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1.  mRNA Blood Expression Patterns In New Onset Idiopathic Pediatric Epilepsy 
Epilepsia  2012;54(2):272-279.
Determine if blood mRNA expression patterns in children with newly diagnosed untreated idiopathic epilepsy are different than those in healthy controls. Determine the differential expression patterns between epilepsy subjects with generalized onset or partial onset seizures compared to healthy controls.
Whole blood was obtained from otherwise healthy pediatric subjects with newly diagnosed untreated idiopathic epilepsy along with healthy pediatric controls. mRNA was isolated and hybridized to Affymetrix HGU 133 2.0+ microarrays. Analysis was performed using Genespring. Differentially expressed gene lists resulted from comparison of i) epilepsy and control groups and ii) seizure type subgroups with controls.. Tissue expression and gene ontology analysis was performed using DAVID.
Key findings
Thirty-seven epilepsy patients and 28 controls were included. Overall, 575 genes were differentially expressed in subjects with epilepsy compared to controls. The generalized seizure subgroup versus control (GvC) gene list and the partial seizure subgroup versus control (PvC) gene list were different (p < 0.05). Tissue expression analysis identified almost half of the genes in GvC and PvC as brain based. Functional group analysis identified several biologically relevant pathways. In GvC, these included mitochondria and lymphocyte activation. In PvC, apoptosis, inflammatory defense and cell motion pathways were identified.
A unique, biologically meaningful mRNA expression pattern is detectable in whole blood of pediatric subjects with new onset and untreated epilepsy. This analysis finds many similar pathways to those identified in brain studies examining lesional intractable epilepsy. Blood mRNA expression patterns show promise as a target for biomarker development in pediatric epilepsy.
PMCID: PMC3566372  PMID: 23167847
Gene expression; mRNA; pediatric epilepsy; genomics; epilepsy
3.  Psychiatric comorbidity in pediatric chronic daily headache 
The objectives of this study were to assess comorbid psychiatric diagnoses in youth with chronic daily headache (CDH) and to examine relationships between psychiatric status and CDH symptom severity, as well as headache-related disability.
Standardized psychiatric interviews (Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia, KSADS) were conducted with 169 youth ages 10–17 diagnosed with CDH. Participants provided prospective reports of headache frequency with a daily headache diary and completed measures of symptom severity, headache-related disability (PedMIDAS) and quality of life (PedsQL).
Results showed that 29.6% of CDH patients met criteria for at least one current psychiatric diagnosis, and 34.9% met criteria for at least one lifetime psychiatric diagnosis. No significant relationship between psychiatric status and headache frequency, duration, or severity was found. However, children with at least one lifetime psychiatric diagnosis had greater functional disability and poorer quality of life than those without a psychiatric diagnosis.
Contrary to research in adults with chronic headaches, most youth with CDH did not appear to be at an elevated risk for comorbid psychiatric diagnosis. However, patients with a comorbid psychiatric diagnosis were found to have higher levels of headache-related disability and poorer quality of life. Implications for treatment are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3692295  PMID: 22990686
Chronic daily headache; pediatric; psychiatric comorbidity; emotional adjustment; headache-related disability; quality of life
4.  Neuromagnetic Abnormality of Motor Cortical Activation and Phases of Headache Attacks in Childhood Migraine 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83669.
The cerebral cortex serves a primary role in the pathogenesis of migraine. This aberrant brain activation in migraine can be noninvasively detected with magnetoencephalography (MEG). The objective of this study was to investigate the differences in motor cortical activation between attacks (ictal) and pain free intervals (interictal) in children and adolescents with migraine using both low- and high-frequency neuromagnetic signals. Thirty subjects with an acute migraine and 30 subjects with a history of migraine, while pain free, were compared to age- and gender-matched controls using MEG. Motor cortical activation was elicited by a standardized, validated finger-tapping task. Low-frequency brain activation (1∼50 Hz) was analyzed with waveform measurements and high-frequency oscillations (65–150 Hz) were analyzed with wavelet-based beamforming. MEG waveforms showed that the ictal latency of low-frequency brain activation was significantly delayed as compared with controls, while the interictal latency of brain activation was similar to that of controls. The ictal amplitude of low-frequency brain activation was significantly increased as compared with controls, while the interictal amplitude of brain activation was similar to that of controls. The ictal source power of high-frequency oscillations was significantly stronger than that of the controls, while the interictal source power of high-frequency oscillations was significantly weaker than that of controls. The results suggest that aberrant low-frequency brain activation in migraine during a headache attack returned to normal interictally. However, high-frequency oscillations changed from ictal hyper-activation to interictal hypo-activation. Noninvasive assessment of cortical abnormality in migraine with MEG opens a new window for developing novel therapeutic strategies for childhood migraine by maintaining a balanced cortical excitability.
PMCID: PMC3873943  PMID: 24386250
5.  Aberrant Neuromagnetic Activation in the Motor Cortex in Children with Acute Migraine: A Magnetoencephalography Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50095.
Migraine attacks have been shown to interfere with normal function in the brain such as motor or sensory function. However, to date, there has been no clinical neurophysiology study focusing on the motor function in children with migraine during headache attacks. To investigate the motor function in children with migraine, twenty-six children with acute migraine, meeting International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria and age- and gender-matched healthy children were studied using a 275-channel magnetoencephalography system. A finger-tapping paradigm was designed to elicit neuromagnetic activation in the motor cortex. Children with migraine showed significantly prolonged latency of movement-evoked magnetic fields (MEF) during finger movement compared with the controls. The correlation coefficient of MEF latency and age in children with migraine was significantly different from that in healthy controls. The spectral power of high gamma (65–150 Hz) oscillations during finger movement in the primary motor cortex is also significantly higher in children with migraine than in controls. The alteration of responding latency and aberrant high gamma oscillations suggest that the developmental trajectory of motor function in children with migraine is impaired during migraine attacks and/or developmentally delayed. This finding indicates that childhood migraine may affect the development of brain function and result in long-term problems.
PMCID: PMC3502360  PMID: 23185541
6.  The Greater Cincinnati Pediatric Clinic Repository: A Novel Framework for Childhood Asthma and Allergy Research 
Allergic disorders, including asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, eosinophilic esophagitis, and food allergy, are a major global health burden. The study and management of allergic disorders is complicated by the considerable heterogeneity in both the presentation and natural history of these disorders. Biorepositories serve as an excellent source of data and biospecimens for delineating subphenotypes of allergic disorders, but such resources are lacking.
In order to define subphenotypes of allergic disease accurately, we established an infrastructure to link and efficiently utilize clinical and epidemiologic data with biospecimens into a single biorepository called the Greater Cincinnati Pediatric Clinic Repository (GCPCR). Children with allergic disorders as well as healthy controls are followed longitudinally at hospital clinic, emergency department, and inpatient visits. Subjects' asthma, allergy, and skin symptoms; past medical, family, social, diet, and environmental histories; physical activity; medication adherence; perceived quality of life; and demographics are ascertained. DNA is collected from all participants, and other biospecimens such as blood, hair, and nasal epithelial cells are collected on a subset.
To date, the GCPCR has 6,317 predominantly Caucasian and African American participants, and 93% have banked DNA. This large sample size supports adequately powered genetic, epidemiologic, environmental, and health disparities studies of childhood allergic diseases.
The GCPCR is a unique biorepository that is continuously evaluated and refined to achieve and maintain rigorous clinical phenotype and biological data. Development of similar disease-specific repositories using common data elements is necessary to enable studies across multiple populations of comprehensively phenotyped patients.
PMCID: PMC3377950  PMID: 22768387

Results 1-6 (6)