Is licorice intake during pregnancy linked to ADHD in offspring?

There is an abundance of foods that should be avoided during pregnancy, and a new study suggests that licorice should sit firmly in this category. Researchers have found that children born to mothers who consume large amounts of licorice during pregnancy may be more likely to develop behaviors associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

New research suggests that eating a lot of licorice during pregnancy may harm the developing fetus.

Study co-author Katri Räikkönen, from the University of Helsinki in Finland, and colleagues hypothesize that glycyrrhizin (the active ingredient in licorice) may interfere with fetal neurodevelopment by increasing levels of “the stress hormone” cortisol.

The researchers recently reported their findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Though licorice is often hailed for its medicinal benefits – such as the alleviation of peptic ulcers and canker sores – studies have indicated that the plant-derived product has some downsides.

A study reported by Medical News Today in November, for example, associated licorice intake with reduced fertility for women, and studies have also suggested that licorice consumption during pregnancy may lead to poorer birth outcomes, such as a lower birth weight.

For this latest study, Räikkönen and team investigated how licorice intake during pregnancy might influence cognitive functioning and behavior in offspring.

The researchers explain that licorice’s active ingredient, glycyrrhizin, is a strong inhibitor of placental 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11βHSD2), which is an enzyme known to block the production of glucocorticoids such as cortisol.

As such, glycyrrhizin may increase glucocorticoid production, and research has suggested that prenatal exposure to excess glucocorticoids is associated with psychiatric illness.

Maternal licorice intake ‘may harm the developing offspring’
To test this theory, Räikkönen and colleagues analyzed the data of 378 children, aged 13 on average, who were born in Helsinki, Finland, in 1998.

Data on the glycyrrhizin intake of the children’s mothers during pregnancy were gathered. Low intake was defined as under 249 milligrams of glycyrrhizin per week, and high intake was defined as more than 500 milligrams of glycyrrhizin – the equivalent of around 250 grams of licorice.

The team used the Child Behavior Checklist to assess the presence of psychiatric problems among the children, and neuropsychological tests were used to evaluate their cognitive function.

Compared with children born to mothers who had a low intake of glycyrrhizin during pregnancy, those born to mothers with a high intake of glycyrrhizin showed poorer performance in memory tests.

Furthermore, children of mothers who consumed large amounts of glycyrrhizin during pregnancy were more likely to have behaviors associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Additionally, the researchers found that girls started puberty earlier if their mothers consumed high amounts of glycyrrhizin while pregnant.

Although further studies are needed in order to determine the precise mechanisms by which maternal glycyrrhizin intake might impact the cognition and behavior of offspring, the team speculates that glycyrrhizin blocks 11βHSD2, leading to an increase in cortisol – the so-called stress hormone. This can cause harm to the developing fetus.

Commenting on what their findings indicate, the researchers say that:

“Licorice consumption during pregnancy may be associated with harm for the developing offspring.”

The team adds that expectant mothers should be warned about the possible harms of consuming products containing glycyrrhizin.

Taken from medicalnewstoday

Posted in ADHD | Tagged | Leave a comment

ADHD: claims we’re diagnosing immature behaviour make it worse for those affected

A recent study on prescriptions of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications for children in Western Australia found a similar trend to that already shown by data from the US and other countries.

Children at the younger end of their school-year cohort had a higher rate of being prescribed stimulant medication for ADHD than older children in their year.

Specifically, in children between six and 15, 4.5% of those with June birthdays were being prescribed treatment for ADHD compared to 2.9% with July birthdays. Researchers found this odds ratio of 1.6 diminished with age.

Some interpreted these findings as ADHD being arbitrarily, and inappropriately, diagnosed in children who are less mature than their classmates. But this is a simplistic analysis. The reality is children with ADHD are more likely to struggle, and therefore be treated with stimulant medication at a younger age, when they are placed in a class with children who are older and relatively more mature.

Medication is only one aspect

It’s important first to note the prescription rates in the latest study are far less than the 11% estimated prevalence of ADHD in Australian children. This is because medication is only one aspect of ADHD management. At any one time, only a minority of children with ADHD are receiving medical treatment.

To be diagnosed with ADHD, children must meet a sufficient number of the recognised diagnostic criteria. They not only have to show the characteristic symptoms – which include poor concentration, impulsive behaviour and hyperactivity – but also have to have significant difficulties in their ability to function.

