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Welcome Heather!

Please join us in welcoming Heather! Heather is a Florida native, nurse practioner who has worked almost exclusively in pediatrics for the last ten years! She is kind, patient, and has extreme passion for children. We are so excited to have her as a part of our team!

No Longer Accepting Amerigroup Medicaid or Amerigroup Fla Healthy Kids!!

Effective October 1, 2015- please be advised of the changes to your health plan. Amerigroup is no longer available in Sarasota County. Please choose a new health care plan or your child will be assigned to a provider based on your zip code.
Thank you

Meyer Pediatrics Is Proud To Welcome Jill Langley, CPNP

Dear Patients and Families,

We are pleased and proud to introduce a third provider to Meyer Pediatrics:

Jill Langley, CPNP is happy to return to Meyer Pediatrics after receiving her advanced degree as a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from the University of South Florida. She returns with almost 19 years of Pediatric experience, working alongside Nancy triaging patients, answering phone calls, and administering vaccines almost a decade ago. Jill is available Monday, Tuesday and Friday for school & sport physicals, well check-ups and issues more comfortably discussed with a female healthcare provider.

We are very excited about adding Jill to our team of providers at Meyer Pediatrics, and look forward to seeing you get to know her!


Dr. Ted and Staff

Safety of H1N1 Vaccine Confirmed

FDA Commissioner Addresses H1N1 Vaccine Safety Concerns

Emma Hitt, PhD

Posted: 11/11/2009

November 11, 2009 — In a letter yesterday, the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, reassured healthcare professionals about vaccine safety and thanked them for their “extraordinary efforts” during the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak.

MedWatch, the FDA’s safety information and adverse event reporting program, announced the letter in a posting yesterday.

“Delays in vaccine delivery and the persistence of myths about vaccination have not made your job any easier,” she stated. “Thank you for rising to this public health challenge.”

Reassuring Patients About Vaccine Safety

Dr. Hamburg, who was confirmed on May 18, 2009 as the FDA’s new commissioner, described information about H1N1 that can be used to allay patient fears about vaccine safety.

She noted that some patients might think that the safety of the H1N1 vaccine is unconfirmed because the vaccine became available only 6 months after the 2009 H1N1 virus appeared. However, this fear is misguided because the H1N1 vaccine is produced in exactly the same way as the seasonal influenza vaccine.

“Companies began manufacturing the 2009 H1N1 vaccines in the same factories where they are licensed to manufacture seasonal influenza vaccines — using the same equipment and the same testing procedures,” she pointed out.

According to Dr. Hamburg, if the H1N1 virus had emerged a few months earlier, “it could have been included as 1 of the 3 strains in the 2009 seasonal vaccine. In this key respect, although the strain of the 2009 H1N1 virus is new, the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines are not.”

In addition, in National Institutes of Health–sponsored clinical trials of more than 3600 people, no serious adverse events have been attributed to the vaccine.

Dosing of the 2009 H1N1 influenza

Until recently, it was unclear how many doses of the vaccine would be needed. According to the letter, only a single dose of H1N1 vaccine is needed for healthy adults, the elderly, and older children. “For children ages 9 and younger, two doses of the H1N1 vaccine will likely be optimal, also similar to seasonal vaccine,” Dr. Hamburg said.

The letter is available on the FDA Web site. More information on H1N1 influenza is available here.

Adverse effects linked to any vaccine, including the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine, should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (http://vaers.hhs.gov/index).

Adverse events can also be communicated to MedWatch by telephone at 1-800-FDA-1088, by fax at 1-800-FDA-0178, online at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch, or by mail to 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20852-9787.
[CLOSE WINDOW]Authors and Disclosures
Emma Hitt, PhD

Emma Hitt is a freelance editor and writer for Medscape.

Newborns Need Pain Relief ,Too

Pain Control Recommended for Newborns

Laurie Barclay, MD

November 11, 2009 — Feeding and breast-feeding newborns are found to be the most effective methods of pain relief during heel-lancing, according to the results of a prospective study reported in the November issue of Pediatrics.

“Pain experience can alter clinical outcome, brain development, and subsequent behavior in newborns, primarily in preterm infants,” write Amir Weissman, MD, from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, and colleagues. “The aims of this study were (1) to evaluate several simple, commonly used methods for pain control in newborns and (2) to evaluate the concordance between behavioral and autonomic cardiac reactivity to pain in term neonates during heel-lancing.”

