Health Highlights: Oct. 20, 2017
FDA Says Hurricanes Hit Medical Device Factories in Puerto Rico Study Challenges Adult-Onset ADHD Cataracts Afflict Children Who Survived West Africa Ebola Epidemic
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
FDA Says Hurricanes Hit Medical Device Factories in Puerto Rico
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is monitoring about 50 types of important medical devices made in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The storms devastated the U.S. territory's infrastructure.
"To date, we're monitoring about 50 types of medical devices manufactured in Puerto Rico that are critically important to patient care because they may be life-sustaining or life-supporting and/or because there may be the single manufacturer of that device type," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
"The FDA is working closely with about 10 manufacturers -- some of which are the sole manufacturer of a certain device type -- to prevent medical device product shortages across the U.S. We are particularly focused on blood-related medical devices," he added.
Study Challenges Adult-Onset ADHD
A new study challenges previous research suggesting that there is an adult-onset version of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Adult-onset ADHD is said to develop after high school and is different from the adult version in which symptoms continue from childhood. Three large analyses have estimated that 3 to 10 percent of adults have adult-onset ADHD, The New York Times reported.
But a study published Friday in the American Journal of Psychiatry concluded that most cases of apparent adult-onset ADHD are actually substance abuse or mood disorders.
"This study carefully considered whether each person met criteria for ADHD and also fully considered other disorders" that might better explain the symptoms, said Mary Solanto, associate professor of pediatrics, School of Medicine, Hofstra/Northwell, The Times reported.
"In all those respects, it is the most thorough study we have looking at this issue," she added.
The study all but ruled out adult-onset ADHD as a stand alone diagnosis, according to Solanto.
However, other experts said it's too early to make a definitive conclusion and noted that attention deficits often begin before mood and substance abuse problems, which in turn can mask ADHD, The Times reported.
Cataracts Afflict Children Who Survived West Africa Ebola Epidemic
Cataracts are a major problem among children who survived the Ebola epidemic in West Africa between 2013 and 2016.
The eye disease typically affects old people, so doctors have been surprised to find it in Ebola survivors as young as 5. Some children have the most serious cataract cases seen by eye surgeons, The New York Times reported.
Of the 17,000 Ebola survivors in West Africa, about 20 percent had a type of severe inflammation inside the eye that can cause blindness. Among those whose sight returns, cataracts can develop, typically in just one eye.
Initially, surgeons were reluctant to remove cataracts from Ebola survivors because they feared that the virus might still be lurking inside patients' eyes, The Times reported.