I wonder if the Prevnar vaccine has anything to do with this?
Strep may be linked to disruptive behaviors
GAINESVILLE, Fla., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- University of Florida researchers found that after numerous strep infections in a public school system
there was a rise in disruptive behaviors.
A direct link between strep infections and behavioral symptoms was not found, but the statistics did indicate an association that warrants further investigation, according to Dr. Tanya Murphy, an associate professor of psychiatry in the College of Medicine. In an eight-month study of 693 children in a Florida public school system, University of Florida researchers found that shortly after the number of strep infections in the group increased, there was a corresponding rise in involuntary movements and disruptive behaviors -- symptoms that could indicate a neurological cause.
"During the fall months when there are more strep infections, after a short time lag, there are increased behavioral symptoms -- enough to indicate an association," said Murphy. "We did not assess the children for particular neuropsychiatric disorders, so we're not saying actual disorders were present in the children, but the symptoms were there." The findings are published in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry.
Other compelling, if controversial, research has long pursued an entirely different cause of OCD: streptococcal infection. As long ago as the 17th century, British physician Thomas Sydenham first noticed a link between childhood strep and the later onset of a tic condition that became known as Sydenham's chorea. Modern researchers who saw a link between tics and OCD began wondering if, in some cases, strep might be involved with both.
Last year investigators from the University of Chicago and the University of Washington studied a group of 144 children-- 71% of whom were boys--who had tics or OCD. All the kids, it turned out, were more than twice as likely as others to have had a strep infection in the previous three months. For those with Tourette's
symptoms, the strep incidence was a whopping 13 times as great.
The tics and OCD are probably the result of an autoimmune response, in which the body begins attacking its own healthy tissue. Blood tests of kids with strep-related tics and OCD have turned up antibodies hostile to neural tissue, particularly in the brain's caudate nucleus and putamen, regions associated with reinforcement learning. "There certainly seems to be an epidemiological relationship there," says Dr. Cathy Budman, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at New York University, "but what it means needs to be further investigated."
Oral Health Prev Dent. 2003;1(1):53-7. Links Effect of maternal use of chewing gums containing xylitol, chlorhexidine or fluoride on mutans streptococci colonization in the mothers' infant children. Thorild I, Lindau B, Twetman S. Public Dental Clinic, Varberg, Sweden.
PURPOSE: The aim was to evaluate the effect of maternal use of chewing gums containing xylitol, chlorhexidine/xylitol or fluoride on the prevalence of mutans streptococci (MS) in the mothers' 18-month-old offsprings. MATERIALS AND METHODS: After screening 416 women with newborn babies, 173 mothers with high counts of salivary MS were randomly assigned into three experimental chewing gum groups containing A) xylitol, B) chlorhexidine/xylitol and C) sodium fluoride. Mothers with low or medium MS counts formed a reference group D without any intervention. The participants in the experimental groups were instructed to chew one gum for 5 minutes, three times a day. The chewing was initiated when the child was 6 months old and terminated one year later. The outcome measure was MS colonization in mothers' 18-month-old infants. Bacterial sampling and cultivation was carried out with the Strip mutans technique. RESULTS: The MS prevalence was 10%, 16%, and 28% in groups A, B, and C respectively. In the reference group D, 10% of the infants harbored MS. The difference between group C and groups A and B was statistically significant (p<0.05). The colonization levels in groups A and B were similar to those obtained in children of mothers with low MS counts (group D). CONCLUSION: Maternal consumption of xylitol- and chlorhexidine/xylitol-containing chewing gums significantly reduced the mother-child transmission of salivary mutans streptococci.
PMID: 15643749 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]