Energy drinks tied to serious brain injuries in teens

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photo credits:foxnews.com

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Toronto: Teenagers who consume energy drinks are much more likely to sustain traumatic brain injury(TBI), new research suggests.

photo credits:blogs.rsc.org
photo credits:blogs.rsc.org

“We have found a link between increased brain injuries and the consumption of energy drinks or energy drinks mixed with alcohol,” said Michael Cusimano, neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital in Ontario in Canada.

Teenagers who reported a traumatic brain injury in the past year were seven times more likely to have consumed a lots of energy drinks than those without a history of serious brain injury, the findings showed.

The researchers also found that teenagers who reported sustaining a TBI within the past year were at least twice as likely to have consumed energy drinks mixed with alcohol than those who reported sustaining a TBI more than a year ago.

“It is particularly concerning to see that teens who report a recent TBI are also twice as likely to report consuming energy drinks mixed with alcohol,” Robert Mann, senior scientist at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

For the study, researchers analysed information from a survey of more than 10,000 students ages 11 to 20 in Ontario in 2013.

However, the researchers do not know whether energy drink consumption leads to brain injuries or it is the other way around.

It is possible that people who consume energy drinks also have other underlying factors that predispose them to experiencing a TBI, the researchers said.

For example, these individuals could have a personality type that tends to take risks, Live Science reported.

“While we cannot say this link is causal, it is a behaviour that could cause further injury and so we should be looking at this relationship closely in future research,” Mann noted.

The study also cautioned that energy drink consumption could interfere with recovery efforts for teens who have sustained a TBI.

“Energy drinks, such a Red Bull and Rockstar, contain high levels of caffeine and change the chemical state of the body, which can prevent people from getting back on track after a TBI,” Cusimano said.

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE along with inputs IANS.

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80% of Children Diagnosed With Cancer Do Not Survive Beyond Teenage: Study

Fighting a deadly disease like cancer at a tender age makes these young one real heroes; and such survivors teach this world the true meaning of challenging the adversary and emerging victorious

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Cancer
The World Health Organization's Global Childhood Cancer Initiative has set a global target to achieve 60 per cent survival rate among the children suffering from cancers by 2030. Pixabay

 It is estimated that nearly 300,000 children up to the age of 19 years are diagnosed with cancers worldwide; and only 20 per cent of them survive to live beyond their teenage.

The situation is equally grim among the low-income sections in India, and the medical fraternity is trying to help such children live long and lead a healthy life, said doctors at Hyderabad-based Continental Hospitals on the occasion of ‘International Childhood Cancer Day’ on Saturday.

The World Health Organization’s Global Childhood Cancer Initiative has set a global target to achieve 60 per cent survival rate among the children suffering from cancers by 2030.

The Continental Hospitals said that it is committed to play a constructive role in reaching the benchmark set by the WHO.

The hospital celebrated the young heroes who not just survived childhood cancers but are leading a healthy and successful lives. Their lives are filled with optimism and will surely encourage others with similar ailments to fight until they defeat the cancer in their body.

The doctors stressed the need to ensure that the hope is not lost in cases of childhood cancers. Such children need right advice from doctors and family around to keep the spirits high and help them fight the disease.

“Fighting a deadly disease like cancer at a tender age makes these young one real heroes; and such survivors teach this world the true meaning of challenging the adversary and emerging victorious. At Continental Hospitals, we have witnessed many young heroes who fought the battle and recovered fully to lead the future by setting an example for others,” said Vinodh Maddireddy, Consultant and Radiation Oncologist, Continental Hospitals.

Cancer
It is estimated that nearly 300,000 children up to the age of 19 years are diagnosed with cancers worldwide; and only 20 per cent of them survive to live beyond their teenage. Pixabay

Five years ago, a young boy Prakash (name changed) was diagnosed with pineoblastoma (advanced brain tumor/cancer), a dreaded tumor with a low rate of patient survival. The patient required entire brain and spinal cord radiation and six months of toxic chemotherapy with three very strong drugs. Each passing day and the challenges faced by this brave young man were difficult to see for anyone around him. The most sophisticated hybrid-radiotherapy at Continental Hospitals, helped the patient cope with side-effects; and today after five long years, the young man, now 24-year-old has completely defeated cancer in his body and is leading a happy and successful life.

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In another case, a 12-year-old kid Arshad Rahman was diagnosed with high grade glioma of thalamus (a form of brain tumor) and his condition was quite peculiar because the patient was not eligible for a biopsy. Instead, the team at Continental Hospitals took radiotherapy approach in addition to oral chemotherapy. Medical team left no stone unturned to ensure the spirits of the child are kept high, and this resulted in successful treatment of the dreaded disease. Today, the child leads a normal life and attends a normal school and is active like any other kid in his class.  (IANS)

 

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Teenage Pregnancy Leads to Poor Mental Health: Study

Pregnant teens more likely to have poor mental health

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Teenage pregnancy
Researchers have found that women who get pregnant during their teenage years are more likely to have higher rates of substance use. Pixabay

Researchers have found that women who get pregnant during their teenage years are more likely to fall victim to poverty, have poorer mental health and have higher rates of substance use.

