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The multidisciplinary conference "Wellness for Girls and Women with Turner Syndrome" was held in April 2006 in Washington DC.
A broad range of new and important data was presented and discussed. In particular, the rapid advances in genetic screening, cardiovascular imaging and assisted reproductive technology in recent years presented novel opportunities and challenges for the caregivers of girls and women with Turner syndrome (TS).
In addition to new imaging recommendations, new findings on abnormal cardiac conduction and repolarization in girls and women with TS were presented and combined with recent findings of altered heart rate variability, seem to support a fundamental alteration in autonomic nervous system activity in TS. The baseline tachycardia and prolonged QTc in many patients with TS thus deserves closer evaluation to determine whether they may be at risk for arrhythmia.
In the field of pediatric growth and development there are also new recommendations.
With the recent publication of the randomized, placebo-controlled Canadian GH in TS study, there is finally definitive evidence that GH promotes several inches of statural growth in the average girl with TS. There was discussion on the optimal age of initiation, and duration of GH use, but these issues require further study.
The section on psychosocial development emphasized the point that full scale intelligence is normal for most individuals with TS and that educational attainments are on the whole excellent. Specific problem areas have been identified, including difficulties with attention span, visual-spatial perception and some aspects of executive function (e.g. multi-tasking). Difficulties with social adjustment may manifest during childhood and adolescence, but adults with TS seem relatively stable in psychological terms.
Hopefully "Wellness for Girls and Women with Turner Syndrome" will serve as an inspiration for researchers, as an update and clinical guide for clinical working physicians, and as a source of information for parents and females with Turner syndrome.
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