Journal: Journal of child neurology
“Publish or perish” is the time-honored “principle” for academicians who race to accumulate lines under the “publications” section of a curriculum vitae. The original intent of publication-to inform others of findings and further scientific knowledge-has been corrupted by factors including (1) exponential growth of journals and the journal industry, fueled in part by intrusion of the Internet into all aspects of academic life; and (2) adoption of journal metrics (rather than written content) as the measure of scientific quality. The proprietary Thomson Reuters Impact Factor is the most pernicious metric, having caused editors and publishers to change editorial practices to boost the number. At the same time, gullible administrators and government agencies have been persuaded that metrics for the journal in which materials are published can be used as a measure of the worth of individual investigators (and institutions) and their research efforts: simple numbers can be substituted for the burdensome effort required to read and assess research quality. Thus, granting of research funds, awarding of academic rank and tenure, and determination of salaries (including bonus payments) have become tied to manipulable journal metrics rather than the significance or quality of reported research. Therefore, it is no wonder that the integrity of science is more often being questioned. How should a young investigator approach the “publish or perish” dilemma? Performing sound research and preparing optimal materials for publication must remain the overriding goals: properly articulate the question addressed by the study; thoroughly document all methods and case information; carefully describe results including any conflicting or negative findings; discuss the importance of the findings along with how the results address the initial question and whether findings refute or confirm previous studies; prepare properly cited bibliographic references; list all author contributions, potential conflicts of interest, financial support, and required ethical approvals; and provide a catchy title and an abstract containing sufficient information that other investigators perusing scientific indices will be enticed to read the published article. Submit the completed manuscript to the most appropriate journal based on that journal’s previously published content and relevance to the field of study regardless of journal metrics. On publication, notify investigators in the same field to ask for their comments on the work. Thus, an individual will become known for the quality of his or her work product and the worshiping of publication metrics will be unnecessary.
The use of complementary and alternative medicine by children with autism and the association of its use with child comorbid symptoms and parental stress was studied in an ethnically diverse population, in a cross-sectional study with structured interviews. The sample included 50 families of children with autism and 50 families of children with other developmental disabilities, matched by age/gender. Interview included the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire, Gastrointestinal Questionnaire, Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire, Aberrant Behavior Checklist, and Parenting Stress Index. In this ethnically diverse sample, the use of complementary and alternative medicine was significantly higher for the autism group. In the autism group, use was significantly related to child’s irritability, hyperactivity, food allergies, and parental stress; in the developmental disabilities group, there was no association with child comorbid symptoms or parental stress. The results contribute information to health care providers about families of children with autism who are more likely to use complementary and alternative medicine.
Idiopathic photosensitive occipital lobe epilepsy is a reflex, age- and localization-related syndrome. We describe the clinical and electroencephalographic features, therapy, and outcome of 16 children/adolescents with this syndrome. The cohort included 2 sets of siblings and 7 patients with other first- or second-degree relatives with a seizure history. All patients had occipital onset seizures and 15 had secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Seizure frequency was relatively low in all patients but one. Myoclonic seizures later developed in 2 patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Eight patients achieved full seizure control with monotherapy, and 5 required a second drug; 3 patients had rare seizures and were not treated with antiepileptics. Seven patients required special education or developmental assistance. This interesting syndrome sheds light on the pathophysiology and genetic etiology of common phenomena such as photosensitivity and headache. Further large prospective studies are required to better define this unique syndrome and its implications.
Ophthalmoplegic migraine is a rare disorder characterized by childhood-onset ophthalmoplegia and migraine headaches. The third cranial nerve is commonly involved, while involvement of the sixth and fourth cranial nerves is uncommon. We present the case study of a 15-year-old female teenager whose condition was diagnosed with ophthalmoplegic migraine when she was 9 years old and since then has experienced multiple and recurrent attacks. Since the diagnosis, she has exhibited a persistent right-eye mydriasis, despite resolution of migrainous episodes. Pupillary involvement in ophthalmoplegic migraine is the rule in children, with total recovery in the majority of cases. We will discuss some aspects related to the eventual association between this entity and other comorbidities, such as Adie tonic pupil, emphasizing the fact that the underlying mechanisms of this residual mydriasis are not fully understood.
