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AACC Pilot Studies Begin to Measure What Is Normal in Children's Development
Date:7/30/2013

lopment."

Bennett will be joined by the studies' principal investigators. Dr. Patricia Jones, clinical director of the chemistry and metabolic disease labs at Children's Medical Center of Dallas and professor of pathology and medical laboratory science at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been investigating reference intervals for four steroid hormones, 17-hydroxy-progesterone, androstenedione, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA–sulfate. Imbalances in these hormones can cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which affects development of sexual characteristics in children and in severe forms leads to life-threatening sodium insufficiency. "This is one of those areas where reference intervals, particularly in the first months of life, are very, very important, yet we just don't have a lot of information from normal children because it's so difficult to get samples from newborns," said Jones.

Dr. Dennis Dietzen, medical director of the core laboratory at St. Louis Children's Hospital and an associate professor of pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is developing reference ranges for 35 amino acids, which play a key role in physical and cognitive development. "Our work with the National Children's Study will enable us to measure not only variation occurring between children over time but also within the same child. This will help detect subtle but important changes in some amino acids in each pediatric patient, leading to much better monitoring of development and improved detection and treatment of abnormalities," said Dietzen.

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