What Causes ADHD?

What Causes ADHD?

After much research, the answer is…

 

Read More:
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml

 

We’ve all heard that ADHD is caused by chemical imbalance. That’s really just a theory. ADHD may be related to a neurotransmitter called dopamine. After much research, it’s still impossible to determine if ADHD is caused by a malfunctioning or slow dopamine system.

How about genetics? Likely, but there’s no absolute certainty about a genetic link either because in some cases, no genetic link has been found.

Other research has indicated that smoking, the use of acetaminophen, or drinking during pregnancy, might be linked to ADHD in children.

The National Institute of Mental Health says:

“Scientists are not sure what causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes play a large role. Like many other illnesses, ADHD probably results from a combination of factors. In addition to genetics, researchers are looking at possible environmental factors, and are studying how brain injuries, nutrition, and the social environment might contribute to ADHD.”

Some studies have indicated that children with ADHD have reduced brain mass or delayed maturation of certain areas of the brain. Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicate that delayed brain maturation may be related to the underdevelopment of brain connections related to attention in ADHD children.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter. There is no certain cause of ADHD. It is likely to be caused by a variety of factors.

What do we do as parents, educators, and other concerned people if we don’t know the cause? One of the greatest conundrums in life is thinking that knowing the cause affects the outcome. As far as ADHD is concerned, knowing the cause won’t likely affect your outcomes; knowing that you smoked, used acetaminophen, were exposed to lead, or used alcohol during pregnancy will not change the fact that your child has ADHD.

You’ve got a variety of weapons against it in your arsenal ranging from medicine, to cognitive training, parental training, dietary change, behavioral training for your child, to exercise, and more.

No matter the cause, we know the brain can change and be changed through proper training. There is hope.

 

Can ADHD Meds Boost Grades?

Can ADHD Meds Boost Grades?
What the long-term data reveal may surprise you
Read More:
In June, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a study that examined ADHD medication usage over 11 years and the educational outcomes of nearly 4,000 students in Quebec. The researchers found that boys who took ADHD drugs actually performed worse in school than those with a similar number of symptoms who didn’t take meds.According to the Wall Street Journal, “The possibility that [medication] won’t help them [in school] needs to be acknowledged and needs to be closely monitored,” says economics professor Janet Currie, an author on the paper and director of the Center for Health & Wellbeing, a health policy institute at Princeton University. Kids may not get the right dose to see sustained benefits, or they may stop taking the medication because side effects or other drawbacks outweigh the benefits, she says.A central question puzzles those researching ADHD: If its drugs demonstrably improve attention, focus and self-control, why wouldn’t grades improve as well?The medication’s ability to improve concentration and attention may even backfire when it comes to studying.Martha Farah, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania who sits on the American Academy of Neurology committee that is drafting new treatment guidelines, recalls a student saying that after she takes her medication, she heads to the library. If she keeps her head down and studies, she gets very absorbed in her work and accomplishes a tremendous amount. But if a friend stops by, she becomes equally engrossed in the chat. Many students report they find themselves absorbed in cleaning their rooms rather than studying.The National Bureau of Economic Research is a non-profit organization without any agenda on ADHD.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2014/09/too-many-children-diagnosed-with-adhd/index.htm

Your Kid Might Be Taking an ADHD Drug He Doesn’t Need – Consumer Reports
www.consumerreports.org
Too many children are diagnosed with ADHD, Consumer Reports says. Find out why many kids may…

 

 

ADHD and Increased Risk for Substance Abuse

ADHD and Increased Risk for Substance Abuse
Fact or fiction?

Read More: http://www.uvm.edu/medicine/?Page=news&storyID=13651&category=comall

Research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry reports that children with ADHD may be at significant risk for later substance abuse.

More than 600 children were followed over eight years. Those children diagnosed with ADHD at baseline (average of 8.5 years), had significantly higher rates of substance regardless of their sex 6 to 8 years later compared with their age-matched peers who did not have ADHD.

