October 19, 2015

Literature Review:

1) Anesthesia exposure and cognitive decline has been a topic that we have reviewed in the past. A new study by Dr. Gano et. al. looked specifically at 137 preterm infants born at or before 33 weeks gestational age who went on to have multiple surgeries over the first 7 weeks of life.

In the study, if a premature newborn was subjected to two or more surgeries over this 7 week period, they had an average reduction in global IQ of 20 points as measured at 3 and 6 years of age. This study adds more data points to the growing knowledge that anesthesia is causing harm in exposed young children.

Take home: All surgeries associated with general anesthesia carry an inherent risk of cognitive decline in young children. Avoid them unless absolutely necessary.

2) Molluscum contagiosum is a common and irritating pox viral wart like infection of childhood. This year, in the Journal of Pediatric Dermatology, Dr. Basdag et. al wrote a natural history snapshot that is useful for treatment plans.

Molluscum are small pearly lesions of the skin that have a little dimple in them. They are usually in local clusters, but can spread far and wide. They cause much angst for parents primarily.

Based on this studies data, the natural history of these warts is that with or without treatment they will resolve in 18 months in 70% of the cases. Treatment had little effect on complete resolution.

Take home: Benign neglect is the best route for MC lesions

3) Statins make us feel old says a new study from the American Journal of Physiology. Lead Author, Dr. Izadpanah, proposes that the statin medicines, used to reduce cholesterol, are affecting the stem cells* of patients that are consuming them. They believe that statins are speeding up the aging process by altering the function of our stem cells.

Statins reduce the stem cells reproductive rate. They inhibited the cells from performing their main functions, to reproduce and replicate other cells in the body to carry out cellular DNA repairs. Specifically, the researchers found that these drugs prevented stem cells from becoming new osteocytes and chondrocytes thus preventing the generation of new bone and cartilage.

This is beyond scary as the FDA and medical communities are encouraging statin use in children with cholesterol issues and cardiac coronary artery risk factors.

*Stem cells are cells that can replicate themselves indefinitely and become almost any cell type in the body. They are used to repair and replenish tissue.

Dr. M