Brenda Banwell

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (141)715.86 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We analyzed four families that presented with a similar condition characterized by congenital microcephaly, intellectual disability, progressive cerebral atrophy, and intractable seizures. We show that recessive mutations in the ASNS gene are responsible for this syndrome. Two of the identified missense mutations dramatically reduce ASNS protein abundance, suggesting that the mutations cause loss of function. Hypomorphic Asns mutant mice have structural brain abnormalities, including enlarged ventricles and reduced cortical thickness, and show deficits in learning and memory mimicking aspects of the patient phenotype. ASNS encodes asparagine synthetase, which catalyzes the synthesis of asparagine from glutamine and aspartate. The neurological impairment resulting from ASNS deficiency may be explained by asparagine depletion in the brain or by accumulation of aspartate/glutamate leading to enhanced excitability and neuronal damage. Our study thus indicates that asparagine synthesis is essential for the development and function of the brain but not for that of other organs.
    Neuron 10/2013; 80(2):429-41. · 15.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a severe autoimmune disease of the central nervous system characterized by spinal cord and optic nerve involvement. Brainstem manifestations have recently been described. To evaluate the time of occurrence, the frequency and the characteristics of brainstem symptoms in a cohort of patients with NMO according to the ethnic background and the serologic status for anti-aquaporin-4 antibodies (AQP4-abs). We performed a multicenter study of 258 patients with NMO according to the 2006 Wingerchuk criteria and we evaluated prospectively the frequency, the date of onset and the duration of various brainstem signs in this population. Brainstem signs were observed in 81 patients (31.4%). The most frequently observed signs were vomiting (33.1%), hiccups (22.3%), oculomotor dysfunction (19.8%), pruritus (12.4%), followed by hearing loss (2.5%), facial palsy (2.5%), vertigo or vestibular ataxia (1.7%), trigeminal neuralgia (2.5%) and other cranial nerve signs (3.3%). They were inaugural in 44 patients (54.3%). The prevalence was higher in the non-Caucasian population (36.6%) than in the Caucasian population (26%) (p<0.05) and was higher in AQP4-ab-seropositive patients (32.7%) than in seronegative patients (26%) (not significant). This study confirms the high frequency of brainstem symptoms in NMO with a majority of vomiting and hiccups. The prevalence of these manifestations was higher in the non Caucasian population.
    Multiple Sclerosis 10/2013; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumefactive demyelinating lesions can be difficult to distinguish from tumors. Clinical and magnetic resonance imaging features of children with tumefactive demyelination and supratentorial brain tumors were compared. Patients were identified through a 23-site national demyelinating disease study, and from a single-site neuroradiology database. For inclusion, lesions met at least 1 of 3 criteria: maximal cross-sectional diameter >20 mm, local or global cerebral mass effect, or presence of perilesional edema. Thirty-one children with tumefactive demyelination (5 with solitary lesions) were identified: 27 of 189 (14.3%) from the demyelinating disease study and 4 from the database. Thirty-three children with tumors were identified. Children with tumefactive demyelination were more likely to have an abnormal neurologic examination and polyfocal neurologic deficits compared to children with tumors. Tumefactive demyelination was distinguished from tumor by the presence of multiple lesions, absence of cortical involvement, and decrease in lesion size or detection of new lesions on serial imaging.
    Journal of child neurology 10/2013; · 1.59 Impact Factor
  • Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders. 10/2013; 2(4):261–262.
