House Rules

I was busy seeing patients in the office last Monday when Sonia Azad from channel 8 news called my office to see if Dr Hubbard, a regular contributor to WFAA, could offer some advice regarding how her own children are preparing for the upcoming school year-what sports will they play? How will she help them balance rigorous academic demands with those of competitive team sports? Even though I’m sure Dr Hubbard has wisdom to share on the matter, she thought the issue would be best addssed by a pediatrician’ mom with kids at home! So this is how I ended up on channel 8 news last week. I answered Sonia’s questions in real time – no chance to prep prior to our discussion, but since we met and spoke on the matter I’ve had some more time to think on the conversation. I struggle with work-life balance daily, and so do our kids – more now than ever.

What can help our kids manage this quandary – how do they excel, or even survive, multiple st…

Autism – does inflammation play a role?

One of my patient’s moms, a well-researched, actively engaged parent with a high-functioning autistic son, asked my opinion regarding an article recently published via Autism Speaks that outlines the discovery of a functioning lymphatic network in the brain. The data was initially published in Nature online magazine June 1st of this year and confers additional support to a growing body of evidence supporting the role of inflammation in both brain and body dysfunction.

Autism, essentially defined as a neurologic disorder manifesting in disordered communicative abilities and restricted interests, has long been thought to be due to an interplay of both genetics and environment. In my own practice, I have observed a multitude of presentations– from kids with altered parental/peer interaction that initially appeared more anxious or conduct disordered, to children presenting with classic signs – poor eye contact, little or no speech, excessive…

The Zika Virus – UPDATE

I’m definitely not an alarmist! I traveled with my own children in the early months of their lives, often to relatively remote locales with minimal resources at hand. I have, like many of my patient families, tried to be prepared while traveling, but never neurotic about travel in general. I want to see the world with my children, not in their absence. But just as we would avoid a war-torn region, disease risk at your travel destination needs to be considered.

Unfortunately, the Zika virus warrants our attention and if you are pregnant, perhaps a change to your travel itinerary. This virus is transmitted via mosquitos and generally results in a relatively mild syndrome – often just a fever, muscle aches, red eyes and a rash. There is no treatment, but as it is self-limited and sometimes subclinical, people often fail to realize they have been infected. However, in a pregnant woman, the fetus too can be affected and resultant brain …