Nolan and Jack Willis, twins from upstate New York, and just 10 other boys took part in a clinical trial that led to the approval last fall of the very first drug to treat their rare, deadly muscle disease.
Now the Willis boys are again test cases as a different type of medical question comes to the fore: whether insurers will cover the controversial drug, Exondys 51, which can cost more than $1 million a year even though it’s still unclear if it works.
The boys’ insurer, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, refused to cover the cost of the drug because the twins, who are 15, can no longer walk. Their disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, overwhelmingly affects boys and causes muscles to deteriorate, killing many of them by the end of their 20s.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As a pediatrician in training, I know firsthand the importance of ensuring children have access to affordable, comprehensive health care coverage. I stand with the American Academy of Pediatrics in urging the Senate to forge a new path forward to protect children's coverage.
Children are our future, and if we desire to raise the healthiest and most productive Americans that we can, we must ensure that children have their health care needs met.
Timmy Morrison arrived at the United States Capitol on Tuesday morning with a big grin, a bright orange shirt, Velcro-strap shoes, and a vague understanding of what senators do.
The 6-year-old boy was on the Hill to do what hundreds of other people were there to do (though usually not in Velcro): lobby Congress.
Over the course of a taxing day, Timmy and his mother snapped photos with senators and scored an elusive meeting with the office of a crucial Republican swing vote on the pending bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But their time on the Hill would prove vexing — they found it was difficult to lobby on a health care bill that they expect to affect them massively, but also haven’t seen.
A survey, conducted by Brunswick Partners, found that “75 percent of Americans agree that the proposed changes to Medicaid in the AHCA are a bad idea. And that we should not allow 14 million Americans to become uninsured even if there is a potential to reduce Medicaid spending. These results are significant because they find majorities of Americans identifying as conservatives (55 percent), moderates (82 percent) and liberals (90 percent) are opposed to the AHCA’s Medicaid provisions.”
Better grades might be found on the playground. A new study of elementary-age children shows that those who were not part of an after-school exercise program tended to pack on a particular type of body fat that can have deleterious impacts on brain health and thinking. But prevention and treatment could be as simple as playing more games of tag.
Most children do not meet the federal health guidelines for exercise, which call for at least an hour of it a day for anyone under the age of 18. Physical inactivity can result in weight gain, especially around the midsection — including visceral fat, a type of tissue deep inside the abdomen that is known to increase inflammation throughout the body. It is also linked to heightened risks for diabetes and cardiovascular complications, even in children, and may contribute to declining brain function: Obese adults often perform worse than people of normal weight on tests of thinking skills.
Is my house too clean? Should I get a dog? Is it okay for my child to eat dirt?
For many parents, questions of hygiene and health weigh heavily on their minds. A new book argues that a fixation on cleanliness won’t lead to healthier children. It’s called “Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System.”
One of the book’s co-authors, Jack Gilbert, joins Chicago Tonight for a conversation. He’s a professor at the University of Chicago’s Department of Surgery and faculty director of its Microbiome Center.
Here's some compelling evidence that Americans have become a sedentary bunch: Research suggests that the average teen is no more active than the average 60-year-old.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 12,500 people of various ages who wore activity tracking devices for seven straight days as part of national health surveys conducted between 2003 and 2006.
The study found that physical activity levels among children and teens were lower than previously thought. The World Health Organization recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a day for children ages 5 to 17.
Much is discussed about taking care of your child’s physical health, from tips on diet and fitness to immunizations and safe sporting equipment, but what about mental health? Helping children feel good about themselves and teaching them how to manage their emotions can aid them all their lives.
Help your child build confidence
Not every child is going to have that bold, outgoing personality that can’t wait to speak up in class or take the stage for the class play. But every child can learn to feel confident about own self-worth and unique gifts. With a good foundation, confidence can grow. One of the easiest ways to build confidence is to encourage any special interests or attributes your child has.
The progress made in improving Tennessee children’s well-being is encouraging.
The state now ranks 35th in the 2017 KIDS COUNT report — up three spots from last year. This is the highest ranking Tennessee has earned in how states are measured upon the economic, educational, health and family state of children.
However, those gains are threatened by proposed draconian cuts in federal funding that could set back the Volunteer State’s kids.