“Although teenage pregnancy has been declining in Canada over the past few decades, this does not mean that we have solved this social issue. The majority, 70 per cent, of teenage pregnancies in this country are unintended,” said reseacher Jamie Seabrook, Associate Professor at Brescia University College in Canada.

There are limited Canadian studies on teenage pregnancies, in particular looking at risk factors and birth outcomes compared to women who became pregnant during adulthood.

According to the study, published in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, researchers from Lawson Health Research Institute and Brescia University College, were able to take advantage of a large sample of pregnant women from Southwestern Ontario by accessing data from patients at London Health Sciences Centre.

Of the 25,363 pregnant women making up the total sample of the retrospective cohort study, 4.3 per cent (1080) were 19 years old or younger.

Teenage depression
Teenage pregnant women have a history of depression and had higher rates of depression during pregnancy. Pixabay

Teenage pregnant women were much more likely than older pregnant women to live in poor, disadvantaged neighbourhoods across Southwestern Ontario.

They were also more likely to have a history of depression and had higher rates of depression during pregnancy, with 10 per cent on medication while pregnant.

Looking at substance use, 41 per cent of teenage women smoked cigarettes, 13 per cent used cannabis and seven per cent drank alcohol during pregnancy, which was significantly higher than rates for older pregnant women.

Once adjusted for other medical, behavioural and economic factors, teenage pregnancy was not associated with a higher risk for premature birth or low birth weight compared to pregnancy for women ages 20-34 years. However, the infants had a higher risk of low Apgar scores.

An Apgar score, a test given to newborns soon after birth, indicates how well the baby is doing outside of the womb. Babies with very low Apgar scores are more likely to need assistance with breathing. However, Apgar scores have little correlation with the long-term health of the baby.

Contrary to findings in the United States, where teenage pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for preterm birth and low birth weight, these recent results suggest that geographical context, differences in social inequality and type of health care system are important.

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“There are so many factors associated with poor birth outcomes, and the advantage of our sample size and statistical modelling was that we were able to include key medical and behavioural factors which play a larger role than age,” said Jasna Twynstra, Associate Professor at Brescia University College.

“We need to target teenage mental illness, as well as their high substance use during pregnancy, to minimize the impact on their overall health and wellbeing,” said Seabrook. (IANS)

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Generalised Anxiety Disorder During Teenage Can Lead to Harmful Drinking Habits

Using questionnaire and clinical interview data from more than 2,000 participants, researchers found generalised anxiety disorder at age 18 was linked to frequent drinking

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Anxiety
Research has shown that links between mental health problems, such as Anxiety disorders, and alcohol are common and complex. Pixabay

Researchers at the University of Bristol have found evidence of an association between generalised Anxiety disorder at age 18 and harmful drinking three years later.

The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence strengthens the evidence for a relationship between anxiety and later alcohol use as the researchers accounted for other factors such as adolescent smoking and cannabis use, and parental anxiety and alcohol use.

“Helping adolescents to develop positive strategies for coping with anxiety, instead of drinking alcohol, may reduce the risk of future harmful drinking. However, we cannot determine if the relationship is causal, because we used an observational study design,” said Maddy Dyer.

Using questionnaire and clinical interview data from more than 2,000 participants, researchers found generalised anxiety disorder at age 18 was linked to frequent drinking, frequent bingeing, hazardous drinking, and harmful drinking at age 18.

Generalised anxiety disorder continued to be associated with harmful drinking at age 21.

Drinking to cope was also strongly associated with more harmful drinking, but it did not appear to influence associations between anxiety and alcohol use.

Harmful drinking was measured using a special test developed by the World Health Association.

On average, adolescents with anxiety drank at more harmful levels regardless of whether they tended to drink alcohol for coping reasons or not.

Anxiety
Researchers at the University of Bristol have found evidence of an association between generalised Anxiety disorder at age 18 and harmful drinking three years later. Pixabay

“Our own research has shown that links between mental health problems, such as anxiety disorders, and alcohol are common and complex,” said Mark Leyshon, Senior Policy and Research Manager at Alcohol Change UK.

For example, anxiety can be both a result of stopping drinking and a risk factor in beginning to drink too much, as this new study suggests.

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“We need more research to help us better understand the connections between alcohol and mental health, as well as high-quality, accessible, integrated support for substance misuse and mental health issues,” Leyshon added. (IANS)