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Why the obsession with Vitamin D?

7 Feb, 11 | by Bob Phillips

So, in the dark and cold climes of an early Northern Spring, Archi has been assailed by questions of vitamin D. There are, it is claimed, near-miraculous things from Vitamin D sufficiency – less cancer, less heart disease, less rickets. Well, I’ll buy the last one, but the others? And does any child really need supplements, or just those in poverty or the middle classes? (For two reasons; the first for nutritional health, the second for social acceptability.)


Squiggly lines and tea leaves

13 Jun, 10 | by Bob Phillips

My grannie-in-law knew a lady who would look at your tea leaves and tell you the future (younger readers – see here – tea is not always bagged & tagged).

I had a similar experience with a neonatologist who would look at the seismograph attached to a babies head and declare the child needed more (or less) phenobarbitone.  Exactly how the dose alterations were related to who’d just knocked the incubator, and what they did for the babe, I have yet to understand. But there is a London doctor who is reviewing just how much those ‘cerebral function monitors’ really do tell clever tiny baby docs anything at all. more…

Q: Should you test Asian patients for HLA-B*1502 before presecribing AEDs?

12 Apr, 10 | by Bob Phillips

I think this is a fascinating question. In paediatric oncology, we’re been doing a tiny bit of genetically personalised medicine for a while now, testing the allelic variations of thiopurine metabolisers so we don’t (over~) poison a small proportion of children with ALL. There are suggestions more…

Q: Ritalin and epilepsy?

22 Dec, 09 | by Bob Phillips

EEG of SeizureWhen faced with co-morbidities in paediatrics, many of us need to take a deep breath. It’s not really that often your off-the-street child has more than one diagnosis, is it? (And currently, you can take a 9:1 bet on the diagnosis being ‘bronchiolitis’.) So, when the question of treating a child with ADHD and epilepsy arises, there’s a pair of problems that are faced: more…

Unanswered Question: Do children with autism and developmental regression need EEG investigation in the absence of clinical seizures?

31 Jul, 07 | by BMJ

John diagnosed with autism at 18 months old presents to your developmental clinic at 30 months old. His mother reports developmental regression of previously acquired developmental milestones. He has now lost his previously acquired language skills and only makes incomprehensible babbles. He is otherwise clinically well and does not have any clinical seizures. You wonder whether an electroencephalogram (EEG) should be performed on John to rule out possible underlying subclinical epilepsy that may contribute to his developmental regression.


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