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    ABSTRACT: Altered cerebrovascular blood flow has been proposed as a mechanism for multiple sclerosis (MS). The primary objective of this study was to measure arterial and venous blood flow in adolescent MS patients and healthy controls (HC), in whom confounding factors such as age and lifestyle are less influential. Phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to measure flow in 26 MS patients and 26 controls aged 17.7 ± 1.8 and 17.8 ± 2.1 years, respectively. Flow was measured in the left and right internal carotid arteries (ICA), vertebral arteries (VA), internal jugular veins (IJV), and epidural veins (EV). Eighteen MS patients returned for a second MRI examination after 6 months. In all participants, ultrasound criteria for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) were also evaluated. Flows (mL/min) in the MS group versus HC group were as follows: right ICA = 262 ± 57 vs. 263 ± 32, left ICA = 260 ± 67 vs. 270 ± 36, right VA = 96 ± 50 vs. 103 ± 30, left VA = 104 ± 37 vs. 118 ± 41, right IJV = 342 ± 180 vs. 345 ± 195, left IJV = 190 ± 131 vs. 250 ± 148, right EV = 33 ± 29 vs. 48 ± 43, and left EV = 36 ± 35 vs. 44 ± 28 (P > 0.17 for all comparisons). In MS participants, a nonsignificant trend to lower flow in the left IJV was observed, and the flow pulsatility index in the epidural veins was higher. Two MS participants met ultrasound criteria for CCSVI, but no significant difference in flow was detected. No population difference in flow rate was detected in adolescent MS participants relative to age-matched controls. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 09/2013; · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study muscle biopsy tissue from patients with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) in order to test the reliability of a score tool designed to quantify the severity of histological abnormalities when applied to biceps humeri in addition to quadriceps femoris. Additionally, to evaluate whether elements of the tool correlate with clinical measures of disease severity. 55 patients with JDM with muscle biopsy tissue and clinical data available were included. Biopsy samples (33 quadriceps, 22 biceps) were prepared and stained using standardised protocols. A Latin square design was used by the International Juvenile Dermatomyositis Biopsy Consensus Group to score cases using our previously published score tool. Reliability was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and scorer agreement (α) by assessing variation in scorers' ratings. Scores from the most reliable tool items correlated with clinical measures of disease activity at the time of biopsy. Inter- and intraobserver agreement was good or high for many tool items, including overall assessment of severity using a Visual Analogue Scale. The tool functioned equally well on biceps and quadriceps samples. A modified tool using the most reliable score items showed good correlation with measures of disease activity. The JDM biopsy score tool has high inter- and intraobserver agreement and can be used on both biceps and quadriceps muscle tissue. Importantly, the modified tool correlates well with clinical measures of disease activity. We propose that standardised assessment of muscle biopsy tissue should be considered in diagnostic investigation and clinical trials in JDM.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 09/2013; · 8.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) oral shedding frequency and EBV genetic diversity in pediatric patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). This was a prospective case-control study. We used PCR-based assays to detect viral DNA in the monthly mouth swabs of 22 pediatric patients with MS and 77 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. EBV-positive samples were further analyzed for sequence variation in the EBV BCRF1 (ebvIL-10) gene using direct DNA sequencing methods, and in the EBV LMP1 gene by mass spectrometry. Nineteen of the 22 (86.4%) children with MS were seropositive for remote EBV infection compared to 35 out of 77 (45.5%) healthy controls (p = 0.008). Baseline analysis of mouth swabs revealed a higher proportion of EBV-positive samples from EBV-seropositive patients with MS compared to EBV-seropositive healthy controls (52.6% vs 20%, p = 0.007). Longitudinal analysis of monthly swabs revealed average EBV detection rates of 50.6% in patients with MS and 20.4% in controls (p = 0.01). The oral shedding frequencies of Herpesviruses herpes simplex virus-1, cytomegalovirus, human herpesvirus (HHV)-6, and HHV-7 did not differ between groups. Changes in the predominant EBV genetic variants were detected more frequently in patients with MS; however, no specific EBV genetic variant was preferentially associated with MS. Children with MS demonstrate abnormally increased rates of EBV viral reactivation and a broader range of genetic variants, suggesting a selective impairment in their immunologic control of EBV.
