Research

Flu vaccine decreases a child’s risk of serious illness

Each winter or spring, millions of people are infected with influenza, thousands of children are admitted to pediatric intensive care units, or PICUs, for complications of influenza infection, and as many as 200 of them die. Influenza, or flu, virus infection causes a respiratory illness with symptoms that may include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headaches, body aches, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent flu infection and its complications, … Read More

The healing power of the Blue Butterfly provides hope to children with leukemia

It was the phone call that no parent wants to get: “Max has leukemia and we think it’s a rare form,” said the doctor. I was getting a haircut and had to leave the salon immediately, not sure if I would vomit on the sidewalk or pass out. I was in a fog the whole drive home, tears flooding my eyes. The normally short drive home took forever. I needed to hug my boy. Max … Read More

Predicting whether children with ADHD will get better over time

ADHD is a controversial condition for several reasons: It is widespread and costly, so it attracts interest. It is treated with stimulant medication, and medication use has skyrocketed, raising questions about how diagnosis is conducted. Most crucially, over time, some children naturally get better while others have very poor outcomes, and we cannot yet predict which are which. A major scientific focus is to identify biologically sound subtypes that will add to clinical prediction. In … Read More

Weight management most effective way to prevent type 2 diabetes in kids

The most common type of diabetes seen in children used to be type 1 diabetes, also known as ”juvenile diabetes,” a condition caused by autoimmune reaction that leads to destruction of insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas. But since the mid-1990’s, we have noticed a new pattern emerging – more children and adolescents are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a condition that used to be the disease of adults only. Type 2 diabetes … Read More

Defining the best practices

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital has the largest program in Oregon for the repair of skull birth defects called cranial synostosis. In synostosis, one or more of the skull growth plates is missing, which can cause a severely misshapen head, pressure on the brain, developmental delay and even blindness. Surgery to repair synostosis requires an accredited specialty team comprising a pediatric neurosurgeon and a pediatric craniofacial plastic surgeon. At Doernbecher, I am privileged to do this work … Read More

Parents try alternative medicine to ease their child’s headache pain

More than 1 in 10 young people in the United States experiences recurrent headaches, and parents are eager to find ways to ease their pain and help their children get back to normal life and school. To that end, nearly 1 in 3 youth aged 10 to 17 who regularly experience headaches are turning to some type of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM), in addition to conventional medical care. CAM includes things like herbal therapies, acupuncture … Read More

OHSU Doernbecher publishes landmark brain repair trial in Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

I was proud to see the publication of a landmark brain repair trial carried out at OHSU and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Our large team of researchers reported the results of this first-ever use of brain-specific stem cells in human patients. The trial, begun in 2006, involved surgical transplantation of purified neural stem cells into six pediatric patients with the rare and uniformly fatal form of the brain degenerative disorder, Batten disease, plus extensive medical and … Read More

Hopeful news for language development in children with autism

April is National Autism Awareness Month and the perfect time to share some good news for children with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. Parents of children with ASD have commonly been told that if their child isn’t speaking by age 5, he or she likely never will. However, a new study in the journal Pediatrics counters this belief. The study of more than 500 children suggests that even when children are not yet using phrase … Read More

Busy Doernbecher resident leads national study on pediatric migraine treatment in the ER

As a resident who works 80 hours a week at times, who would think: “What else can I do at the hospital?” As crazy as it sounds, I said that as I planned to specialize in pediatric emergency medicine and enter fellowship training. As a first-year resident, I thought about many specialties ranging from pediatric cardiology to neonatology. However, after a month in the OHSU Doernbecher Emergency Department, I fell in love with the procedures, … Read More

A stitch in time saves more than nine

One of the true challenges of neurosurgical care is that small details can have a big effect. In short, the central nervous system is one of the organ systems in the body least tolerant to irritation, injury, infection and other ill effects. While I was training in general and then pediatric neurosurgery, I was troubled that despite careful attention, very delicate and important drains in the fluid spaces of the brain sometimes fell out. This often … Read More

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