During heel-lancing for routine neonatal screening of phenylketonuria and hypothyroidism, 180 term newborn infants were randomly selected to 1 of 6 groups: (1) control (no intervention for pain relief); (2) sucking without feeding; (3) holding by mother; (4) ingestion of oral glucose solution; (5) feeding with oral formula; or (6) breast-feeding. Response to pain was assessed with the Neonatal Facial Coding System score; duration of crying; and autonomic variables determined from spectral analysis of heart rate variability before, during, and after heel-lancing.

Compared with newborns in any of the 5 intervention groups, those in the control group with no pain intervention had the greatest levels of pain manifestation. Breast-feeding or feeding with oral formula appeared to be most effective vs all other groups, based on the lowest increase in heart rate (21 and 23 beats per minute, respectively, vs 36 beats per minute; P < .01), neonatal facial score (2.3 and 2.9, respectively, vs 7.1; P < .001), cry duration (5 and 13 seconds, respectively, vs 49 seconds; P < .001), and the lowest decrease in parasympathetic tone (–2 and –2.4, respectively, vs 1.2; P < .02). “Any method of pain control is better than none,” the study authors write. “Feeding and breast-feeding during heel-lancing were found to be the most effective methods of pain relief.” Limitations of this study include low sensitivity of the pain assessment methods, large variability of newborn response to painful stimuli, and the subjective nature of interpreting these data. “Neonatal pain prevention is the expectation of the parents and should be the goal of the medical staff; therefore, family members or staff may be recruited to help during these procedures, and nursing mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed during the procedure,” the study authors conclude. “If family members believe that they cannot withstand the procedure, hear their infant crying, or see the heel-lancing, then bottle-feeding seems to be a good alternative.” The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Pediatrics. 2009;124:e921-e926.

WHO Urges Rapid Use of Antivirals in H1N1

New Guidelines on H1N1 Influenza Urge Quicker Use of Antivirals

Robert Lowes

November 12, 2009 — Updated treatment guidelines for H1N1 influenza from the World Health Organization (WHO) urge clinicians to administer antiviral medications as soon as possible to patients in at-risk groups with flu symptoms, patients with pneumonia, and those with uncomplicated influenza-like illness that worsens or fails to improve within 72 hours.

The reason for immediate antiviral therapy is that a mild case of H1N1 influenza can morph into a deadly disease such as pneumonia within 24 hours, according to the revised guidelines released Tuesday.

“The virus can take a life within a week,” Nikki Shindo, MD, a medical officer in WHO’s Global Influenza Programme, said during a press conference today. “The week of opportunity is very narrow in regard to the progression of the disease. The medicine needs to be administered before the virus destroys the lungs.”

Patients in at-risk groups who should receive antivirals once they experience flu symptoms include pregnant women, children younger than 2 years, and individuals with chronic illnesses such as respiratory problems, according to Dr. Shindo.

Dr. Shindo said that earlier WHO guidelines focused on treating severe disease stemming from the H1N1 virus. The updated guidelines, she explained, have more to say about preventing severe disease, especially with the use of antiviral medications. Initial guidance about antivirals had been more conservative because WHO “had almost no experience” in regard to their effectiveness and because supplies were limited, said Dr. Shindo. Now, WHO has more data about the safety and usefulness of the medicine, and supplies are more ample.

The updated guidelines state that clinicians should not delay antiviral treatment for patients with suspected H1N1 influenza for the sake of conducting tests to confirm the diagnosis. In addition, a negative result from some rapid influenza diagnostic tests should not justify withholding antiviral therapy because these tests “miss many infections with pandemic H1N1 virus.”

The first-line antiviral for treating the H1N1 virus is oseltamivir (Tamiflu), according to WHO. If oseltamivir is not available, it is not possible to administer it to a particular patient, or if the virus is resistant to oseltamivir, the guidelines recommend that clinicians use zanamivir (Relenza), which is inhaled.

To ensure easier access to treatment, public health authorities should distribute antivirals through general practitioners and not primarily through hospitals, said Dr. Shindo. “Patients should not have to visit the hospital to get antivirals prescribed,” she said. “This should help ensure that individuals get the care they need faster. This will leave hospitals freer to treat the more severe cases.”

Although Dr. Shindo emphasized the need for the earlier use of antivirals, she said that people not in the at-risk groups who are experiencing only mild flu symptoms do not need to take antiviral therapy. Nor should healthy individuals take it as a preventive measure.

