This is a recap of recent health news featuring Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. We hope you enjoy this week’s edition of collected news, and please feel free to offer comments below – we really do listen!
Talking helps when it comes to teenagers and painful fibromyalgia. A new study shows that teens who undergo talk therapy experience less depression and disability.
Fibromyalgia, which causes fatigue and chronic pain in muscles and joints, can lead to physical, social and emotional impairments.
The study showed a 37 percent improvement in disabilities by teens undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy. A slight reduction in pain was also noted, but not considered clinically significant.
“When added to standard medical care, cognitive-behavioral therapy helps to improve daily functioning and overall well-being for adolescents with fibromyalgia,” said study researcher Susmita Kashikar-Zuck, a psychologist at Cincinnati Children’s.
A young family faces another year of living in isolation as they attempt to save the life of their one-year-old daughter, Miabelle. The toddler suffers from an aggressive form of a rare immune disorder called Familial Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH/FLH.
After the diagnosis, the Gillier family left their New York home for Cincinnati Children’s and a life-saving bone marrow transplant for Miabelle. Afterward, doctors urged the family to live in isolation until Miabelle grows stronger.
The family lives in an apartment around the corner from Cincinnati Children’s. Everything that enters the family’s home must be meticulously cleaned. To make their lives a little easier, a group of Cincinnatians has adopted the family, doing anything they can to help. Dozens of volunteers cook, clean, grocery shop and babysit to help the family cope.
“Some of these people I still haven’t met,” Miabelle’s father says. “They realize it’s not about where you’re from or who you are, it’s about trying to help another person.”
The Gillier family hopes Miabelle will be well enough for them to leave isolation sometime late next year.
Injury-Prevention Programs For Athletes Take Time
When it comes to athletes and injury prevention, patience may pay off. According to a new study, programs aimed at preventing knee injuries among soccer players take time to make any lasting impact on the way athletes move.
Players who took part in a warm-up program of stretching and strengthening that lasted three months saw only a temporary benefit, while the improvements seen after a nine-month program persisted for months after the training ended, according to the University of North Carolina study.
Commenting on the research, Gregory Myer, a professor at Cincinnati Children’s says that injury prevention training should be extended, especially into the preseason.
Myer says that female athletes are at a higher risk of ACL injuries than males. Damaging the ACL increases the chances of developing osteoarthritis later in life.
“These are going to be bad knees when these females are still young, in their 30s and 40s. That’s one concern,” Myer adds.
They’re sometimes called “butterfly children,” children born with skin as fragile as butterfly wings. For 13-year-old Shane DiGiovanna, that means normal teen activities, like playing contact sports and riding a bike are not possible. But Shane’s disease doesn’t keep his dreams from soaring.
Shane has a rare skin disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), which makes his skin blister and tear easily. With 40 percent of his body wrapped in bandages, taking a bath and changing the dressing means several hours of pain every day.
“It’s like living with an active burn,” said Dr. Richard Azizkhan, chief surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s EB Center, which cares for nearly 300 adults and children like Shane.
Though there is no cure for EB, it isn’t holding Shane back. With sights on astrophysics, he plans to become an engineer for NASA and help design spacecraft.