WASHINGTON: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this week the first medical device to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for children.
The device called the Monarch external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS) System is the first non-drug treatment for ADHD authorized for marketing by the FDA.
The prescription-only device is indicated for patients ages 7 to 12 years old who are not taking ADHD medication.
“This new device offers a safe, non-drug option for treatment of ADHD in pediatric patients through the use of mild nerve stimulation, a first of its kind,” said Carlos Pena, director of the Division of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
ADHD is a common disorder that begins in childhood. ADHD patients have difficulty in staying focused and paying attention.
The cell-phone sized device generates a low-level electrical pulse and connects via a wire to a small patch that adheres to a patient’s forehead, just above the eyebrows, according to FDA.
The device delivers the low-level electrical stimulation to the branches of the trigeminal nerve, sending therapeutic signals to the parts of the brain thought to be involved in ADHD.
Brain imaging showed that eTNS increases activity in the brain regions that are known to be important in regulating attention, emotion and behavior, but the exact mechanism of eTNS is not yet known.
The stimulation feels like a tingling sensation on the skin, and the device should be used in the home under the supervision of a caregiver during periods of sleep. Clinical trials suggest that a response to eTNS may take up to four weeks to become evident.
Fight vaccine hesitancy as ‘contagious disease’
GENEVA: Faced with a global resurgence of measles, health experts called today for countries to step up the fight against vaccine resistance, warning the movement was spreading like a contagious disease.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus joined experts and health ministers from a range of countries at an event on “promoting vaccine confidence”, amid rising concerns that resistance to immunization is allowing preventable diseases to flourish.
“No country can afford to be complacent about immunization,” Tedros told the meeting in Geneva, where the WHO is hosting its main annual gathering.
The WHO says cases of measles — a highly contagious viral infection that can prove fatal — surged 300 percent in 2018.
The resurgence of the once all-but-eradicated disease is linked to the growing anti-vaccine movement in richer nations, which has been identified as a major global health threat.
“It’s a contagious disease,” Seth Berkley, who heads the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, told AFP, warning that misinformation about vaccine safety “spreads at the speed of light.”
The anti-vax phenomenon has adherents across Western countries but especially in the US, where it has been fuelled by the spread on social media of medically baseless claims, debunked 20 years ago, that the jab could cause autism.
The United States, which sponsored Tuesday’s event with the EU and Brazil, lamented the “misinformation” causing vaccination rates in the country to decline.
“Vaccines are some of the most thoroughly tested medical products we have. Vaccines are safe, effective, and lifesaving,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told the meeting.
He slammed “social media conspiracy groups (that) confuse well-meaning parents so they hesitate to get the recommended vaccinations.”This misinformation has real impacts,” he said, pointing to the more than 700 measles cases in the US so far this year.
Azar dismissed questions about whether past statements by President Donald Trump in support of some anti-vaccination movement claims may bear some responsibility for the problem.
Pointing to recent comments by the president urging Americans to “get your kids vaccinated”, he stressed Trump was “extremely firm” in his support of vaccination.
EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukatis meanwhile suggested that vaccine skepticism was in part linked to the fact that vaccines have been so effective that most people have no concept of how devastating the diseases they prevent can be.
“We have become victims of our own success,” he said.
Among the measures being taken to inoculate populations against the spread of misinformation about vaccine safety was putting pressure on social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to remove or flag demonstrably false information.
“This is wrong information that is killing people,” Berkley said.
According to WHO, vaccines save some three million lives annually.
“Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines actually cause adults,” said Katherine O’Brien, who heads WHO’s immunization department.
Mango juice- a great source of nutrition to avoid heat stroke in Ramazan
PESHAWAR: Known as King of fruits, Mango is a great source of nutrition containing vitamins, which gives extra energy to people and helpful in food digestion besides minimizes chances of heat strokes during holy month of Ramazan.
“Pakistani mango is very rich in vitamins A, B and C with a sizable amount of carbohydrates, calcium, iron, potassium and protein and its juice are very helpful to avoid heat strokes during Ramazan,” senior medical and children specialist, Dr Riaz Khan said.
He said all varieties of the king fruit producing in Pakistan include Chaunsa, Sindhri, Langra, Dasehri, Anwar Ratool, Saroli, Samar Bahisht, Toota Pari, Fajri, Neelum, Alphanso, Almas, Sanwal, Surkha, Sunera and Desi are full of nutrition and recommended consumption of at least two mangoes during Iftar for quick restoration of energy.
Pakistan is blessed with five different climates conditions for different fruits and vegetables including summer for Mango farming as the king fruit was being grown in large quantity in Multan, Bahawalpur, Muzzaffargarh and Rahimyar Khan in Punjab province, Mirpur Khas, Hyderabad and Thatta in Sindh and DI Khan, Peshawar and Mardan district in KP.
Chunsa is the most preferred mango of Pakistan being liked in national and international markets and its demands has increased manifolds in Central Asia and Gulf countries due to its better taste and nutrition.
Health minister in Geneva to attend World Health Assembly
ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Zafar Mirza Monday reached Geneva as head of Pakistani delegation to attend 194 nations World Health Assembly.
On his arrival, he said today’s world health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defense against transnational threats, a statement received here said.
He said the World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making forum where nations of the world converge to deliberate and devise strategies for promoting health and reducing disease burden.
He said delegations led by health minister from all over the world are in Geneva to attend the World Health Assembly.
“I will present the major reform agenda of our government under the leadership for Prime Minister Imran Khan,” the minister said.