WHO Guidelines Do Not Conflict With CDC Directives

The updated WHO guidelines specify watchful waiting for 72 hours for patients who have uncomplicated influenza-like illness and who do not have an underlying medical condition that puts them at risk. Hallmarks of progressive illness that warrant antiviral therapy include:

* Shortness of breath, hypoxia, and fast or labored breathing in children, which would suggest oxygen impairment or cardiopulmonary insufficiency.
* Altered mental status, unconsciousness, drowsiness, and seizures, which suggest central nervous system complications.
* Evidence of sustained virus replication or invasive secondary bacterial infection.
* Severe dehydration, expressed as decreased activity, dizziness, decreased urine output, and lethargy.

By necessity, this recommendation for follow-up requires patient education, Dr. Shindo said. Clinicians should instruct patients who initially present with uncomplicated influenza-like illness to return for another visit if they develop these or other symptoms of progressive illness — or do not get better — within 72 hours from the onset of symptoms, according to WHO.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not issued any guidance on follow-up care for influenza patients that stipulates a 72-hour time frame, but the agency does advise patients who do not improve within a few days that they might have a complication like a secondary infection, said Anthony Fiore, MD, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

“I do not see the WHO recommendations as being in conflict [with the CDC directives],” Dr. Fiore told Medscape Infectious Diseases. CDC recommendations on administering antiviral medications are revised on average every 4 to 6 weeks, said Dr. Fiore. “We will look at the WHO guidance and the evidence base used to develop the guidance as part of [our] revision.”

The updated treatment guidelines are available on the WHO Web site.

CDC Update

At a CDC press briefing today, Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, provided an updated estimate of H1N1 cases using data extrapolated from the CDC’s Emerging Infections Program .

The CDC estimates that during the first 6 months of the pandemic (April through October 17, 2009), a total of 22 million people (range, 14 – 34 million) in the United States became infected with H1N1 influenza. Of these, 98,000 people (range, 63,000 to 153,000) were hospitalized; and 3900 (range, 2500 – 6100) died.

The data are also broken down by age group and highlight that fact that numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are disproportionately higher in people aged 64 years and younger than in older individuals.

These numbers will be updated every 3 to 4 weeks, she said.

Dr. Schuchat also discussed the effect of H1N1 influenza in patients with diabetes, which afflicts about 19% of adults hospitalized for H1N1. According to Dr. Schuchat, people with diabetes should be vaccinated (with the injectable vaccine not the nasal spray) against H1N1. People with diabetes who also have respiratory illness should receive antiviral therapy, which should be initiated prior to availability of test results. Patients with diabetes should also ensure that they have been vaccinated against pneumococcal infections.

To date, 41.6 million doses of H1N1 vaccine have become available. “This is more than we had before but not as much as we had hoped to have by today,” Dr. Schuchat said. Currently, 94 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine have been distributed, with 114 million doses total expected by the end of the year.

Emma Hitt, PhD, contributed to this report.

H1N1 (Swine)Flu vaccines are now available to parents and caretakers!

We are now offering the H1N1(Swine)Flu vaccine to our patients parents and caretakers. There is a $20 admnistration charge for adults. If you are interested in recieving this vaccine please call the office to schedule an appointment.

Preservative free Swine Flu vaccine for ages 6 months – 35 months has arrived!

Our preservative free H1N1(Swine) Flu vaccines for age 6 months to 35 months has arrived. Please call the office to schedule your childs appointment. Please remember we are trying to accomodate many patients who want their children to have the vaccine and are doing our best to schedule everyone at the earliest time available. We are currently scheduling out 2-3 weeks. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Cannabinoids Do Not Help Tics in Tourette’s Syndrome

Cannabinoids for Tourette’s Syndrome

Curtis A, Clarke CE, Rickards HE
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Cannabinoids for Tourette syndrome

