BPA linked to Hyperactivity in Children

Further evidence that children’s exposure to bisphenol A alters brain development and triggers behavior problems

Children in the U.S. with higher levels of BPA in their bodies were more likely to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to a study.

The research adds to evidence that children’s BPA exposure may alter brain development and lead to behavior problems such as reduced attention and hyperactivity.

ADHD is the most common behavior disorder in U.S. children, causing them to have trouble concentrating and controlling their behavior.

Abstract

Association of Bisphenol A exposure and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in a national sample of U.S. children, ScienceDirect, Volume 150, October 2016, Pages 112–118, doi:10.1016/j.envres.2016.05.040.

Background
Bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked to changes in the dopamine system and development of an Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) phenotype in animal models, with differing effects in males compared to females. We examined the association between urinary BPA concentrations and ADHD in a national sample of U.S. children, and whether this association differs by child sex.

Methods
We used data from the 2003–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a cross-sectional, nationally representative sample of the U.S. population. Participants were 8-15 years of age (N=460). Using a diagnostic interview to ascertain the presence of ADHD in the past year, multivariable logistic regression examined the link between concurrent urinary BPA concentrations and ADHD status.

Results
Of the 460 participants, 7.1% [95% CI: 4.4–11.3] met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria for ADHD. Children who had BPA concentrations at or above the median of the sample had higher prevalence of meeting criteria for ADHD (11.2% [95% CI: 6.8–17.8]) than those with BPA concentrations below the median (2.9% [95% CI: 1.1–7.2]). Higher urinary BPA concentrations were associated with ADHD (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 5.68 [95% CI: 1.6–19.8] for BPA concentrations above vs. below the median). In sex-stratified analyses, these associations were stronger in boys (aOR=10.9 [95% CI: 1.4–86.0]) than in girls (aOR=2.8 [95% CI: 0.4–21.3]), although the BPA by sex interaction term was not significant (p=0.25).

Hyperactivity in children linked to plastic additive, BPA, environmentalhealthnews, June 15, 2016.

Dog Therapy for ADHD child image by UCI UC Irvine.

Conclusion
We found evidence that higher urinary BPA concentrations were associated with ADHD in U.S. children; these associations were stronger in boys than in girls. Considering the widespread use of BPA and growing literature on neurobehavioral effects of BPA in children, further study is warranted to determine if reducing exposure to BPA may represent an important avenue for ADHD prevention.

South West pine plantations sprayed with glyphosate

Organic South West farm hold grave fears over aerial glyphosate spraying

” These compounds will leach into the river and directly destroy the algal microbial communities which are the foundation of the food chain in this water system.

This will devastate the marron and fish populations, including brown trout, rainbow trout and redfin, that currently inhabit the waterway.

Losing the marron is particularly concerning as Southampton have started farming them as a new enterprise.”

said  Jeff Pow and Michelle McManus, South West farmers, 2015 WA Landcare award winners for innovation and sustainable farm practices.

Read Organic South West farm hold grave fears over aerial glyphosate spraying, watoday, June 7 2016.

Le cancer, un investissement qui rapporte

Le prix indécent des médicaments, ça va durer encore longtemps?

Certains médicaments arrivant sur le marché, comme les nouveaux traitements anti-cancéreux ou ceux pour soigner l’Hépatite C, atteignent aujourd’hui des prix exorbitants.

Le danger ? Que notre assurance-maladie ne puisse plus supporter le remboursement de traitements aux prix si élevés dont doivent pourtant bénéficier des milliers de malades.

LA Campagne de Médecins du monde

En savoir plus

Do free meals from drug companies influence doctors’ prescriptions?

Pharmaceutical Industry–Sponsored Meals and Physician Prescribing Patterns for Medicare Beneficiaries

A new study reveals that doctors who got a free meal from a pharmaceutical company were more likely to prescribe a medication that the drug company was promoting. The pricier the meals, the more prescribing rates for the drugs went up.