An example of this would be a child who is underachieving academically compared to their ability, showing behaviour that generates significant stress or disruption in the classroom, or having difficulty relating appropriately to peers.

These difficulties may in turn affect the child’s confidence and self-perception. They would first be managed by appropriate non-medical strategies. Examples include seating the child close to the teacher, additional support with learning, and encouraging the child to learn from their peers about how to play and interact appropriately.

If the child has a birthday in the months of April to June, the option of repeating the year may also be considered.

Stimulant medication for ADHD treatment is only for those children who meet diagnostic criteria and continue to show significant difficulties, despite appropriate support and management in the classroom and playground. The peak age of starting stimulant medication for ADHD, such as Ritalin (methylphenidate), in NSW is seven to 11 years.

Claims ADHD doesn’t exist are unhelpful

As children progress through school, their increasing maturity helps them cope with increasing behavioural expectations. But, at the same time, their work requires higher levels of concentration. And their peers become more discerning and choosy.

A child with ADHD who has difficulty stopping, listening and considering the views of others may be tolerated in the early years. But a bossy child may become increasingly ostracised in the later years of primary school. Other children may become tired of the attention-seeking classroom behaviour of someone who is bored because they cannot concentrate on their work.

For any child with ADHD, the age when they can no longer manage will depend on the balance of their personal characteristics and pressures and expectations of their environmental circumstances.

An intellectually able child who can finish their work quickly and easily in the early years of school can find the effect of their ADHD only becomes a problem later. Conversely, a child with ADHD who is in a class with predominantly older children is likely to struggle academically and socially at a younger age.

Contrary to popular opinion, parents are often reluctant to start their child on stimulant medication. They may be afraid others will criticise them, particularly people who deny the validity of ADHD.

Denying a child’s difficulties are due to diagnosable ADHD means another explanation is necessary. The child may be blamed for being lazy or the parents, particularly the mother, blamed for being “too soft” on discipline.

ADHD does exist and a warranted diagnosis offers help to children who are struggling due to this common, biological condition. Although many worry ADHD may be stigmatising for their child, a diagnosis raises the prospect of starting effective, evidence-based treatment. This often improves a child’s ability to function.

Experiencing success in treatment is likely to boost the child’s confidence and reassure parents. Therefore, appropriate diagnosis and treatment of ADHD are often highly beneficial to the child.

Taken from theconversation

Posted in ADHD | Tagged | Leave a comment

Early Signs, Treatment of ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects millions of children and often continues into adulthood.

Children with the disorder have trouble paying attention and often display hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. These characteristics affect the child’s relationship with family, friends and teachers.

Most children with ADHD are diagnosed during their time at elementary school and the average age of diagnosis is 7 years. Children with mild symptoms are usually diagnosed at around 8 years, and those with severe ADHD tend to be diagnosed earlier, at 5 years, reports.

In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) expanded their guidelines for diagnosing and treating ADHD from children aged between 6 and 12 to include preschoolers and adolescents aged 4-18. However, there are no clinical guidelines to diagnose children under the age of 4.

Possible causes and risk factors for ADHD in toddlerhood include: genetics, mother using drugs, alcohol, or smoking during pregnancy, or exposure to environment toxins during pregnancy; premature birth or low birth weight; and central nervous system problems at critical moments in development

One study shows that a third of children with ADHD had speech development delays at 9 months old. Two thirds experienced a delay in speech and language at 18 months old.

Some researchers suggest that the disorder can be reliably diagnosed in children through evaluations as soon as they turn 3 years. A study of school-age children notes that mothers reported symptoms of ADHD beginning at or before age 4 in two thirds of the children.

It is hard to notice symptoms of ADHD in children younger than 4 years since at this age they go through rapid change.

Children who have a lot of energy, or are very active, and do not have ADHD can usually focus when necessary for stories or to look through picture books. They are also able to sit and do a puzzle or put toys away.

Extreme Behavior

However, children with ADHD are often unable to do these things. They may exhibit extreme behavior that disrupts activities and relationships. They must also display these behaviors for at least 6 months in more than one setting, such as at home and nursery.

Short attention span, impulsivity, tantrums, and high levels of activity are normal during certain stages of development. If a parent or caregiver thinks that their toddler is displaying behavior that is excessive, intense, frequent, and affecting family life, they should speak with the pediatrician for evaluation.

Posted in ADHD | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Anxiety? Depression? Or ADHD?