Cannabinoid medication might be useful in the treatment of the symptoms in patients with Tourette’s syndrome. At the present time only two relevant studies have been conducted. Both studies used tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9THC). In both studies Δ9THC was associated with tic reduction. However the sample size was small and a large number of multiple comparisons were made . There were only 28 participants in total, since eight participants took part in both studies. Possibly the patients who derived the greatest benefit and experienced the least adverse effects would be the most inclined to participate in further studies. There were a high number of drop outs/exclusions in the six week study and it is unclear whether intention to treat analysis (ITT) was performed. The results that are reported are analyses done on the patients who remained in the study on the study medication at the correct dose. In reality, patients do opt not to continue treatment if there is limited efficacy or unpalatable side effects. This introduces attrition bias. Whilst there were some significant results, the authors themselves accept that very few of these results are significant if a Bonferroni correction is performed. It is possible that cannabinoid medication has a beneficial effect which is too weak to be detected using ITT and such a small sample size. There is some weak evidence that cannabinoid medication may have an effect on obsessive compulsive behaviour but the measure used was an addition to the TSSL which has not been validated.There were no data on the effect of Δ9THC on quality of life.There is not enough evidence to support the use of cannabinoids in treating tics and obsessive compulsive behaviour in people with Tourette’s syndrome.

This is a Cochrane review abstract and plain language summary, prepared and maintained by The Cochrane Collaboration, currently published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009 Issue 4, Copyright © 2009 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.. The full text of the review is available in The Cochrane Library (ISSN 1464-780X).
This record should be cited as: Curtis A, Clarke CE, Rickards HE. Cannabinoids for Tourette’s Syndrome. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD006565. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006565.pub2

This version first published online: October 07. 2009

Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (GTS) is a developmental neuropsychiatric disorder characterised by the presence of chronic motor and phonic tics. Drugs currently used in the treatment of GTS either lack efficacy or are associated with intolerable side effects. There is some anecdotal and experimental evidence that cannabinoids may be effective in treating tics and compulsive behaviour in patients with GTS. There are currently no systematic Cochrane reviews of treatments used in GTS. There is one other Cochrane review being undertaken at present, on the use of fluoxetine for tics in GTS.

To evaluate the efficacy and safety of cannabinoids as compared to placebo or other drugs in treating tics, premonitory urges and obsessive compulsive symptoms (OCS), in patients with GTS.
Search strategy

We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (in The Cochrane Library Issue 4 2008) , MEDLINE (January 1996 to date), EMBASE (January 1974 to date), PsycINFO (January 1887 to date), CINAHL (January 1982 to date), AMED (January 1985 to date), British Nursing Index (January 1994 to date) and DH DATA (January 1994 to date).

We also searched the reference lists of located trials and review articles for further information.
Selection criteria

We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing any cannabinoid preparation with placebo or other drugs used in the treatment of tics and OCS in patients with GTS.
Data collection and analysis

Two authors abstracted data independently and settled any differences by discussion.
Main results

Only two trials were found that met the inclusion criteria. Both compared a cannabinoid, delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9THC), either as monotherapy or as adjuvant therapy, with placebo. One was a double blind, single dose crossover trial and the other was a double blind, parallel group study. A total of 28 different patients were studied. Although both trials reported a positive effect from Δ9THC, the improvements in tic frequency and severity were small and were only detected by some of the outcome measures.
Authors’ conclusions

Not enough evidence to support the use of cannabinoids in treating tics and obsessive compulsive behaviour in people with Tourette’s syndrome.

