Now, researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison say they have been able to both diagnose and treat the condition while the baby is still in the womb.
I confess: the first morning of my baby's life I woke up with a jolt, terrified that because I'd slept so soundly she was surely no longer breathing.
Irrational? Yes, but it's an all-too-common fear those first weeks of a newborn's life -- especially for those of us who have read the stats on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which is the leading cause of death among babies in the US and claims the lives of almost seven infants every day.
Much as we parents like to think we know our babies best, subtle clues lurk in their cries that are, for the most part, imperceptible to the human ear, and they can reveal important information about a child's health.
So researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island hope their new computer-based cry analyzer will help researchers, clinicians, and caregivers identify possible neurological or developmental issues at a very young age.
"There are lots of conditions that might manifest in differences in cry acoustics," developer Stephen Sheinkopf, assistant professor of psychiatry and human … Read more
Two separate studies published this month indicate that it may be possible to use brain imaging techniques to reliably detect autism in children as young as 6 months of age.
In the first study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers from across North America working on the larger and ongoing Infant Brain Imaging Study used a type of MRI called diffusion tensor imaging to study 92 6-month-olds deemed high risk because their older siblings had been diagnosed with autism.
What they found is that the organization of white matter in the brain plays a key role. Specifically, they … Read more
As a first-time expecting mother who doesn't know many kids, setting up my home for a baby is a mysterious process that involves procuring little outlet covers and stacking wine bottles on the counter instead of the floor.
As for maximizing my home's environment for optimal infant motor development, let's just say I'm the aunt who assumes a newborn can play with tangrams (turns out they just chew on them).
So this morning I rather eagerly checked out a new online test that assesses the quality and quantity of motor development opportunities my home currently provides. … Read more
In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement that discouraged electronic media use by children under the age of 2. Today, the same group is releasing a follow-up statement that not only maintains its previous recommendations, but backs them up with a great deal of data to boot.
In 1999, as display screens were making their way into parents' and children's bedrooms alike, the pediatricians had limited data with which to work. But they had something of an expert hunch that kids younger than 2 reaped more negative than positive effects from media exposure.
In today's … Read more
If biosensor onesies sound absurd, consider the plethora of baby gadgetry that's hit the market in recent years: speakers for babies, tweeting for babies, clothing that changes color to reveal babies' moods.
Then consider a few scenarios: parents concerned about babysitter vigilance; mothers going back to work; that several-month window in which babies are at the highest risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
So while Exmovere Holdings, the maker of Exmobaby--supposedly the first baby garment to remotely monitor vital signs and behavior--may be guilty of preying on parents' worst fears, its rather futuristic onesie could also save lives.
CEO David Bychkov explains how it works:Each Exmobaby onesie will come with a baby-safe, rechargeable Zigbee wireless transceiver that snaps into a pouch. From there, the data is transmitted to a nearby PC or cell phone in order to keep parents and other caregivers informed of a baby's status. This continuous monitoring in real time will allow for an "emotional umbilical cord" between mother and child.
The Zigbee wireless standard uses a wireless local area network (LAN) and is targeted at radio frequency applications requiring lower data rate and battery life. It's also compatible with a wide range of USB and mini SD-slot dongle devices, i.e. cell phones.… Read more