Shelly K Weiss

SickKids, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (53)133.11 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Little knowledge exists on the availability of academic and community paediatric neurology positions. This knowledge is crucial for making workforce decisions. Our study aimed to: 1) obtain information regarding the availability of positions for paediatric neurologists in academic centres; 2) survey paediatric neurology trainees regarding their perceptions of employment issues and career plans; 3) survey practicing community paediatric neurologists 4) convene a group of paediatric neurologists to develop consensus regarding how to address these workforce issues. Methods: Surveys addressing workforce issues regarding paediatric neurology in Canada were sent to: 1) all paediatric neurology program directors in Canada (n=9) who then solicited information from division heads and from paediatric neurologists in surrounding areas; 2) paediatric neurology trainees in Canada (n=57) and; 3) community paediatric neurologists (n=27). A meeting was held with relevant stakeholders to develop a consensus on how to approach employment issues. Results: The response rate was 100% from program directors, 57.9% from residents and 44% from community paediatric neurologists. We found that the number of projected positions in academic paediatric neurology is fewer than the number of paediatric neurologists that are being trained over the next five to ten years, despite a clinical need for paediatric neurologists. Paediatric neurology residents are concerned about job availability and desire more career counselling. Conclusions: There is a current and projected clinical demand for paediatric neurologists despite a lack of academic positions. Training programs should focus on community neurology as a viable career option.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · The Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECT Hemispherectomy for unilateral, medically refractory epilepsy is associated with excellent long-term seizure control. However, for patients with recurrent seizures following disconnection, workup and investigation can be challenging, and surgical options may be limited. Few studies have examined the role of repeat hemispherotomy in these patients. The authors hypothesized that residual fiber connections between the hemispheres could be the underlying cause of recurrent epilepsy in these patients. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to test this hypothesis, and to target residual connections at reoperation using neuronavigation. METHODS The authors identified 8 patients with recurrent seizures following hemispherectomy who underwent surgery between 1995 and 2012. Prolonged video electroencephalography recordings documented persistent seizures arising from the affected hemisphere. In all patients, DTI demonstrated residual white matter association fibers connecting the hemispheres. A repeat craniotomy and neuronavigation-guided targeted disconnection of these residual fibers was performed. Engel class was used to determine outcome after surgery at a minimum of 2 years of follow-up. RESULTS Two patients underwent initial hemidecortication and 6 had periinsular hemispherotomy as their first procedures at a median age of 9.7 months. Initial pathologies included hemimegalencephaly (n = 4), multilobar cortical dysplasia (n = 3), and Rasmussen's encephalitis (n = 1). The mean duration of seizure freedom for the group after the initial procedure was 32.5 months (range 6-77 months). In all patients, DTI showed limited but definite residual connections between the 2 hemispheres, primarily across the rostrum/genu of the corpus callosum. The median age at reoperation was 6.8 years (range 1.3-14 years). The average time taken for reoperation was 3 hours (range 1.8-4.3 hours), with a mean blood loss of 150 ml (range 50-250 ml). One patient required a blood transfusion. Five patients are seizure free, and the remaining 3 patients are Engel Class II, with a minimum follow-up of 24 months for the group. CONCLUSIONS Repeat hemispherotomy is an option for consideration in patients with recurrent intractable epilepsy following failed surgery for catastrophic epilepsy. In conjunction with other modalities to establish seizure onset zones, advanced MRI and DTI sequences may be of value in identifying patients with residual connectivity between the affected and unaffected hemispheres. Targeted disconnection of these residual areas of connectivity using neuronavigation may result in improved seizure outcomes, with minimal and acceptable morbidity.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics
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    ABSTRACT: Study objectives: To investigate the association between self-reported and objective measures of sleep and wind turbine noise (WTN) exposure. Methods: The Community Noise and Health Study, a cross-sectional epidemiological study, included an in-house computer-assisted survey and sleep pattern monitoring over a 7 d period. Outdoor WTN levels were calculated following international standards for conditions that typically approximate the highest long-term average levels at each dwelling. Survey data were collected between May and September 2013 from adults, aged 18-79 y (606 males, 632 females) randomly selected from each household and living between 0.25 and 11.22 kilometers from operational wind turbines in two Canadian provinces. Self-reported sleep quality over the past 30 d was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Additional questions assessed the prevalence of diagnosed sleep disorders and the magnitude of sleep disturbance over the previous year. Objective measures for sleep latency, sleep efficiency, total sleep time, rate of awakening bouts, and wake duration after sleep onset were recorded using the wrist worn Actiwatch2® from a subsample of 654 participants for a total of 3,772 sleep nights. Results: Participant response rate for the survey was 78.9%. Outdoor WTN levels reached 46 dB(A) with an arithmetic mean of 35.6 and a standard deviation of 7.4. Self-reported and objectively measured sleep outcomes consistently revealed no apparent pattern or statistically significant relationship to WTN levels. However, sleep was significantly influenced by other factors, including, but not limited to, the use of sleep medication, other health conditions (including sleep disorders), caffeine consumption, and annoyance with blinking lights on wind turbines. Conclusions: Study results do not support an association between exposure to outdoor WTN up to 46 dB(A) and an increase in the prevalence of disturbed sleep. Conclusions are based on WTN levels averaged over 1 y and, in some cases, may be strengthened with an analysis that examines sleep quality in relation to WTN levels calculated during the precise sleep period time.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Sleep