ADHD is often missed when it co-exists with depression or anxiety, and vice versa. Here’s what to look for — and how to ensure you get a thorough and accurate diagnosis.

Studies find that 80 percent of people with ADHD will have at least one other psychiatric disorder in their lifetime. The two most common are depression and an anxiety disorder, like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

ADHD without a comorbid disorder is the exception rather than the rule. Having ADHD is challenging enough, but the other disorders that accompany ADHD profoundly affect a person’s daily life. A patient of mine, Antonio, knows this well. Although his ADHD was diagnosed when he was in fifth grade, his anxiety disorder was not caught until his last year of college.

“Everyone assumed that my anxiety behaviors were just the hyperactivity part of my ADHD,” he says. Years of his life were spent suffering from paralyzing anxiety that resulted in his missing classes, being housebound for days, and not being able to work.

When ADHD and another disorder co-occur, there will likely be one of the following scenarios:

1. The ADHD has been diagnosed, but the comorbid disorder has not been. Doctors sometimes mistakenly chalk up depressive and anxiety symptoms to the ADHD diagnosis, as in Antonio’s case. The comorbid disorder can be independent of the ADHD (primary) or a direct result of ADHD symptoms (secondary).

Corey was never an anxious person before he went to college. But, without the structure of high school and his parents’ support, he felt lost. His ADHD and executive functioning deficits stymied him. He had severe anxiety about taking tests and writing papers, which led to poor sleep. His sleeplessness caused him to feel “on edge” all the time. He met the criteria for having an anxiety disorder and needed treatment, even though it was secondary to his ADHD.

A secondary diagnosis does not make anxiety less challenging to live with. There is a parallel to substance abuse. Most people who abuse drugs or alcohol are depressed or anxious, yet the addiction is a separate entity that must be dealt with, in addition to its underlying causes.

2. The depression or anxiety has been identified and diagnosed, but the ADHD has not been. Doctors see ADHD symptoms as part of the comorbid disorder. Janice had a severe binge-eating disorder, and her doctor assumed that her impulsivity and lack of concentration were due to that disorder. Her previous therapist questioned whether she really wanted to get better because she was late for many of her appointments.

3. ADHD and the comorbid disorder are both diagnosed and treated — the ideal scenario. A patient’s doctor focuses on depression or anxiety’s effect on ADHD and vice versa. The ADHD affects the comorbid disorder and, in turn, is affected by depression or anxiety, whether or not the comorbid disorder results from ADHD. When someone struggles with two conditions, the symptoms of each disorder are more intense.

To avoid the plight of Antonio, Corey, and Janice, it is important that your doctor get the diagnosis right. Here is a checklist of symptoms you and she should be looking for, questions your doctor should be asking you, and some tools she should be using to assess you.

Taken from additudemag

Posted in ADHD | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mediterranean Diet Brain Benefits: Lower Risk Of ADHD Linked To Healthy Eating Plan

A new study examining children has discovered a potential link between diet and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Researchers studied 120 participants between the ages of 6 and 16 from Spain, according to Medical Xpress, and found that kids who didn’t closely follow the traditional Mediterranean diet were seven times more likely to have the condition, “a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Half of the study participants had recently been diagnosed with ADHD. Researchers from the University of Barcelona in Spain asked all children to report typical meals and compared who was diagnosed with the condition to how well they followed the Mediterranean diet.

“This is the type of diet that’s recommended for everyone, for their overall health,” Richard Gallagher — an associate professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Child Study Center, and who wasn’t involved in the study — told HealthDay. The eating regimen typically includes fruits, vegetables, olive oil, beans, rice, fish, dairy, and poultry.

The Mediterranean diet is high in omega-3s, which are currently a hot topic for scientists and could potentially offer a slew of health benefits. Previous studies have already linked the fatty acids to a lower risk of ADHD, HealthDay reported.

This is the second study suggesting that closely following the Mediterranean diet may improve brain power and focus.

Earlier this month, a study was published in the journal Neurology reporting that people who followed the Mediterranean diet retained more brain volume over a three-year period, Medical Daily previously reported. Declining brain mass is a natural part of aging.

Taken from @ medicaldaily

Posted in ADHD | Tagged | Leave a comment

Exercise can help adults better cope with ADHD symptoms

Exercise, even a small amount, can help alleviate symptoms of ADHD in adults, according to a recent study by University of Georgia researchers.

