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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.07.24

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September 2023
Alon Abraham MD, Beatrice Abramovich PhD, Tamar Banon MSc, Clara Weil MSc, Gabriel Chodick PhD, Nurit Birman MD, Yaara Fainmesser MD, Vivian E. Drory MD

Background: There is an unmet need for real-world data regarding laboratory results, co-morbidities, and medication use prior to the first symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Researchers must identify specific subpopulations at risk for developing ALS and understand pathogenic mechanisms preceding the clinical presentation of ALS as well as possible subclinical disease manifestations.

Objectives: To valuate the role of laboratory results, co-morbidities, and medication use prior to the first symptoms of patients with ALS in Israel so that specific subpopulations at risk for developing ALS can be identified and for possible subclinical disease manifestations. To understand pathogenic mechanisms preceding the clinical presentation of ALS.

Methods: At the ALS clinic at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 259 ALS patients insured by Maccabi Healthcare Services and seen between January 1998 and December 2017 were included. Comparisons of demographics, co-morbidities, medications taken, history of trauma, and laboratory tests prior to disease onset were performed between patients and 1295 matched controls.

Results: Prior to disease presentation, ALS patients had a higher frequency of hypertension and cardiovascular disease; presented more frequently with trauma and viral infections; more frequently used analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, antibiotics, and antiviral medications; and had higher creatine kinase levels.

Conclusions: ALS patients showed higher frequency of cardiovascular disease prior to diagnosis, as well as higher frequency of trauma, infections, and pain medication usage.

September 2012
N. Watemberg, I. Sarouk, and P. Fainmesser

Background: Since clinical signs of meningeal irritation in infants may be absent or misleading, the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1996 recommended that a lumbar puncture be performed in young children following a febrile seizure. Recent evidence supports a conservative approach in children who do not look ill at the time of the physician's assessment. Moreover, seizures as the presenting or sole symptom of bacterial meningitis are very rare.

Objectives: To assess physicians’ compliance with the Academy’s recommendations and to determine the incidence of meningitis among febrile seizure patients, including those who did not undergo the puncture.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the number of punctures obtained in febrile seizure patients aged 6–24 months, focusing on the clinician's indications for performing the procedure and on the clinical course of children who did not undergo the puncture.

Results: Among 278 patients (84% simple febrile seizure), 52 (18.7%) underwent the procedure. It was performed in 38% of 45 complex febrile seizure cases and in 48% of 91 infants younger than 12 months of age. Aseptic meningitis occurred in two infants, both with post-ictal apathy. Bacterial meningitis was not found and in none of the patients who did not undergo the puncture was meningitis later diagnosed.

Conclusions: Compliance with the Academy’s recommendations was low, as emergency room physicians based their decision whether to obtain a lumbar puncture solely on clinical grounds. No case of bacterial meningitis was detected among 278 young children with a febrile seizure, including those who did not undergo the puncture.
 

November 2008
February 2000
Yona Amitai MD, Yedidia Bentur MD, Matityahu Lifshitz MD, Pinhas Fainmesser MD, David Applebaum MD, Yehezkel Waisman MD, Nadine Cohen and Samuel D. Oman PhD

Background: Extensive cleaning of homes in Israel before Passover may result in increased exposure of children to cleaning substances.

Objectives: To evaluate the potential danger of Passover cleaning to children, and to study the risk factors in order to identify areas for prevention.

Methods: All cases of poison exposure in Jewish and Arab children under the age of 15 years reported to the Israel Poison Information Center during 1990–95 (n= 5,583) were analyzed for the 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after Passover. Poison exposures in Jewish children <15 years old were studied in seven pediatric emergency rooms for the 2 weeks before and 6 weeks after Passover (n=123).

Results: The IPIC data showed a highly significant 38% increase in the average weekly poison exposure rate for the 2 weeks before Passover compared with the remaining 10 weeks.  Data recorded by the pediatric emergency rooms showed a twofold increase in cleaning substance poisoning during the 2 weeks before Passover compared with the following 6 weeks. The rise in exposures to cleaning substances was observed among children from secular, religious and ultra-orthodox families. In these exposures, the substance was found in open containers in 70% of cases. 

Conclusions: The extensive cleaning of homes among Jewish families in preparation for Passover poses the danger to young children of cleaning substance poisoning. Increasing public awareness, closer observation of children, and keeping these substances in closed containers should increase children’s safety during this annual cleaning.    

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IPIC = Israel Poison Information Center

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