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    ABSTRACT: Epilepsy surgery can be successful in children with extensive congenital or early acquired focal or hemispheric brain lesion on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) despite generalized interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs). The aim of this study was to assess if rapid eye movement (REM) sleep reduced generalized IEDs and revealed lateralized IEDs to identify the epileptogenic hemisphere in children with generalized IEDs and normal/subtle changes on MRI. We studied 20 children with generalized IEDs on scalp electroencephalography (EEG) and normal/subtle changes on MRI who underwent intracranial video-EEG for epilepsy surgery. We assessed a minimum of 100 IEDs during REM, non-REM, and wakefulness, and assigned the distribution (generalized, left, or right hemisphere) to each IED. The number of lobes in the resected areas and seizure outcome were compared between 20 children with generalized IEDs and a comparison group of 28 children without generalized IEDs. The mean occurrence rate of generalized IEDs during REM (37%) was significantly lower than that during non-REM (67%, p < 0.001) and wakefulness (54%, p = 0.003). The number of children whose largest number of IEDs was lateralized in REM was significantly higher than that in non-REM (15 vs. 3 children, 75% vs. 15%, p < 0.001). The hemisphere with lateralized IEDs among three states corresponded with the surgical side in 16 children with generalized IEDs. Seventeen children (85%) with generalized IEDs and 27 (96%) without generalized IEDs underwent resective surgery. Multilobar resection was required for 16 children (94%) with generalized IEDs more frequently than 7 children (26%) without generalized IEDs (p < 0.001). Thirteen children (77%) with generalized IEDs and 19 (73%) without generalized IEDs were seizure-free with a mean of 3.3 years of follow-up. Our study demonstrates the importance of assessing REM in children with generalized IEDs as it reveals lateralized epileptogenic spikes. Seizure freedom may be achieved with multilobar resection in these children with generalized IEDs and normal/subtle changes on MRI. Generalized IEDs in children with normal/subtle changes on MRI should not preclude surgical resection. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 International League Against Epilepsy.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Epilepsia
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Infantile spasms (IS) are a severe form of childhood epilepsy associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in up to 35% of cases. The objective of this post hoc analysis of our randomized control trial was to determine whether rapid diagnosis and treatment of IS could limit the incidence of ASD while identifying risk factors related to ASD outcome.Methods Patients with IS were randomized in a standardized diagnostic and treatment protocol. Clinical and electroencephalogram (EEG) evaluations were completed at all eight visits over 5 years, while cognitive evaluations were administered at 0, 6, 24 and 60 months, respectively. Autism was initially screened by means of the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT) at 24 months, and formally assessed at the 30-and 60-month follow-ups using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule—Generic (ADOS-G).ResultsOf the 69 patients included in the study, 25 could not be assessed due to severe delay or death. Eleven of the 42 patients screened with CHAT, were found to be at risk of an ASD outcome. ADOS was performed in 44 and 10 were diagnosed with ASD. The CHAT proved to correlate highly with the ADOS (80% ppv). Only patients with symptomatic IS developed ASD (p = 0.003). Earlier diagnosis or successful treatment did not correlate with a reduced rate of ASD. Other risk factors were identified such as having chronic epileptic discharges in the frontotemporal areas after disappearance of hypsarrhythmia (p = 0.005 and p = 0.007) and being of nonwhite origin (p = 0.009).SignificanceASD was only observed in children with sympyomatic IS. Other clinical risk factors include chronic frontotemporal epileptic activity and being of non-white origin. Early diagnosis and treatment did not prevent ASD as an outcome of IS. However, patients at risk for ASD could be identified early on and should in the future benefit from early intervention to potentially improve their long-term outcome.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Epilepsia
