Thursday January 17, 2019

Frequency of Brain Tumours Increase in Children With Common Genetic Syndrome

Applying the new criteria to MRI scans will help physicians identify probable tumours.

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Brain tumours may occur in children with common genetic syndrome
Brain tumours may occur in children with common genetic syndrome, Pixabya

Parents, please take note. The frequency of brain tumours has been underestimated in children with the common genetic syndrome — neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a new study has found.

According to the researchers, this disorder is characterised by birthmarks on the skin and benign nerve tumours that develop in or on the skin. Brain tumours are also known to occur in children and adults with NF1.

They estimated that only 15-20 per cent of kids with NF1 develop brain tumours. But the study, published in the journal Neurology: Clinical Practice, found that the frequency of brain tumours in this population was more than three times higher.

brain tumours can be confused with harmless bright spots, it has never been clear whether finding these abnormalities via MRI should be a cause for concern
Brain tumours can be confused with harmless bright spots, it has never been clear whether finding these abnormalities via MRI should be a cause for concern. Wikimedia Commons

“I’m not delivering the message anymore that brain tumours are rare in NF1. This study has changed how I decide which children need more surveillance and when to let the neuro-oncologists know that we may have a problem,” said senior author David H. Gutmann from the Washington University School of Medicine.

Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of children with NF1 characteristically show bright spots that are absent in the scans of unaffected children. Unlike tumours, they are generally thought to disappear in teenage years, the researchers said.

Since brain tumours can be confused with harmless bright spots, it has never been clear whether finding these abnormalities via MRI should be a cause for concern, they added.

Representation of a Brain Tumour. Flickr
Representation of a Brain Tumor. Flickr

For the study, the team developed a set of criteria to distinguish tumours from other bright spots. The researchers then analysed scans from 68 NF1 patients and 46 children without NF1 for comparison.

Also Read: Taking Care of Mental Health Problems in Children, may Boost Parent’s Mental Health Too 

All but four (94 per cent) of the children with NF1 had bright spots, and none of the children without NF1 did. Further, in 57 per cent of the children with bright spots, at least one of the spots was deemed likely to be a tumour, the research team found.

Applying the new criteria to MRI scans will help physicians identify probable tumours, but that does not mean that all children with NF1 should be scanned regularly, the researchers cautioned. (IANS)

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Vaccination Not Forced on Children: Delhi Health Authorities

The prime target, according to the Ministry, is immunising children in the pre-schools, school children from both government and private institutions and those out of school

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Vaccination
Vaccination not forced on children: Delhi health authorities. Flickr

The measles and rubella (MR) vaccination programme, which was deferred following an intervention by the Delhi High Court, does not override the consent of students, said state’s health authorities for the campaign.

“It is totally wrong to say that vaccination was administered without consent. Though there has never been the process of seeking permission for any vaccination from guardians, people are free to refuse vaccination as we don’t force anyone,” Dr Suresh Seth, Delhi programme chief for immunisation told IANS on Wednesday.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday deferred implementation of the “Measles and Rubella (MR) Vaccine Immunisation Campaign”, saying that vaccination cannot be administered “forcibly” and without the consent of parents.

The court’s order came while hearing pleas by parents of some minor students at city’s schools alleging that the MR campaign is a “violation of the fundamental rights” of the students as their consent had not been taken.

China, Vaccines
A child receives a vaccination shot at a hospital in Rongan in China’s southern Guangxi region on July 23, 2018. VOA

“We will comply with court’s orders. Our preparations are same and will start the very next day the high court gives clearance for the campaign,” Dr Seth said.

The Delhi Health Department will also share inputs with the Health and Welfare Family Ministry, which has been asked by the high court to respond by January 21.

Also Read- Music Composer A.R. Rahman Feels That Indie and English Music Need To Be Nurtured

The measles and rubella vaccination campaign was scheduled to begin in the national capital from January 15, aiming at immunising nearly 55 lakh children in the age group of 9 months up to 15 years across 11 districts of Delhi.

The prime target, according to the Ministry, is immunising children in the pre-schools, school children from both government and private institutions and those out of school. (IANS)