    Neurology 09/2013; · 8.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autoantibodies targeting conformationally intact myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) are found in different inflammatory diseases of the CNS, but their antigenic epitopes have not been mapped. We expressed mutants of MOG on human HeLa cells and analyzed sera from 111 patients (104 children, 7 adults) who recognized cell-bound human MOG, but had different diseases, including acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), one episode of transverse myelitis or optic neuritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP4)-negative neuromyelitis optica (NMO), and chronic relapsing inflammatory optic neuritis (CRION). We obtained insight into the recognition of epitopes in 98 patients. All epitopes identified were located at loops connecting the β strands of MOG. The most frequently recognized MOG epitope was revealed by the P42S mutation positioned in the CC'-loop. Overall, we distinguished seven epitope patterns, including the one mainly recognized by mouse mAbs. In half of the patients, the anti-MOG response was directed to a single epitope. The epitope specificity was not linked to certain disease entities. Longitudinal analysis of 11 patients for up to 5 y indicated constant epitope recognition without evidence for intramolecular epitope spreading. Patients who rapidly lost their anti-MOG IgG still generated a long-lasting IgG response to vaccines, indicating that their loss of anti-MOG reactivity did not reflect a general lack of capacity for long-standing IgG responses. The majority of human anti-MOG Abs did not recognize rodent MOG, which has implications for animal studies. Our findings might assist in future detection of potential mimotopes and pave the way to Ag-specific depletion.
    The Journal of Immunology 09/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: There has been tremendous growth in research in pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) and immune mediated central nervous system demyelinating disorders since operational definitions for these conditions were first proposed in 2007. Further, the International Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Study Group (IPMSSG), which proposed the criteria, has expanded substantially in membership and in its international scope.
    Multiple Sclerosis 09/2013; 19(10):1261-1267. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate sample sizes for pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) trials using new T2 lesion count, annualized relapse rate (ARR), and time to first relapse (TTFR) endpoints. Poisson and negative binomial models were fit to new T2 lesion and relapse count data, and negative binomial time-to-event and exponential models were fit to TTFR data of 42 children with MS enrolled in a national prospective cohort study. Simulations were performed by resampling from the best-fitting model of new T2 lesion count, number of relapses, or TTFR, under various assumptions of the effect size, trial duration, and model parameters. Assuming a 50% reduction in new T2 lesions over 6 months, 90 patients/arm are required, whereas 165 patients/arm are required for a 40% treatment effect. Sample sizes for 2-year trials using relapse-related endpoints are lower than that for 1-year trials. For 2-year trials and a conservative assumption of overdispersion (ϑ), sample sizes range from 70 patients/arm (using ARR) to 105 patients/arm (TTFR) for a 50% reduction in relapses, and 230 patients/arm (ARR) to 365 patients/arm (TTFR) for a 30% relapse reduction. Assuming a less conservative ϑ, 2-year trials using ARR require 45 patients/arm (60 patients/arm for TTFR) for a 50% reduction in relapses and 145 patients/arm (200 patients/arm for TTFR) for a 30% reduction. Six-month phase II trials using new T2 lesion count as an endpoint are feasible in the pediatric MS population; however, trials powered on ARR or TTFR will need to be 2 years in duration and will require multicentered collaboration.
    Neurology 08/2013; · 8.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency is a postulated etiologic factor for multiple sclerosis, but the higher frequency with longer disease duration and progressive disability suggests that chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency is secondary to chronic disease. We evaluated the presence of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in pediatric-onset MS.MATERIALS AND METHODS:Twenty-six pediatric patients with MS (18 years of age or younger), 26 age-matched healthy controls, and 13 young adults with pediatric-onset MS underwent sonography of the internal jugular, vertebral, and deep cerebral veins. Five venous hemodynamic criteria were assessed, with 2 criteria required for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency. MR imaging studies, performed in the pediatric patients with MS and healthy control groups, included intracranial 2D time-of-flight MR venography and velocity-sensitive phase-contrast sequences. Contrast-enhanced brain MR images were obtained in pediatric patients with MS to further evaluate venous patency. We used paired t tests, Wilcoxon matched pairs, McNemar tests, and exact conditional logistic regression to estimate the association of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency with MS.RESULTS:Fifty participants (73.5%) had normal ultrasound findings, 15 (23.1%) met 1 venous hemodynamic criterion, and 2 pediatric patients with MS and 1 young adult with pediatric-onset MS met chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency criteria. Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency was not associated with MS (odds ratio, 2.41; 95% CI, 0.19-infinity). Demographic and disease characteristics did not differ between the patients with MS meeting chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency criteria (n = 3) and those who did not (n = 36; all, P > .05). The mean (SD) MR imaging measures of intracerebral flow did not differ between the 2 pediatric patients with MS meeting chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency criteria (0.85 ± 0.11) and healthy controls (0.87 ± 0.16, P = .50); no child demonstrated venous obstruction.CONCLUSIONS:Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency is rarely observed in children or young adults with pediatric-onset MS. Venous anatomy and flow rates indicate that venous outflow is intact in pediatric patients with MS. Our findings argue against chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency as a component of MS etiology.