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    ABSTRACT: Access to treatment for pediatric insomnia is limited by a number of factors. Recently, the Internet has started to be used as a means of increasing access to evidence-based behavioral treatment. The current article describes the results of 2 studies focused on evaluating potential factors that could influence parents’ use of an Internet intervention for pediatric insomnia. In Study 1, health professionals were asked to report on their perceptions of potential barriers and facilitators to their use of an Internet intervention for pediatric insomnia with their patients. Study 2 was a usability study in which participants (parents and health professionals) were asked to evaluate the usability of a beta version of an Internet intervention for pediatric insomnia (Better Nights, Better Days) that is currently under development. Results from both studies suggest that factors related to the website, as well as factors external to the website, may impact parents’ use of an Internet intervention for pediatric insomnia, as well as perceptions of usability and satisfaction. The results of the current research have implications for the development of both the intervention under investigation and of future e-health interventions.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Epilepsy is a common neurologic disorder of childhood. To determine the genetic diagnostic yield in epileptic encephalopathy, we performed a retrospective cohort study in a single epilepsy genetics clinic.Methods We included all patients with intractable epilepsy, global developmental delay, and cognitive dysfunction seen between January 2012 and June 2014 in the Epilepsy Genetics Clinic. Electronic patient charts were reviewed for clinical features, neuroimaging, biochemical investigations, and molecular genetic investigations including targeted next-generation sequencing of epileptic encephalopathy genes.ResultsGenetic causes were identified in 28% of the 110 patients: 7% had inherited metabolic disorders including pyridoxine dependent epilepsy caused by ALDH7A1 mutation, Menkes disease, pyridox(am)ine-5-phosphate oxidase deficiency, cobalamin G deficiency, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency, glucose transporter 1 deficiency, glycine encephalopathy, and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency; 21% had other genetic causes including genetic syndromes, pathogenic copy number variants on array comparative genomic hybridization, and epileptic encephalopathy related to mutations in the SCN1A, SCN2A, SCN8A, KCNQ2, STXBP1, PCDH19, and SLC9A6 genes. Forty-five percent of patients obtained a genetic diagnosis by targeted next-generation sequencing epileptic encephalopathy panels. It is notable that 4.5% of patients had a treatable inherited metabolic disease.SignificanceTo the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to combine inherited metabolic disorders and other genetic causes of epileptic encephalopathy. Targeted next-generation sequencing panels increased the genetic diagnostic yield from <10% to >25% in patients with epileptic encephalopathy.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Epilepsia

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry = Journal de l'Academie canadienne de psychiatrie de l'enfant et de l'adolescent
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    ABSTRACT: Background The relationship between epilepsy and sleep is bidirectional as seizures disrupt sleep and coexisting sleep disorders have detrimental effects on seizure control and quality of life for both the children and their families. Previous research has reported on sleep disturbance in children with epilepsy primarily by subjective parental reports. Actigraphy may provide a more accurate objective evaluation of sleep, but the validity of this sleep measure for children with epilepsy has not yet been assessed. The primary objective of this study was to validate the use of actigraphy as a tool in studying sleep patterns in children with epilepsy. Methods This was a prospective study comparing sleep and wake epochs recorded for 24 h simultaneously by actigraphy and by continuous video-electroencephalography (VEEG) monitoring in 27 patients aged 2–18 years with medically refractory epilepsy. Results Strong correlations were found between actigraphy and VEEG sleep variables including night sleep period (r = 0.99), night sleep time (r = 0.96), duration of night wake time (r = 0.93) and number of significant wakings during the night (r = 0.81). Conclusion The study results validate that actigraphy is a reliable and objective clinical and research tool for evaluating sleep and wakefulness in children with epilepsy.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Sleep Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Background Sleep problems are common among children with chronic illnesses such as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (or JIA). However, little is known about the frequency and severity of sleep disturbance(s) and the factors that are associated with sleep problems in children with JIA. The mechanism(s) of the relationships characterizing the development or exacerbation of sleep problems in children with JIA are still unknown, however studies have reported an association. The purpose of this study was to synthesize existing research related to sleep problems in children with JIA. Methods The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) statement guided the conduct and reporting of this review. An experienced librarian conducted searches in MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from inception to January 2012, to identify potentially relevant citations. Two members independently selected, rated methodological quality using the QUIPS tool, and extracted data from included studies. Results Ten studies were included and findings varied across studies; studies were mostly cross-sectional, or case-controlled designs, with only one cohort study available. Four studies found that children and adolescents diagnosed with JIA had significantly more sleep disturbances when compared to healthy controls. Pain was most often associated with sleep disturbances. The heterogeneous findings highlight the complex relationships between JIA and sleep, and low methodological quality of studies in the field. Conclusions This review supports an association between poor sleep and increased symptoms related to JIA, specifically the experience of pain. However, results need to be interpreted cautiously given the inconsistent findings regarding factors associated with sleep problems in JIA, the limited evidence available, and its low quality. Furthermore it is not yet determined if the poor sleep patterns predate the symptoms reported with JIA. More research is vital to understanding the factors that predict or perpetuate poor sleep in children and adolescents diagnosed with JIA.