Abstract

Pharmaceutical Industry–Sponsored Meals and Physician Prescribing Patterns for Medicare Beneficiaries, JAMA Internal Medicine, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.2765, June 20, 2016.

Importance
The association between industry payments to physicians and prescribing rates of the brand-name medications that are being promoted is controversial. In the United States, industry payment data and Medicare prescribing records recently became publicly available.

Objective
To study the association between physicians’ receipt of industry-sponsored meals, which account for roughly 80% of the total number of industry payments, and rates of prescribing the promoted drug to Medicare beneficiaries.

Design, Setting, and Participants
Cross-sectional analysis of industry payment data from the federal Open Payments Program for August 1 through December 31, 2013, and prescribing data for individual physicians from Medicare Part D, for all of 2013. Participants were physicians who wrote Medicare prescriptions in any of 4 drug classes: statins, cardioselective β-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers (ACE inhibitors and ARBs), and selective serotonin and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs and SNRIs). We identified physicians who received industry-sponsored meals promoting the most-prescribed brand-name drug in each class (rosuvastatin, nebivolol, olmesartan, and desvenlafaxine, respectively). Data analysis was performed from August 20, 2015, to December 15, 2015.

Exposures
Receipt of an industry-sponsored meal promoting the drug of interest.

Main Outcomes and Measures
Prescribing rates of promoted drugs compared with alternatives in the same class, after adjustment for physician prescribing volume, demographic characteristics, specialty, and practice setting.

Results
A total of 279 669 physicians received 63 524 payments associated with the 4 target drugs. Ninety-five percent of payments were meals, with a mean value of less than $20. Rosuvastatin represented 8.8% (SD, 9.9%) of statin prescriptions; nebivolol represented 3.3% (7.4%) of cardioselective β-blocker prescriptions; olmesartan represented 1.6% (3.9%) of ACE inhibitor and ARB prescriptions; and desvenlafaxine represented 0.6% (2.6%) of SSRI and SNRI prescriptions. Physicians who received a single meal promoting the drug of interest had higher rates of prescribing rosuvastatin over other statins (odds ratio [OR], 1.18; 95% CI, 1.17-1.18), nebivolol over other β-blockers (OR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.69-1.72), olmesartan over other ACE inhibitors and ARBs (OR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.51-1.53), and desvenlafaxine over other SSRIs and SNRIs (OR, 2.18; 95% CI, 2.13-2.23). Receipt of additional meals and receipt of meals costing more than $20 were associated with higher relative prescribing rates.

Why Doctors and Drug Companies Shouldn’t Be Friends, time, June 20, 2016.

Sponsored meal by wacphiladelphia.

Conclusions and Relevance
Receipt of industry-sponsored meals was associated with an increased rate of prescribing the brand-name medication that was being promoted. The findings represent an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship.

The Conversation Press Releases

  • Drug companies are buying doctors – for as little as a $16 meal, the conversation, June 23, 2016.
  • We can’t trust drug companies to wine, dine and educate doctors about the drugs they prescribe, the conversation, April 6, 2016.
  • Big debts in small packages — the dangers of pens and post-it notes, the conversation, March 26, 2012.

Un prix exorbitant pour soigner l’Hépatite C

Le prix indécent des médicaments, ça va durer encore longtemps?

Certains médicaments arrivant sur le marché, comme les nouveaux traitements anti-cancéreux ou ceux pour soigner l’Hépatite C, atteignent aujourd’hui des prix exorbitants.

Le danger ? Que notre assurance-maladie ne puisse plus supporter le remboursement de traitements aux prix si élevés dont doivent pourtant bénéficier des milliers de malades.

LA Campagne de Médecins du monde

En savoir plus

Le cancer rapporte des milliards d’euros

Le prix indécent des médicaments, ça va durer encore longtemps?

Certains médicaments arrivant sur le marché, comme les nouveaux traitements anti-cancéreux ou ceux pour soigner l’Hépatite C, atteignent aujourd’hui des prix exorbitants.