“Medication for ADHD did not protect from, or contribute to, visible risk of substance use or SUD by adolescence,” write the investigators.

“We Need to Do Better…However, similar to managing high blood pressure or obesity, there are nonmedical things we can do to decrease the risk of a bad outcome,” said Dr. Molina, one of the study’s authors.

“As researchers and practitioners, we need to do a better job of helping parents and schools address these risk factors that are so common for children with ADHD.

This echoes previous research by doctors Robert Whelan and Hugh Garavan of the University of Vermont and a cohort of international researchers.

Their report published in the journal Nature Neuroscience (online April 29, 2012) helps answer whether particular brain patterns are caused by drug use or established before drug use. Professors Whelan and Garavan found that certain networks in some teenagers cause a higher risk for experimentation with drugs and alcohol – simply because their brains are wired differently making the teens more impulsive.

A teenager exposed to peer pressure regarding smoking a joint or drinking alcohol, provided parental boundaries and structure have been set, would refuse the offer whild the teenager with lesser orbitofrontal control would likely say, “Yeah, gimme, gimme, gimme!” says Garavan, “and this other kid is saying, ‘no, I’m not going to do that.’”

Attention Problems and Behavior Problems

Attention Problems and Behavior Problems
What’s the connection and can they be fixed?

For an ADHD child who’s experienced failure or frustration at school, has a difficult time making friends, cannot process multiple step instructions, and who likely has poor self-esteem, defiance or misbehavior seem inevitable.

The off switch or filtering in their brains works differently, so they often have impulse control issues and a frequent lack of control over what they blurt out. Couple that with failure and frustration, and you have the perfect storm. No matter what you do; punishment, coaxing, bribing, yelling, pleading etc. don’t seem to work.

Play Attention not only teaches attention by making it concrete and controllable — Play Attention students can move screen characters by mind alone via BodyWave technology — but also teaches a variety of skills that make them successful at school or work. These successes greatly improve behavior.

Additionally, and this is important, since they can see their attention in real time, Play Attention makes it readily apparent that misbehavior negatively affects their success during game play. Success is predicated on their ability to stay in control and attentive. It’s simple to correlate this to being a classroom superstar. Play Attention students learn to self regulate or control their own behavior. This is the basis of the behavior shaping program built into Play Attention (it took us over 5 years to develop it).

The scientists and doctors of the prestigious Tufts School of Medicine researched Play Attention in Boston area schools over five years. They sent independent observers into the classroom to monitor students in their study of Play Attention. The observers were blinded to the students; they didn’t know anything about them but were required to monitor their behavior. Even though the students had been labeled ADHD with behavioral problems, the Play Attention students showed significant self-control — even 6 months after the study was completed! Never underestimate what your child can learn. We at Play Attention know there is an intelligent person hiding behind the defiance and frustration. Our goal is to set him free.

800.788.6786

Attention Problems: What Can Be Fixed?

Attention Problems: What Can Be Fixed?
You can do far more than you’d think.

Can’t pay attention. Can’t finish homework. Trouble with social skills. Intelligent, but doing poorly at school or work. Struggling with behavior.

Our brain is our greatest asset, but what do we do when it doesn’t function optimally? Are we stuck? No.

The brain is incredibly moldable. Scientists refer to this as neuroplasticity. It constantly rewires itself based on its exposure to the environment. Learn multiplication tables? The brain rewires itself. Learn a new word? The brain rewires itself. Learn karate or to play the piano? The brain rewires itself. We’ve known this for many years. We know how this works even down to the molecular level. Do we apply it to attention problems? No. Odd isn’t it?

Attention is a skill. So, how do we teach it? It’s relatively easy to teach multiplication tables; you can use things like flashcards, blocks, and other tangible things. Attention is intangible; we cannot see it or touch it. That’s what makes it difficult to teach as a skill. It’s almost impossible to improve attention unless it becomes tangible.