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Pediatric Rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: Sleep problems represent a real and troubling aspect of the lives of many children with NDD. As with TD children, the most common sleep problem among children with NDD is behavioral insomnia. Prevalence rates of sleep problemsin general range between 50% and 95% for children with NDD. Given that poor sleep in children with NDD has been associated with impairments in daytime functioning, decreased quality of life for the children, increased NDD symptoms and morbidity, and negative effects on caregivers health and parenting abilities, these high rates are concerning and underscore the need for appropriate screening, diagnostic evaluation, and management. Behavioral interventions have considerable empiric support and should be recommended as first-line treatment of sleep problems in this population. Additional research is needed to establish the effectiveness of specific behavioral strategies, including psychoeducation, healthy sleep practices, and techniques, such as faded bedtime with response cost (FBRC) or extinction, for treating behavioral insomnia in children with NDD.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Sleep Medicine Clinics
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    ABSTRACT: The literature has been highly informative for when to use actigraphy and its validity in pediatric research. However, minimal literature exists on how to perform actigraphy, especially in special populations. We determined whether providing actigraphy training to parents and coordinators increased the nights of actigraphy data that could be scored. We compared two studies in children with autism spectrum disorders, one of which provided a basic level of training in a single-site trial and the other of which provided more detailed training to parents and coordinators in a multisite trial. There was an increase in scorable nights in the multisite trial containing a one-hour structured parent training session. Our results support the use of educational tools in clinical trials that use actigraphy.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Behavioral Sleep Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Children with epilepsy have frequent sleep disturbance and challenges in learning and memory. There is little research on the consolidation of memory during sleep in this population. The goal of this pilot study was to determine whether children with epilepsy are able to consolidate memories better after a sleep versus wake period as has been demonstrated in typically developing children. This study was a prospective evaluation of children with epilepsy to determine if sleep improved episodic memory (using word lists) as compared with memory following a wake period of similar duration. The study was conducted in patients in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at a single academic health science center. In the sleep recall condition, the learning trials were presented in the evening, and delayed recall of the words was tested in the morning. In the wake condition, the learning took place in the morning, and the delayed recall took place later in the day. Subjects wore an actigraph to evaluate sleep/wake patterns. Data regarding the children's epilepsy, antiepileptic medications, and frequency of interictal epileptiform discharges were also documented. Ten children (agd 8-17years) participated in the study. For the entire sample, recall after sleep was better than recall after awake (p=0.03), and 7 of the 10 children showed this effect. However, reanalyses removing an outlier showed no difference between the two recall conditions. The mean number of interictal epileptiform discharges was 8.8 during the recall after sleep and 7.8 during the recall after awake. Three children had seizures during the evaluation. In this pilot study, we demonstrated that a small cohort of children with epilepsy, with similar interictal epileptiform discharges during sleep and wake, showed no advantage in memory for a word list after a period of sleep than after a period of being awake. This finding requires further study in a larger cohort. Poor memory consolidation during sleep may contribute to the cognitive deficits in children with epilepsy.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Epilepsy & Behavior

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Sleep Medicine Clinics
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    ABSTRACT: In Canada, all levels of government share jurisdiction for regulating sound that could be harmful to Canadians. The location of wind turbines and associated sound level limits fall under the jurisdiction of provincial governments. As of October 2013, Canada’s installed capacity has surpassed 7 Gigawatts (Canadian Wind Energy Association, 2013). At the same time there is public concern for potential health impacts, which include disrupted sleep from exposure to wind turbine sound (WTS). The possible association between WTS and impairments in sleep quality has been reported in the peer reviewed literature (Pedersen and Waye, 2004; Pedersen et al., 2009; Shepherd, 2011; Nissenbaum et al., 2012). However, these studies have relied exclusively upon self-reporting as a means of assessing sleep and other community reactions to WTS. There is an inherent bias associated with self-reported data in environmental epidemiology studies (Moffatt, 2000; Smith-Sivertsen, 2000), which in some cases, makes it especially important to supplement these data with other measures. To date, there has been no study that has included objective measures of sleep disturbance, noise-induced stress or other biological markers to evaluate the potential effect on individuals that live near wind turbines. Health Canada is collaborating with Statistics Canada on a cross-sectional epidemiological study to evaluate selfreported and objectively measured health indicators among individuals living within approximately 10km of an operational industrial wind turbine park. The results of the study are anticipated to be released late 2014. This research, taken together with other studies in this area, is intended to provide decision makers with scientific evidence to support a global evidence base on which future research can be built. Collectively, these studies help inform decisions and policies on practices regarding wind turbine proposals, installations and operations in Canada. This study has been approved by the Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada Review Ethics Board (Protocol #2012-0065 and #2012-0072). Additional review was carried out by the Study’s Expert Committeec, Health Canada’s Science Advisory Board, World Health Organization (WHO)-selected advisors, and other professionals with expertise in the field of acoustics and social and direct measures surveys. The study design underwent further review subsequent to a 60 day public consultation period.