ADHD Represents Delayed, Not Abnormal Brain Maturation

Arline Kaplan MD

Cortical development in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) generally lags behind that in other children by several years, NIMH researchers reported recently.1 The greatest maturational delay occurs in prefrontal regions important for control of such cognitive processes as attention and working memory, they found.
There has been a long-standing debate as to whether ADHD is caused by a delay in brain development or is partly due to a complete deviation away from typical brain development, said Philip Shaw, MD, PhD, an NIMH staff clinician and leader of the research team.
To help resolve the controversy about the disorder that affects 3% to 5% of school-aged children, Shaw and his colleagues conducted a neuroanatomical MRI study and found evidence suggesting that ADHD is characterized by delay rather than deviance in cortical maturation.
“We looked at the development of the cortex, and we measured its thickness in 446 kids, half… with ADHD and half without the disorder,” Shaw told Psychiatric Times.
The researchers scanned the brains of most of the study participants at least twice at about 3-year intervals. While the participants included preschoolers and young adults, most ranged in age from 7 to 16 years. Among the participants with ADHD, 92% had combined-type ADHD at baseline.
Using computational neuroanatomical techniques, the researchers estimated cortical thickness at more than 40,000 cerebral points from 824 MRI scans. They focused on the age of attaining peak cortical thickness—when cortex thickening during childhood gives way to thinning following puberty, as unused neural connections are pruned for optimal efficiency during the teen years.
“While healthy kids reached peak cortical thickness at age 7 or 8, the kids with ADHD reached… peak cortical thickness a few years later, around age 10,” Shaw said.
The cortical maturation delay in ADHD was most prominent in the lateral prefrontal cortex, the region, according to the research team, that supports such cognitive functions as the ability to suppress inappropriate responses and thoughts, executive control of attention, evaluation of reward contingencies, and working memory. Delay was also found in the temporal cortex.
The only cortical area in which the ADHD group demonstrated slightly earlier maturation was the primary motor cortex.
“It is possible that the combination of early maturation of the primary motor cortex with late maturation of higher-order motor control regions may reflect or even drive the excessive and poorly controlled motor activity cardinal to the syndrome,” the research team wrote.
Although there was a delay in the young people with ADHD, the order in which the different parts of the cortex matured was similar in both groups.
Shaw was asked whether the findings indicate that children will eventually grow out of ADHD. The study findings cannot be interpreted to mean that in ADHD the brain normalizes at age 10 or 12, he said.
“The delay we showed is carried forward into adolescence,” he said. “Also we know from a host of other studies that there are very real persisting structural and functional differences between teenagers with ADHD and those who don’t have the disorder.” Frequently, he said, outcomes reported in previous studies depend on how ADHD is defined. If you use a strict definition, he explained, about one quarter of people who grow up with ADHD will still meet the definition in adulthood. If a broader definition is used, about two thirds of people with childhood ADHD will still have troublesome symptoms in adulthood.
Studies that measure brain volume or function also have detected differences between the brains of young people who have ADHD and those of individuals who do not have the disorder.
“One very striking thing about our findings is that they complement existing imaging studies from other groups that found structural and functional differences, and all of them are pointing to similar parts of the brain,” Shaw said.
Why the delay?
Discussing factors that might underpin the delay, the research team mentioned psychostimulants and genetic factors. Most of those with ADHD in the study were receiving standard treatment with psychostimulants, but there were not enough medication-naive children to analyze them as a separate group, according to Shaw. In the published report, the research team wrote “trophic effects of treatment with psychostimulants in the ADHD group are possible, but unlikely, given our previous reports of no effect of psychostimulants on gray matter volume.”
“Genetic factors will certainly play a role, with a perturbation in the developmental sequence of the activation and deactivation of genes that sculpt cortical architecture,” the team wrote. “In this context, neurotrophins, essential for the proliferation, differentiation, and survival of neuronal and nonneuronal cells, emerge as promising candidates.”
“The numbers needed to do genetic studies are enormous,” Shaw said. “Of course, there are very good multisite collaborative studies going on, which are helping us identify the key genes.”
There are a host of candidates and factors that could control neural growth, Shaw said, acknowledging that dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain also are important to the growth of the cortex.
While research continues on possible causes of ADHD, Shaw noted that his team would be using brain-imaging techniques to study what happens to children with ADHD as they grow older.
“There is a large cohort of children who have very persistent ADHD,” he explained. “We want to compare them with the kids who get better from ADHD. That involves scanning the kids a little bit later when they are in their mid-teens.”
Diagnosis and treatment
Brain imaging is not ready for use as a diagnostic tool in ADHD, Shaw said.”It is still too early to use neuroanatomical scans for diagnosis,” he said. “We had to scan hundreds of children to identify subtle differences. They [the differences] are very real, but they are subtle. So the scan of any one child will not tell you a great deal about whether [he or she has] ADHD or not. Currently, the diagnosis of ADHD remains clinical.”
What’s more, the brain imaging study was a “natural history study” and so it did not address treatment, he explained.
“We know the treatments that work for ADHD on the basis of very large clinical studies, including the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With ADHD and the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Preschool-Age Children study,” he said.
While the Shaw et al study is not relevant to issues of diagnosis and treatment, it is nevertheless important in providing another facet of our increasing knowledge about the neurobiology of this disorder, said F. Xavier Castellanos, MD, Brooke and Daniel Neidich Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and director of research for the New York University Child Study Center.
In his own work, Castellanos said, his group is pursuing some novel methods of functional MRI that may well have diagnostic implications.2,3
Also responding to the Shaw et al study was E. Clarke Ross, chief executive officer for Children and Adults With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, a national advocacy and support organization.
“In a time when a vocal minority denies the mountain of evidence showing ADHD to be a real disorder,” he said, “it is nice to watch brain scans light up on televisions across the country with images actually showing the structural differences in the brains of those living with ADHD.”