Hans Berger was a German neuropsychiatrist and head of the neurology department at the University of Jena, who discovered the human electroencephalogram (EEG). Many sources state that Berger was forced into retirement and suicide by the Nazis because he was at odds with the regime. In fact, Berger helped select his Nazi successor Berthold Kihn (complicit in “euthanasia” murders), financially supported the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS), and was a willing participant on Nazi genetic health higher courts that reviewed appeals for forced sterilizations of neuropsychiatric patients. His motivations could be related to avoiding Nazi harassment, indoctrination by Nazi ideology, or less likely, career opportunism. His actions stand in contrast to colleagues who partially resisted the Nazis, and hopefully will serve as an example to future generations of neurologists regarding the danger of allowing one’s professional standing to be used as a tool to support the policies of tyranny and oppression.
Guidance about how to practice child neurology has been around for decades. Recently, however, clinical practice guidelines, practice parameters, and standardized clinical assessment and management plans are gaining increasing attention. This overview, written for child neurologists, addresses such issues as the following: what are clinical practice guidelines, why are they needed, how are they created, how should they be created, how well are they accepted and adhered to, what influences acceptance and adherence, do guidelines improve care, do they reduce costs, will they be viewed by courts as the standard of care, how can they be updated and improved, and are there better alternatives?
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between headaches and physical and sexual abuse. A self-administered, anonymous questionnaire was presented to 2088 tenth grade students in Northern Israel. Participants were Jews and Arabs between the ages of 15 to 16 years. Arab adolescents comprised 55% of the analyzed sample and adolescent Jews 45%. With regard to gender, 56% of participants were females. Of the Arab participants, 18.6% reported having frequent headaches, less than that reported in the Jewish group (27.9%). Jewish girls who were physically abused during childhood had a higher prevalence of frequent headaches (55% vs 33% P < .001). Jewish students who reported being sexually abused had higher headache prevalence as well (44.4% vs 27.3% P = .05). In conclusion, adolescents who reported to have been physically or sexually abused report a higher prevalence of headache compared to their peers.
Mitochondrial diseases represent a genetically and clinically heterogeneous group of inherited metabolic disorders, often resulting in poor functional and survival outcomes for the patient and considerable psychosocial distress for the caregiver. The systematic review undertaken in the present paper emphasizes the critical role of the caregiver in the management of a child with mitochondrial disease, with focus on the burden of mitochondrial disease on the caregiver, the family, and society.
This study examined whether motor-related participation could be assessed by global positioning systems in individuals with cerebral palsy. Global positioning systems monitoring devices were given to 2 adolescent girls (14-year-old with diplegic cerebral palsy and her 15-year-old healthy sister). Outcome measures were traveling distances, time spent outdoors, and Children’s Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment questionnaires. Global positioning systems documented that the girl with cerebral palsy did not visit nearby friends, spent less time outdoors and traveled shorter distances than her sister (P = .02). Participation questionnaire corroborated that the girl with cerebral palsy performed most activities at home alone. Lower outdoor activity of the girl with cerebral palsy measured by a global positioning system was 29% to 53% of that of her sibling similar to participation questionnaires (44%). Global positioning devices objectively documented low outdoor activity in an adolescent with cerebral palsy compared to her sibling reflecting participation reported by validated questionnaires. Global positioning systems can potentially quantify certain aspects of participation.
Gross Motor Function Classification System has discriminative purposes but does not assess short-term therapy goals. Locomotion Stages (LS) classify postural body functions and independent activity components. Assessing the relation between Gross Motor Function Classification System level and Locomotion Stages will make us understand if clinical assessment can explain and predict motor environmental performance in cerebral palsy. A total of 462 children were assessed with both scales. High reliability and strong negative correlation (-0.908) for Gross Motor Function Classification System and Locomotion Stages at any age was found. Sensitivity was 83%, and specificity and positive predictive value were 100% within the same age range. Regression analysis showed detailed probabilities for the realization of the Gross Motor Function Classification System depending on the Locomotion Stages and the age group. Postural body function measure with Locomotion Stages is reliable, sensitive, and specific for gross motor function and able to predict environmental performance.