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013
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    ABSTRACT: A systems analysis perspective was undertaken to evaluate access to surgery for children with medically refractory epilepsy (MRE) in Ontario, the largest province in Canada. The analysis focused on the assessment of referral patterns, healthcare utilization, time intervals and patient flow to determine surgical candidacy in children with MRE. The purpose of this systems analysis study was to identify rate limiting steps that may lead to delayed surgical candidacy decision and surgery. Prolonged video electroencephalography (vEEG) is the common entry point into the process for all potential epilepsy surgery candidates. Therefore, a single centre retrospective chart review of children and adolescents referred to the epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) for vEEG monitoring at the primary referral centre for paediatric epilepsy surgery in the province. Basic demographic and referral data were abstracted for all screened cases. Included cases were: (1) age <19 years old at time of first EMU admission, (2) date of EMU admission between April 1, 2004 and March 31, 2006 and (3) referral for elective vEEG and/or overnight with vEEG greater than 8h duration. Data were collected on number of seizure conferences, surgical candidacy, surgical outcomes (seizure free and seizure reduction), resource utilization, and recorded time stamps for each event to estimate system delays. During the two-year period, 463 patients were referred to the EMU of whom 349 received prolonged vEEG (>8h). Forty five percent (n=160) of patients came to seizure conference for discussion of their data, of whom 40% (64/160) were considered surgical candidates. Time from first seizure to EMU referral was approximately 4.6 years. Time from referral to admission and admission to first seizure conference were approximately 103 days and 71 days, respectively. From initial EMU referral to surgery ranged from 1.6 to 1.1 years depending on whether the patient required invasive monitoring with intracranial EEG. Overall, 95% of surgical patients had a reduction in seizure frequency, 74% were seizure free after one year post-surgery. Referral rates for surgical assessment are low relative to the estimated number of children living with MRE in Ontario, less than 2%. Hence, only a limited number of children with this disorder in the province of Ontario who could benefit from epilepsy surgery are being assessed for surgical candidacy. The majority of Ontario children with MRE are not being provided the potential opportunity to be seizure free and live without functional limitations following surgical intervention. These data document the critical need for health system redesign in Ontario, the goal of which should be to provide more consistent and just access to evidence-based medical and surgical care for those citizens of the province who suffer from epilepsy.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Epilepsy research
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    ABSTRACT: This study provided sleep education to parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to determine whether an individual or group format was more effective in improving sleep and aspects of daytime behavior and family functioning. Eighty children, ages 2-10 years, with ASD and sleep onset delay completed the study. Actigraphy and parent questionnaires were collected at baseline and 1 month after treatment. Mode of education did not affect outcomes. Sleep latency, insomnia subscales on the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire, and other outcomes related to child and family functioning improved with treatment. Parent-based sleep education, delivered in relatively few sessions, was associated with improved sleep onset delay in children with ASD. Group versus individualized education did not affect outcome.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Shelly K. Weiss
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    ABSTRACT: Sleep starts (hypnic jerks) and sleep talking (somniloquy) are both common physiologic phenomenon that occur during sleep in healthy children and adults. They are both examples of nocturnal events that may be a source of concern to parents, partners, or others who are watching or listening to a child or bed-partner during sleep. Neither of these phenomenon disturb sleep, and hence should not have any daytime consequences. Sleep talking can be disturbing to individuals sleeping in close proximity due to anxiety about what it may represent to the individual or simply because it disturbs the sleep of others. Sleep starts can be disturbing also, as they may be confused with sleep-onset seizures. Either phenomenon can coexist with other mental or physical health or other sleep disturbances. Proper diagnosis and where appropriate, reassurance can relieve parental and/or bed-partner’s anxiety and avoid costly and time-consuming evaluations that are often unnecessary. Health care providers must be able to differentiate these phenomena from other worrisome sleep disturbance such as parasomnias or sleep-related breathing disorders may coexist; thus, requiring further evaluation.