But what if you could see attention? What if attention were concrete and controllable right in front of you? You could learn it quite easily — attention problems or not. That’s what Play Attention does; it uses brain sensing technology that allows you to control the computer by mind alone. You can move objects on the screen by your attention and learn other skills that make you successful.

Three incredible randomized, controlled studies done by Tufts University School of Medicine demonstrated that we can improve attention, behavior, social skills, and even homework skills. Play Attention is the 400 pound gorilla of attention training. It’s been around for over twenty years now. That’s an old gorilla with a heck of an attention span. You should come to a webinar and see it in action. There’s one tonight at 8:30 EST. See you there.

http://www.playattention.com/seminars/

Are Mothers of ADHD Children More Likely to Be Depressed?

Are Mothers of ADHD Children More Likely to Be Depressed?
A small study raises questions…

Read More: http://specialedpost.org/2012/10/28/parenting-a-child-with-adhd-may-trigger-situational-depression/

According to Dr. Louis McCormick, a Louisiana-based family physician, mothers of ADHD children may be at increased risk for depression.

McCormick conducted a year-long study of mothers of children with ADHD who were patients in his Franklin, La., medical practice. Dr. McCormick gave 39 mothers the Self-Test for Depression. Of those 39 mothers, 21 (roughly 54%) had scores that suggested depression.

While this is a small sample, it suggests something that ADHD parents already know: parenting ADHD children can be stressful. Depression caused by events in one’s life is termed ‘situational depression.’ Parenting children who are impulsive, hyper-active, accident prone, or unable to follow directions can be quite stressful.

Previous university research indicates that parents of ADHD children are at double the risk of divorce before their ADHD child even reaches the age of 8!

One may speculate that mothers of ADHD children may have a biological propensity to depression. McCormick postulates that the c may trigger that predisposition to depression.

The research cited indicates that one must take action as a parent not only for the ADHD child, but also for the parents’ own mental health.

Play Attention 800.788.6786

Do you have ADHD or a language impairment?

Do you have ADHD or a language impairment?

Read more: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published a study that examined language impairments (LI) and ADHD. They found an association, but perhaps not what you’d expect.

The research indicates that testing for LI is very important when testing for ADHD.

Language impairment may be defined as significant difficulties affecting listening comprehension, oral expression, social interaction, reading, writing, or spelling. Its very definition reads like a checklist for ADHD symptoms.

The researchers found that LI are commonly observed among children referred for psychiatric services — especially ADHD. This would seem to makes sense; many children with ADHD have the same symptoms as LI:

1. They have poor social interactions manifesting in an inability to make friends.
2. They have poor listening comprehension manifesting when they cannot take multiple step instructions (e.g. Go to your bedroom, put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, get in bed).
3. They have difficulty expressing themselves orally resulting in frustration and angry outbursts.
4. They often have difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling.

The researchers concluded that children with LI were at the most disadvantage regardless of the nature of the psychiatric diagnosis.

Furthermore, the researchers noted that “…caution must be exercised in attributing to children with ADHD what might be a reflection of problems for children with language impairment generally. As most therapies are verbally based it is notable that language competence is rarely evaluated systematically before such therapies are undertaken.”

In another study performed in Norway, Speech Therapist Wenche Andersen Helland noted, “There is often a one-sided focus on the behavior of kids with ADHD. But these children may have communication problems as they grow older, particularly in a school situation, if their language skills are not given enough attention. If we don’t work hard enough to strengthen language development in children with ADHD, we increase the risk that they won’t learn what they should in school. They’ll also be more likely to fall short in social interactions with their peers. We need to intervene early to prevent a downward spiral.”

In other words, check for LI when checking for ADHD. This cannot be accomplished in the typical 20 minute session with a pediatrician. A speech language pathologist can determine a language impairment. The bottom line is that it is wise to get a full evaluation from a specialist that includes a full physical, vision test, language impairment test, and others.

Ramya Goes from Teacher Complaints to Teacher Praise

Ramya Goes from Teacher Complaints to Teacher Praise
A Play Attention success story from her mother
Ramya was having trouble with finishing her homework assignments on time. Even once she finished them after a long time, there would be several mistakes and incomplete problems.

Eventually I found out about Play Attention a program designed to help kids with focusing, distraction, attention and listening. A few months after beginning her program with Play Attention, to my surprise I began receiving calls from her teacher that Ramya was doing great.

Read Ramya’s full story at http://www.playattention.com/ramya-success

Ramya is very attentive in class and exceeded grade expectations! | Play Attention
www.playattention.com
I felt amazed the first time when I heard from Ramya’s teacher that she was doing great. I could see the happiness and…

Are You a Better Parent if You’re Medicated?

Are You a Better Parent if You’re Medicated?
Penn State researchers say YES!

Read More: http://news.psu.edu/story/321808/2014/07/30/research/parenting-skills-improve-adhd-parents-medication

Penn State News reports on a small study done at Penn State and funded by Shire Inc., the manufacturer of lisdexamfetamine, (aka Vyvanse) where ADHD parents received medication to help them cope with their children.

One of the lead researchers, Dr. James Waxmonsky noted, “Parents with ADHD are at increased risk to engage in problematic parenting techniques, including inconsistent disciplinary practices, making ineffectual commands and diminished use of praise. Having a parent with ADHD also decreases the chances that children with ADHD will respond to typically effective medication or counseling treatment.”

So, the solution? Medicate the parents! The researchers selected 20 parents who had children age 5 to 12. Both parents had a diagnosis presenting ADHD. The researchers then gave the parents ‘optimal’ doses of lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse).

The parents were then brought to the clinic for observation on two tasks: 1] The child performs homework with parental assistance, and 2] The child plays while the parent performs paperwork.

The parent was administered either a placebo or Vyvanse for the first observation. This was then reversed for the second observation period. Neither the researchers nor participants knew when the active medication was received.

According to Penn State News, “The results of the first phase showed no medication effect was seen during the homework component. During the non-academic component, parents were less likely to make negative statements toward their children on lisdexamfetamine than on placebo.

Children showed less inappropriate behavior during the homework task when their parent was prescribed lisdexamfetamine versus placebo.

Then, in the second phase, parents had a 50 percent chance of staying on active medication or a 50 percent chance of being switched to placebo for the remainder of the study. They completed the same parent-child interaction tasks as in the first phase.”

“In the laboratory setting, lisdexamfetamine treatment of parental ADHD was associated with significant reductions in children’s negative behaviors and improvements in parenting behaviors found to be adversely impacted by ADHD,” Waxmonsky said.

Can you think of a better way to expand this market?

New Study Show Stimulant Meds Increase Cardiovascular Events

New Study Show Stimulant Meds Increase Cardiovascular Events
What every parent should know

Read More: http://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/adolescents-and-teen-health-news-719/adhd-drugs-may-up-risk-of-heart-problems-689468.html

 

(HealthDay News) — Stimulant use in children and adolescents is associated with an increased risk of a subsequent cardiovascular event, according to a study published online June 23 in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

Søren Dalsgaard, MD, PhD, from Aarhus University in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal prospective study of all children born in Denmark from 1990–1999. The authors sought to examine whether stimulant users are at increased risk of a subsequent cardiovascular event. Data were collected from national health registers on psychiatric and somatic diagnoses, stimulant prescriptions, cardiovascular risk factors, and pre- and perinatal and sociodemographic covariates. Data were merged for children and their parents.

Using data for a total population of 714,258 children, contributing 6,767,982 person-years, the researchers found that stimulant use correlated with an increased risk of a cardiovascular event (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.83). Stimulant treatment also increased the risk of a cardiovascular event in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; 8,300 children; adjusted hazard ratio, 2.20), with evidence of a complex time-dependent, dose-response association.

“Cardiovascular events were rare but twice as likely in stimulant users as in nonusers, both in the total national population and in children with ADHD,” the authors write. “Our results suggest a safety signal with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with stimulant treatment in children and adolescents, even after adjusting for a number of potential confounders.”