    American Journal of Neuroradiology 07/2013; · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background In a recent Canadian prospective study of children with acute demyelinating syndromes (ADS), we demonstrated that the presence of T2 periventricular and T1-hypointense lesions predicted MS diagnosis. We aimed to validate these predictors in a Dutch cohort of children with ADS.Methods Participants with ADS were identified from a prospective cohort or archived dataset. MS was diagnosed based on clinical or MRI evidence of relapsing disease. Baseline MRI scans were evaluated for the presence of the two predictive parameters. Sensitivity, specificity, positive (LR+) and negative likelihood ratios (LR−), and positive (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) were calculated to evaluate the performance of the MRI parameters at classifying children as having MS or monophasic demyelination.FindingsOf 115 children identified with ADS between December 1993 and December 2009, MRI scans from 87 children (45 prospective; 47 archived) were evaluated; scans of 28 children were excluded due to incomplete or poor quality imaging. Mean duration of observation was longer in the archived group (7.1 years, SD 3.5) than the prospective cohort (3.3 years, SD 1.4). 30 children were diagnosed with MS. Performance of the parameters was not statistically different between the prospective cohort (sensitivity 93.3% [68.1–99.8]; specificity 86.7% [69.3–96.2]; LR+ 7.0 [2.8–17.6]; LR− 0.08 [0.01–0.5]; PPV 77.8% [52.4–93.6]; NPV 96.3% [81.0–99.9]) and archived group (sensitivity 66.7% [38.4–88.2]; specificity 85.2% [66.3–95.8]; LR+ 4.5 [1.7–11.9]; LR− 0.4 [0.2–0.8]; PPV 71.4% [41.9–91.6]; NPV 82.1% [63.1–93.9]).InterpretationIn an independent Dutch cohort, we confirm that the presence of ≥1 T2 periventricular and ≥1 T1-hypointense lesions reliably identifies children with MS.FundingDutch MS Research Foundation.
    Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders. 07/2013; 2(3):193–199.
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the clinical and genetic features of a well-characterized cohort of patients with autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia (ARHSP) in the province of Ontario. Patients with documented corticospinal tract abnormalities were screened by whole gene sequencing and multiplex ligation probe amplification for mutations in nine genes known to cause ARHSP. Of a cohort of 39 patients, a genetic diagnosis was established in 17 (44 %) and heterozygous mutations were detected in 8 (21 %). Mutations were most frequent in SPG7 (12 patients), followed by SPG11 (10 patients), PNPLA6 (SPG39, 2 patients), and ZFYVE26 (SPG15, 2 patients). Although there are associations between some clinical manifestations of ARHSP and specific genes, many patients are tested at an early stage of the disease when phenotype/genotype correlations are not obvious. Accurate molecular characterization of well-phenotyped cohorts of patients will be essential to establishing the natural history of these rare degenerative disorders to enable future clinical trials.
    Neurogenetics 06/2013; · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To expand current knowledge, we examined the safety and tolerability of subcutaneous interferon β-1a in patients with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis. Records from 307 patients who had received at least 1 injection of subcutaneous interferon β-1a for demyelinating events when aged younger than 18 years were reviewed. Overall, 168 (54.7%) patients had at least 1 prespecified medical event related to or under close monitoring with subcutaneous interferon β-1a or specific to pediatric patients, 184 (59.9%) had nonserious medical events related to treatment or of unknown causality, and 12 (3.9%) had serious medical events irrespective of causality. The most common laboratory abnormalities were increased alanine (74/195; 37.9%) and aspartate aminotransferase levels (59/194; 30.4%). Annualized relapse rates were 1.79 before treatment and 0.47 during treatment. In conclusion, adult doses of subcutaneous interferon β-1a (44 and 22 μg, 3 times weekly) were well tolerated in pediatric patients and were associated with reduced relapse rates.
