunday August 19, 2018

Baby’s first stool can help predict future IQ score

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New York: Analysis of a newborn’s first stool can alert doctors whether a child is at risk of problems with intelligence and reasoning, new research shows.

In particular, high levels of fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) found in the meconium (a newborn’s first stool) from a mother’s alcohol use during pregnancy can alert doctors that a child may develop cognitive problems in teenage years, the findings showed.

“We wanted to see if there was a connection between FAEE level and their cognitive development during childhood and adolescence — and there was,” said one of the researchers Meeyoung Min, research assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University in the US.

“FAEE can serve as a marker for fetal alcohol exposure and developmental issues ahead,” Min added.

“Detecting prenatal exposure to alcohol at birth could lead to early interventions that help reduce the effects later,” Min said in the study published in the Journal of Paediatrics.

The research is part of the ongoing Project Newborn study, a longitudinal research project has studied nearly 400 children for 20 years since their births in the mid-1990s.

For this study, researchers analysed the meconium of 216 babies for levels of FAEE. They then gave intelligence tests at ages nine, 11 and 15.

The researchers found a link between those with high levels of FAEE at birth and lower IQ scores.

(IANS)

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Alcohol May Increase Death Risk in Young TB Patients

According to the researchers, the study could facilitate the development of therapies for alcoholic individuals with latent and active Mtb infections

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For the study, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, young and old mice were fed alcohol or control diets for one month and then infected with MtbH37Rv.
For the study, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, young and old mice were fed alcohol or control diets for one month and then infected with MtbH37Rv. Pixabay

Increased consumption of alcohol in people with tuberculosis (TB) may accelerate their risk of death, scientists led by an Indian-origin researcher have found.

Chronic alcohol consumption modulates a host of immune defense mechanisms and increases susceptibility to infections with various pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) — the TB-causing bacterium.

In the study, the risk was seen in young mice, not in older ones.

It was due to the production of a protein IFN-a — involved in innate immune response against viral infection — in the lungs by a subset of immune cells that express molecules called CD11b and Ly6G, explained researchers, led by Deepak Tripathi of the University of Texas.

For the study, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, young and old mice were fed alcohol or control diets for one month and then infected with MtbH37Rv.

Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol may increase death risk in young tuberculosis patients. Pixabay

The analysis showed that 80 per cent of Mtb-infected alcohol-fed young mice died within 6 months, while the death rate was 25 per cent in Mtb-infected alcohol-fed old mice.

Further, among patients with latent tuberculosis infection, peripheral blood mononuclear cells from young alcoholic individuals produced significantly higher amounts of IFN-a than those from young non-alcoholic, old alcoholic, and old non-alcoholic individuals.

Also Read: Teens Drinking Regularly face Worse Alcohol Problems Than Adults

This suggests that young alcoholic individuals with latent tuberculosis infection have a higher risk of developing active tuberculosis infection.

According to the researchers, the study could facilitate the development of therapies for alcoholic individuals with latent and active Mtb infections. (IANS)

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