Le danger ? Que notre assurance-maladie ne puisse plus supporter le remboursement de traitements aux prix si élevés dont doivent pourtant bénéficier des milliers de malades.

LA Campagne de Médecins du monde

En savoir plus

Too much medicine in older people?

Deprescribing through shared decision making

Abstract

Too much medicine is an increasingly recognised problem, and one manifestation is inappropriate polypharmacy in older people. Polypharmacy is usually defined as taking more than five regular prescribed medicines. It can be appropriate (when potential benefits outweigh potential harms) but increases the risk of older people experiencing adverse drug reactions, impaired physical and cognitive function, and hospital admission. There is limited evidence to inform polypharmacy in older people, especially those with multimorbidity, cognitive impairment, or frailty. Systematic reviews of medication withdrawal trials (deprescribing) show that reducing specific classes of medicines may decrease adverse events and improve quality of life.

Jansen and colleagues explore the role of shared decision making in tackling inappropriate polypharmacy in older adults, BMJ 2016;353:i2893, 03 June 2016.

Two recent reviews of the literature on deprescribing stressed the importance of patient involvement and shared decision making. Patients and clinicians typically overestimate the benefits of treatments and underestimate their harms. When they engage in shared decision making they become better informed about potential outcomes and as a result patients tend to choose more conservative options (eg, fewer medicines), facilitating deprescribing. However, shared decision making in this context is not easy, and there is little guidance on how to do it.

Combating the Over-medication of Seniors, ottawalife, JUNE 7, 2016.

Image of 17 Pills for from food supplements to medications by Peter Prehn.

We draw together evidence from the psychology, communication, and decision making literature. For each step of the shared decision making process we describe the unique tasks required for deprescribing decisions; identify challenges for older adults, their companions, and clinicians; give practical advice on how challenges may be overcome; highlight where more work is needed; and identify priorities for future research.

Brain Changes found in Newborns exposed to Antidepressants

Antidepressive treatment during pregnancy can affect newborn brain activity

A first of its kind neuroscience study, published this month in Cerebral Cortex, found changes in the brain electrical activity of infants exposed to SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy. The changes are associated with less-organized communication between the brain’s hemispheres and are comparable to the effects found in previous animal studies.

New Study Finds Brain Changes in Newborns Exposed to Antidepressants, madinamerica, June 17, 2016.

The researchers call for more critical evaluations of the prescription of antidepressants during pregnancy and suggest that non-pharmacologic and therapeutic alternatives should be the preferred treatment.

Abstract

Newborn Brain Function Is Affected by Fetal Exposure to Maternal Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, cercor.oxfordjournals, doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw153, June 6, 2016.

Recent experimental animal studies have shown that fetal exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) affects brain development. Modern recording methods and advanced computational analyses of scalp electroencephalography (EEG) have opened a possibility to study if comparable changes are also observed in the human neonatal brain. We recruited mothers using SRI during pregnancy (n = 22) and controls (n = 62). Mood and anxiety of mothers, newborn neurology, and newborn cortical function (EEG) were assessed. The EEG parameters were compared between newborns exposed to drugs versus controls, followed by comparisons of newborn EEG features with maternal psychiatric assessments. Neurological assessment showed subtle abnormalities in the SRI-exposed newborns. The computational EEG analyses disclosed a reduced interhemispheric connectivity, lower cross-frequency integration, as well as reduced frontal activity at low-frequency oscillations. These effects were not related to maternal depression or anxiety. Our results suggest that antenatal serotonergic treatment might change newborn brain function in a manner compatible with the recent experimental studies.

Antidepressive treatment during pregnancy can affect newborn brain activity, University of Helsinki, 15.6.2016. Photo Sampsa Vanhatalo.

The present EEG findings suggest links at the level of neuronal activity between human studies and animal experiments. These links will also enable bidirectional translation in future studies on the neuronal mechanisms and long-term neurodevelopmental effects of early SRI exposure.

La maladie, l’un des marchés les plus rentables

Le prix indécent des médicaments, ça va durer encore longtemps?

Certains médicaments arrivant sur le marché, comme les nouveaux traitements anti-cancéreux ou ceux pour soigner l’Hépatite C, atteignent aujourd’hui des prix exorbitants.

Le danger ? Que notre assurance-maladie ne puisse plus supporter le remboursement de traitements aux prix si élevés dont doivent pourtant bénéficier des milliers de malades.

LA Campagne de Médecins du monde

En savoir plus

Surfactants, an overlooked potential environmental hazard of pesticide formulations

Pesticide additives can weaken the predatory activity of spiders

Surfactants are a common component of pesticides. They are conventionally mixed with liquid pesticides in order to increase dispersal of the pesticide through plant cuticles or to reduce the surface tension of insect exoskeletons, meaning the surface is unable to repel the liquid pesticide.

The use of surfactants has increased globally over the last decade, with global consumption of these chemicals increasing at a rate of 5% annually. Possible cumulative effects with other compounds of a pesticide on non-target insects are subject to a risk assessment ahead of authorisation, but the impact of surfactants alone on the range of non-target insect species is rarely studied. Recent research has indicated that surfactants alone may have an even more negative effect on insects than pesticides themselves, including on beneficial species such as pollinators.

Pesticide additives can weaken the predatory activity of spiders, Science for Environment Policy News Alert, 17 June 2016.

Spiders are abundant predators within agricultural ecosystems and can significantly reduce pest populations, bringing significant economic benefits. However, spiders are also highly susceptible to non-specific agricultural chemicals, which are designed to target a wide range of insects. In this study the researchers assessed the effect of three common agricultural surfactants on the predatory behaviour of the wolf spider Pardosa agrestis. The wolf spider (Lycosidae) is a common species with potential value within agricultural systems as a natural biological control agent of pest species.

Sublethal effect of agronomical surfactants on the spider Pardosa agrestis, ScienceDirect, Volume 213, Pages 84–89, June 2016.

Wolf Spider by Thomas.

In a laboratory experiment, male and female wolf spiders were exposed to three surfactants commonly used as herbicide additives in agriculture:

  1. Wetcit®,
  2. Šaman®
  3. Trend 90®.

Eighty spiders were sorted by sex (36 males, 44 females) and assigned to four random experimental groups, each consisting of 20 individuals. Each of the three herbicide additives was applied to one group and the fourth group was a control.

The surfactants were diluted with distilled water and sprayed directly onto the spiders. The control group was sprayed with distilled water only. The concentrations of the surfactant solutions were: 0.2% for Šaman®, 0.1% for Trend 90®, and 0.15% for Wetcit®. Both short- and long-term predatory activity of the spiders was studied, as surfactants can persist for a long time in the environment (from 30 days to 8 months). The predatory activity (number of fruit flies killed) of the spiders was assessed in the immediate four hours (shortterm) following surfactant exposure and over the four days following exposure (long-term).

The surfactants had no lethal effects on the spiders treated. There was also no significant long-term effect on the predatory behaviour of the spiders. However, in the short term there were significant impacts on predatory activity. Spiders of both sexes in the Šaman® and Trend 90® treatments killed significantly fewer flies than did those in the control group. Differences in predatory behaviour were found only during the first day of the study. No effects were found from the second to fifth day.

For the Wetcit® treatment, the effect was sex specific. Males in the Wetcit® treatment killed significantly more flies than males in the control treatment, while females were not significantly influenced. This increase in the predatory rate of males may be due to a stimulatory effect of low doses of a toxicant. However, the researchers caution that the long-term impact on the spider’s ecology may still be negative and further research is necessary to understand this result.

The researchers suggest that surfactants may be an overlooked potential environmental hazard of pesticide formulations within agricultural areas. The researchers therefore recommend further research into the impacts of surfactants on natural pest predators such as the wolf spider.