    Journal of child neurology 05/2013; · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is one of the most important paraclinical tools for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), and monitoring of disease progression and treatment response. This article provides clinicians and neuroradiologists caring for children with demyelinating disorders with a suggested standard MR imaging acquisition and reporting protocol, and defines a standard lexicon for lesion features typical of MS in children. As there is considerable overlap between the MR imaging features of pediatric- and adult-onset MS, the recommendations provided herein may be of relevance to radiologists and clinicians caring for adults with multiple sclerosis.
    Neuroimaging Clinics of North America 05/2013; 23(2):217-226.e7. · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a severe inflammatory demyelinating disorder typically characterized by attacks of recurrent optic neuritis and transverse myelitis. Advances in magnetic resonance imaging techniques and the discovery of the relatively specific NMO IgG biomarker have led to improved diagnostic accuracy and greater recognition of the broad clinical spectrum of aquaporin 4-related autoimmunity. Brain lesions in NMO typically follow the distribution of aquaporin 4 expression and may be symptomatic. Prompt diagnosis of NMO and NMO spectrum disorders has important therapeutic implications given the high risk of recurrent attacks and consequent severe disability, especially in childhood-onset disease.
    Neuroimaging Clinics of North America 05/2013; 23(2):279-91. · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Working Group (CMSWG) developed practical recommendations in 2004 to assist clinicians in optimizing the use of disease-modifying therapies (DMT) in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis. The CMSWG convened to review how disease activity is assessed, propose a more current approach for assessing suboptimal response, and to suggest a scheme for switching or escalating treatment. Practical criteria for relapses, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) progression and MRI were developed to classify the clinical level of concern as Low, Medium and High. The group concluded that a change in treatment may be considered in any RRMS patient if there is a high level of concern in any one domain (relapses, progression or MRI), a medium level of concern in any two domains, or a low level of concern in all three domains. These recommendations for assessing treatment response should assist clinicians in making more rational choices in their management of relapsing MS patients.
    The Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques 05/2013; 40(3):307-23. · 1.33 Impact Factor
  • Julia O'Mahony, Manohar Shroff, Brenda Banwell
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews the features that should prompt consideration of diseases that mimic acquired demyelinating syndromes and multiple sclerosis using vignettes to highlight unusual clinical and radiologic features. Cases of transverse myelitis, spinal infarction, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, fever-induced refractory epileptic encephalopathy in school-aged children, small-vessel vasculitis, Griscelli syndrome type 2, cysticercosis, vitamin B12 deficiency, and chronic relapsing inflammatory optic neuropathy are presented.
    Neuroimaging Clinics of North America 05/2013; 23(2):321-36. · 1.20 Impact Factor
  • Leonard H Verhey, Manohar Shroff, Brenda Banwell
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    ABSTRACT: In this article, the pathobiological, clinical, and treatment aspects of pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (MS) are summarized, and the conventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (ie, T1-weighted, proton-density, and T2-weighted imaging) features of MS in children are discussed, as well as the application of MR imaging in the diagnosis of pediatric-onset MS and in prediction of MS in children with an incident central nervous system demyelination. Insights gained from studies comparing MR imaging features of pediatric-onset and adult-onset MS are presented.
    Neuroimaging Clinics of North America 05/2013; 23(2):227-43. · 1.20 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
715.86 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013–2014
    • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
      • Department of Neurology
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Duke University Medical Center
      • Center for Human Genome Variation
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
    • Royal Melbourne Hospital
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 1999–2014
    • SickKids
      • Division of Neurology
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2012
    • KK Women's and Children's Hospital
      • Department of Neurology Services
      Singapore, Singapore
  • 2011–2012
    • York University
      • Department of Psychology
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Université du Québec
      Québec, Quebec, Canada
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2005–2012
    • University of Toronto
      • • Division of Neurology
      • • Department of Nutritional Sciences
      • • Hospital for Sick Children
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2008–2011
    • McGill University
      • McConnell Brain Imaging Centre
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    • McMaster University
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 2010
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2009
    • University of Sydney
      • Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2004
    • Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Hospital
      Al Kuwayt, Al Asimah Governorate, Kuwait
  • 2002
    • The University of Calgary
      • Department of Paediatrics
      Calgary, Alberta, Canada