Category Archives: health care

Vitamin D & Respiratory Infections

DI’ll try to make this short. Here are eight facts:

  1. Although we do not have actual statistics, a significant number of children and adults with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome have been tested and found to have abnormally low levels of vitamin D.
  2. The reason or reasons for this are not well understood. Limited exposure to sunlight, some medications (e.g., anticonvulsants) can lower levels of Vitamin D), dietary issues may play a role.
  3. Low bone density (including osteopenia and osteoporosis) low-energy fractures, and skeletal deformities have been reported frequently among individuals with MECP2 duplication.
  4. Individuals with MECP2 duplication typically have increased frequency of respiratory infections.
  5. While at least some factors that contribute to this increased risk are well known (e.g., weak immune response, aspiration) are will known, this increased risk appears to be the result of multiple interacting factors.
  6. A large body of research suggests that Vitamin D deficiency plays a role in lowering resistance to respiratory infections.
  7. This research DOES NOT provide evidence that supplementing vitamin D beyond recommended levels is helpful.
  8. Too much Vitamin D is not helpful and can be toxic.

Most of these facts have been well known for many years.

CONCLUSION: Considering these facts, families may want to ask their child’s doctor about checking vitamin levels, and supplementing if needed. Continue reading

Aspiration Pneumonia: Dysphagia versus Gastro-Esophageal Reflux

lightbulbLet me start by admitting that this post is partially just a theory on my part. So, let me start out by separating what we know from what I thank might be the case. Here is what we know:

• Many individuals with MECP2 duplication suffer from frequent, prolonged, and often severe bouts of pneumonia.

• Many of these same individuals have dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) including increased risk of food or fluid particles entering the airway.

• In at least some cases, food and fluid entering the lungs causes or contributes to these bouts of pneumonia.

• Many individuals with MECP2 duplication experience gastroesophageal reflux.

• Gastroesophageal reflux can also cause or contribute to aspiration pneumonia.

Now, here is my theory: While the issue of dysphagia (swallowing problems) has been the focus of managing aspiration pneumonia in individuals with MECP2 duplication syndrome, gastroesophageal  reflux may be responsible for as much or more of this problem. Continue reading

Drooling: Pros & Cons of Treatment

CAUTION2Many children and adults with MECP2 duplication syndrome experience excessive drooling. Some are treated medically to reduce this problem. This post discusses some of the pros and cons of medical treatment for drooling. Ptyalism and sialorrhea are medical terms that are medical terms that are sometimes used as synonyms for drooling although their precise definitions may differ slightly.

What causes drooling? There are two major Continue reading

More Research on Cannabidiol & Seizures

flaskSeveral new studies provide encouraging results about the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil to treat seizure disorders that are not controlled by other medications. Research also, however, points toward important cautions.

Already in 2016,at least nine studies have been published on CBD and seizures. Two 2016 studies, one from Israel (Tzadok et al.,, 2016) and one the United States (Devinsky et al., 2016) are generally reporting particularly encouraging results. This is not to say the others are negative, just less relevant. The two discussed here are important because they include some results Continue reading

Some thoughts on preventing pneumonia

pneumonia1I need to start with two disclaimers on this post. (1) This is not intended as medical advice. (2) Every individual with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome is different. Taken together this means these considerations are intended to suggest topics that families may discuss with their health care providers in order to determine IF and HOW they may apply to their child.

Children and adults with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome are always at increased risk for respiratory infections, but lately it has been particularly troubling to hear how many have been experiencing severe illnesses. It is important for parents to understand that some of this is beyond our control, no matter what we do to try to prevent it. But here are some things that might help at least a little.

Immunizations: Unless Continue reading

Sepsis, Septicemia, SIRS, and Septic Shock

This possepsist is not intended as medical advice, but it may suggest a topic to discuss with your child’s or loved one’s doctor. Sepsis is a difficult topic and the content may be disturbing to some readers. It is potentially life-threatening and there are no guaranteed ways of preventing or treating it, but the more that families know about sepsis, the better they can protect their family members, particularly those with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome.

September 13, 2015 is World Sepsis Day, but protecting individuals with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome from sepsis is something we need to think about every day.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is a condition caused by the body’s inflammatory response to an infection. Continue reading

Susceptability to Influenza in MECP2 Duplication

mouseRespiratory infections are a major challenge for individuals with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome. They are a major source of illness and are frequently life threatening. Most of the focus on studying these infections has focused on bacterial pneumonia. A recent study, however, looked at the effects of influenza A, a virus, on MECP2 Duplication laboratory mice. Continue reading

New Research on the Immune System in MECP2 Duplication Syndrome

clinImmBauer, M. et al. (2015). Infectious and Immunologic Phenotype of MECP2  Duplication Syndrome, Journal of Clinical Immunology, DOI 10.1007/s10875-015-0129-5

Back in July 2012, a previous post on this blog discussed  a German research project on pneumonia in MECP2 Duplication Syndrome ed by Michael Bauer. Some of your children may have participated in the study. Now, the results of this study have been published and they are quite interesting.  Continue reading

Swallowing & Aspiration 101

CAUTION2Many of the individuals, especially infants and young children, with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome have problems with eating and drinking. These problems most frequently stem from low muscle tone and weak reflexes. One serious problem that can result from these issues is the aspiration of food particles of liquids into the lungs. Continue reading

Choosing the right doctor(s) for your a medically fragile child or dependent adult

stethToday is American Thanksgiving, and a lot of parents of kids with MECP2 duplication syndrome or other conditions that make them medically fragile are thankful for the many excellent doctors that have helped their kids. Unfortunately, many parents have also told me about bad experiences that they have had with some physicians, and many others are struggling to find a good doctor for their child. So, this post is about some things to consider in finding the right doctor for a child or dependent adult who is medically fragile. Continue reading