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Sleep difficulties are common reasons why parents seek medical intervention in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). We determined whether a pamphlet alone could be used by parents to help their child's insomnia. Methods: Thirty-six children with ASD, ages 2 to 10 years, were enrolled. All had prolonged sleep latency confirmed by actigraphy showing a mean sleep latency of 30 minutes or more. Parents were randomly assigned to receive the sleep education pamphlet or no intervention. Children wore an actigraphy device to record baseline sleep parameters, with the primary outcome variable being change in sleep latency. Actigraphy data were collected a second time 2 weeks after the parent received the randomization assignment and analyzed by using Student's t test. Parents were also asked a series of questions to gather information about the pamphlet and its usefulness. Results: Although participants randomized to the 2 arms did not differ statistically in age, gender, socioeconomic status, total Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire score, or actigraphy parameters, some differences may be large enough to affect results. Mean change in sleep-onset latency did not differ between the randomized groups (pamphlet versus no pamphlet). Parents commented that the pamphlet contained good information, but indicated that it would have been more useful to be given specific examples of how to take the information and put it into practice. Conclusions: A sleep education pamphlet did not appear to improve sleep latency in children with ASDs.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Pediatrics
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Cognitive impairment is observed commonly in children with a history of infantile spasms (IS). The goal of this study was to prospectively examine the effect on cognitive outcome of a neuroprotective agent used as adjunctive therapy during treatment of the spasms. Methods: In a randomized controlled trial, patients received a standardized therapy plus flunarizine or placebo. The standardized treatment consisted of vigabatrin as first-line therapy. Nonresponders were switched to intramuscular synthetic adrenocorticotropic hormone (sACTH depot) after 2 weeks and, if necessary, to topiramate after two additional weeks. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS) and Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID) were used as outcome measures 24 months after the intervention. Key Findings: Sixty-eight of 101 children diagnosed over 3 years in seven centers in Canada received either adjunctive flunarizine or placebo. Sixty-five of the 68 children (96%) became spasm-free within 8 weeks and no late relapse occurred. Bayley and Vineland results were available at baseline and at 24 months in 45 children. There was no significant difference in the BSID developmental quotient between the flunarizine- and placebo-treated children at baseline (44.3 ± 35.5 vs. 30.9 ± 29.8; p = 0.18) or 24 months later (56.9 ± 33.3 vs. 46 ± 34.2; p = 0.29). However, the 10 flunarizine-treated children with no identified etiology had a better outcome than the eight controls at 24 months on both the Vineland Scale (84.1 ± 11.3 vs. 72.3 ± 9.8; p = 0.03) and the Bayley Scale (87.6 ± 14.7 vs. 69.9 ± 25.3; p = 0.07). Significance: Our study failed to demonstrate a protective effect of flunarizine on cognitive outcome in a cohort of children with IS. An analysis of subgroups suggested that flunarizine may further improve cognitive outcome in children with no identified etiology.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Epilepsia

Publication Stats

927 Citations
133.11 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003-2015
    • SickKids
      • Division of Neurology
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2001-2015
    • University of Toronto
      • • Division of Neurology
      • • Hospital for Sick Children
      • • Department of Paediatrics
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada