background image
Health & Nurturing
2017 June/July
Pg 7 - The Sunshine Express
In doing so, it¡¯s important to understand
the difference between naturally occur-
ring sugar and added sugar.
Wholesome foods like milk, yogurt and
fruit have naturally occurring sugars that
are part of a healthy diet. Many yogurts
come in both plain and flavored variet-
ies, and if you¡¯re looking to control the
amount of sweetness, you can purchase
unsweetened yogurt to which you can
add your own mashed fruits.
Get adventurous with finger foods
Don¡¯t be afraid to put down the spoon
and let your little one try feeding them-
selves with some nutritious finger foods.
Not only will baby explore new flavors
and textures, but it¡¯s an excellent way to
practice fine-motor skills.
A simple and nutrient-packed first finger
food is berries cut into small pieces. The
soft berries are easy for babies to pick up
and they feel gentle against their gums.
Introducing first foods to your baby
doesn¡¯t have to be a confusing process.
By working with your pediatrician and
keeping this information close at hand,
you¡¯ll be ready to expose baby to a whole
new world of flavors.
Study shows Cannabis extracts bring relief
A study posted May 25 in the New England
Journal of Medicine provides hard data confirm-
ing that use of Cannabis(marijuana) extracts
have a statistically significant positive effect in
reducing drug-resistant seizures in children.
¡°This is the first solid, rigorously obtained sci-
entific data¡± that a marijuana compound is safe
and effective for this problem, said Dr. Orrin
Devinsky of NYU Langone Medical Center.
He said research into promising medical uses
has been hampered by requiring scientists to
get special licenses, plus legal constraints and
false notions of how risky marijuana is.
¡°Opiates kill over 30,000 Americans a year,
alcohol kills over 80,000 a year. And marijuana,
as best we know, probably kills less than 50
people a year,¡± Devinsky said.
Try a hearing test
(BPT) Intrigued by all the brain-training
products out there to keep your mind sharp
and spirits young? You may want to consider
something else: A hearing test.
That¡¯s right. Mounting evidence links untreat-
ed hearing loss to impaired memory and di-
minished cognitive function. What that means
is, if you keep brushing off that suspected
hearing loss of yours, your cognition may pay.
Researchers have found that when people
with unaddressed hearing loss strain to hear,
they tend to do more poorly on memory tests.
They may figure out what is being said, but
because so much effort goes into just hearing
it, their ability to remember what they heard
often suffers.
Experts believe this has to do with what they
call ¡°cognitive load.¡± That is, in order to com-
pensate for the hearing loss and make out
the words, people with untreated hearing loss
may draw on cognitive resources they¡¯d nor-
mally use to remember what they¡¯ve heard.
Experts say that untreated hearing loss may
even interfere with the person¡¯s ability to ac-
curately process and make sense of what was
said or heard.
In fact, research shows that people with
poorer hearing have less gray matter in the
auditory cortex, a region of the brain needed
to support speech comprehension.
Other research shows a link between hear-
ing loss and dementia. One Johns Hopkins
study found that seniors with hearing loss are
significantly more likely to develop dementia
over time than those who retain their hearing.
Another found that hearing loss is associated
with accelerated cognitive decline in older
adults. And a third revealed a link between
hearing loss and accelerated brain tissue loss.
Some experts believe that interventions, like
professionally fitted hearing aids, could poten-
tially help.
The bottom line is we actually ¡°hear¡± with our
brain, not with our ears.
So if you think you may have hearing loss,
do something about it. Make an appointment
with a hearing health care professional, and
get a hearing test.
After all, research suggests that treating hear-
ing loss may be one of the best things you
can actually do to help protect your memory
and cognitive function.
between the cannabidiol group and the placebo group
in change in seizure frequency, 22.8 percentage
points; 95% confidence interval [CI], 41.1 to 5.4;
P=0.01). The percentage of patients who had at least
a 50% reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency
was 43% with cannabidiol and 27% with placebo
(odds ratio, 2.00; 95% CI, 0.93 to 4.30; P=0.08).
The patient¡¯s overall condition improved by at least
one category on the seven-category Caregiver Global
Impression of Change scale in 62% of the cannabidiol
group as compared with 34% of the placebo group
(P=0.02). The frequency of total seizures of all types
was significantly reduced with cannabidiol (P=0.03),
but there was no significant reduction in nonconvul-
sive seizures. The percentage of patients who be-
came seizure-free was 5% with cannabidiol and 0%
with placebo (P=0.08). Adverse events that occurred
more frequently in the cannabidiol group than in the
placebo group included diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue,
pyrexia, somnolence, and abnormal results on liver-
function tests. There were more withdrawals from the
trial in the cannabidiol group.
CONCLUSIONS
Among patients with the Dravet syndrome, canna-
bidiol resulted in a greater reduction in convulsive-
seizure frequency than placebo and was associ-
ated with higher rates of adverse events. (Funded
by GW Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number,
NCT02091375.)
Here is the summary of the study, which can be
accessed at: tinyurl.com/seizurestudy2017
Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant
Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome
Orrin Devinsky, M.D., J. Helen Cross, Ph.D.,
F.R.C.P.C.H., Linda Laux, M.D., Eric Marsh, M.D.,
Ian Miller, M.D., Rima Nabbout, M.D., Ingrid E.
Scheffer, M.B., B.S., Ph.D., Elizabeth A. Thiele,
M.D., Ph.D., and Stephen Wright, M.D., for the
Cannabidiol in Dravet Syndrome Study Group*
N Engl J Med 2017; 376:2011-2020May 25,
2017DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1611618
BACKGROUND
The Dravet syndrome is a complex childhood
epilepsy disorder that is associated with drug-
resistant seizures and a high mortality rate. We
studied cannabidiol for the treatment of drug-
resistant seizures in the Dravet syndrome.
METHODS
In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial,
we randomly assigned 120 children and young
adults with the Dravet syndrome and drug-
resistant seizures to receive either cannabidiol
oral solution at a dose of 20 mg per kilogram of
body weight per day or placebo, in addition to
standard antiepileptic treatment. The primary
end point was the change in convulsive-seizure
frequency over a 14-week treatment period, as
compared with a 4-week baseline period.
RESULTS
The median frequency of convulsive seizures per
month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with cannabi-
diol, as compared with a decrease from 14.9 to
14.1 with placebo (adjusted median difference
Significant Seizure Reduction
Want A Memory Boost?
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) offers a free,
confidential online hearing check where people
can determine if they need a more compre-
hensive hearing test by a hearing health care
professional. Access the BHI Hearing Check at:
www.BetterHearing.org
Follow BHI on Twitter @better_hearing
Like BHI on Facebook at:
www.facebook.com/betterhearinginstitute