Tuesday January 21, 2020

Drug that Helps Regulate Bone Development to Boost Growth Rates of Children with Dwarfism on Global Trial

The drug, vosoritide, was generally well tolerated by patients

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BP drug, bowel
BP drug may up risk of bowel condition. Pixabay

 A drug that helps regulate bone development has been found to boost growth rates in children with achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism, in a global trial.

The patients’ average boost in height to about 6 cm (2.4 inches) per year was close to growth rates among children of average stature, and the side effects of the drug were mostly mild, said study co-author Julie Hoover, Associate Professor at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University.

“Right now, the results of the study show an impact on growth, and this effect is sustained, at least over nearly four years in this trial,” Hoover said.

Results of the phase-2 trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the drug, vosoritide, was generally well tolerated by patients.

Drug, Children, Dwarfism
A drug that helps regulate bone development has been found to boost growth rates in children. Pixabay

On average, participants in the trial grew at a 50 per cent faster compared to baseline with no adverse effects on body proportion, the results showed.

Achondroplasia is caused by over-activity of a signal that stops growth, and could be likened to overwatering a plant, said lead author Ravi Savarirayan, Professor at Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia.

“This drug basically kinks the hose so that the plant gets the right amount of water and can resume regular growth,” Savarirayan said.

Achondroplasia is a genetic bone disorder affecting about one in every 25,000 infants.

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It is caused by a mutation in the FGFR3 gene that impairs the growth of bones in the limbs, the spine, and base of the skull.

The most common health complications experienced by children with achondroplasia are spinal cord compression, spinal curvature and bowed legs. About half of these children will need spinal or other surgery.

Unlike other treatments – such as growth hormone and limb-lengthening surgery – that focus on symptoms, vosoritide focuses on the underlying cause of achondroplasia and directly counteracts the effect of the mutation that slows growth.

Drug, Children, Dwarfism
The patients’ average boost in height to about 6 cm (2.4 inches) per year was close to growth rates among children of average stature. Pixabay

The study ran over four years across research centres in Australia, France, Britain and the US with 35 children assigned to one of four groups receiving daily subcutaneous doses of the drug in increasing amounts.

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The results showed vosoritide demonstrated dose-dependent increases in centimetres grown per year during the first six months, with improvements maintained over the study extension period of a further three years. (IANS)

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71% Parents Feel That Video Games May Have Positive Impact on Kids

71% parents believe video games good for teens

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Video Games
86 per cent of parents agree that teeagers spend too much time on video games. Pixabay

Seventy-one per cent of parents believe that video games may have a positive and healthy impact on their kids’ lifestyle, while 44 per cent try to restrict video game content, says a new study.

According to the CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health in US, 86 per cent of parents agree that teeagersspend too much time gaming. Parents also reported very different gaming patterns for teenage boys than girls.

Twice as many parents said that their teen boy plays video games every day compared to parents of teen girls. Teen boys are also more likely to spend three or more hours gaming.

“Although many parents believe video games can be good for teens, they also report a number of negative impacts of prolonged gaming,” said poll co-director Gary Freed from University of Michigan.

Video Games
Parents can play an important role by setting clear rules about appropriate content and how much time is too much time spent on video games. Pixabay

“Parents should take a close look at their teen’s gaming behaviour and set reasonable limits to reduce harmful impacts on sleep, family and peer relationships and school performance,” Freed added.

Overall, parents surveyed said that gaming often gets in the way of other aspects of their teen’s life, such as family activities and interactions (46 per cent), sleep (44 per cent), homework (34 per cent), friendship with non-gaming peers (33 per cent) and extracurricular activities (31 per cent).

Parents of teens ages 13-15 (compared to those with older teens) are more likely to use rating systems to try to make sure games are appropriate (43 per cent versus 18 per cent), encourage their teen to play with friends in person rather than online and to ban gaming in their teen’s bedroom.

Parents polled also use different strategies to limit the amount of time their teen spends gaming, including encouraging other activities (75 per cent), setting time limits (54 per cent), providing incentives to limit gaming (23 per cent) and hiding gaming equipment (14 percent).

The researchers noted that while gaming may be a fun activity in moderation, some teens -such as those with attention issues — are especially susceptible to the constant positive feedback and the stimulus of video games.

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This may lead to prolonged play that is disruptive to other elements of a teen’s life, the researchers added.

“Parents can play an important role by setting clear rules about appropriate content and how much time is too much time spent on video games,” Freed said. (IANS)