The study, released in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, found a single bout of exercise has psychological benefits for adults with these elevated ADHD symptoms.

About 6 percent of American adults report symptoms consistent with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, which lead to anxiety, depression, low energy and motivation, poor performance at work or school and also increased traffic accidents.

“Exercise is already known as a stress reducer and mood booster, so it really has the potential to help those suffering with ADHD symptoms,” said the study’s senior author Patrick O’Connor, professor in the UGA College of Education’s kinesiology department.

“And while prescription drugs can be used to treat these symptoms, there’s an increased risk of abuse or dependence and negative side effects. Those risks don’t exist with exercise.”

The study tested 32 young men with elevated ADHD symptoms who cycled at a moderate intensity for 20 minutes on one day, and on another day sat and rested for 20 minutes as a control condition.

The participants were asked to perform a task requiring focus both before and after the different conditions, and researchers noted leg movement, mood, attention and self-reported motivation to perform the task.

As a result, researchers found that it was only after the exercise when the participants felt motivated to do the task; they also felt less confused and fatigued and instead felt more energetic.

Interestingly, leg movements and performance on the task did not change after the exercise-rather, the exercise helped the young men feel better about doing the task.

These findings are consistent with prior research that shows a single bout of exercise helps people feel more energetic, said O’Connor, who is also co-director of the UGA Exercise Psychology Laboratory.

The results suggest that young men who have symptoms of ADHD can benefit psychologically from the short workouts, similar to the benefits enjoyed by typical adults who work out.

“The reduced feelings of confusion and increased motivation to perform a cognitive task suggest that other types of acute exercise also may benefit cognitive performance,” added study co-author Kathryn Fritz, a UGA doctoral student who completed the study as part of her master’s thesis.

“We speculate that a different mode or duration or intensity of exercise, other than a boring cycle ride in a sterile lab, may show larger cognitive effects for those suffering from ADHD symptoms.”

Taken from knowridge

Posted in ADHD | Tagged | Leave a comment

ADHD: The cop-out diagnosis for lazy parents

What to do with a rowdy, inattentive child? Give up, diagnose, medicate.

Alarmingly, that’s what is happening to many kids who exasperate their parents and teachers — and boys are up to four times as likely as girls to be slapped with an ADHD tag, which in itself is disturbing.

The symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as determined by US psychiatrists in 2000, are gender neutral.

Yet we have stereotyped it as a male issue, and the younger the child, the more at risk he is of being misdiagnosed and prescribed stimulant medication such as Ritalin, the side effects of which can include decreased appetite, stomach aches, dizziness, sleeplessness and even suicidal thoughts.

Research released this week on more than 311,000 students in Western Australia has found that children aged six to 10 who were born in June (the last month of the school year intake in that state) were twice as likely as their classmates born in the previous July (the first month) to be medicated for ADHD.

Three-quarters of those were boys.

The “late birth date effect” was less dramatic but still significant among 11-15 year olds.

The findings, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, mirror those of other large-scale studies in North America and Taiwan and renew fears that children’s wellbeing is being compromised by adults who are not qualified or too quick to judge.

Lead researcher Martin Whitely, a visiting fellow at Murdoch University, says the criteria for diagnosing ADHD are sloppy and subjective, resulting in “crazy distortions”.

Teachers, Mr Whitely says, could be assessing children according to their class year level rather than their relative age, and mistaking immaturity for a psychiatric disorder.

Moreover, if ADHD is a neurobiological disorder as claimed, then a child’s date of birth or gender should be irrelevant.

The definition of ADHD, according to the international psychiatry bible DSM-5, is a “persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development”.

I’ve seen lots of kids who fit this description, girls as well as boys, but frequently it’s the adults around them who seem to be the problem.

I’m talking about teachers with no clue how to control a class or effectively discipline a disruptive student; parents who let their kids run amok in shopping centres, cafes or cinemas; and other adults in positions of care and responsibility who shrug off unacceptable behaviour as “kids being kids”.

Mr Whitely goes as far as calling ADHD a “meaningless label” that is confused with normal, if annoying, childhood behaviour.

Writing in The Conversation, he says this stops people from looking at what’s really going on with certain kids.

If a child is easily distracted, playing too loudly, fidgeting in class, avoiding homework, or interrupting the teacher, then he or she has ADHD?

Give me a break.

Worryingly, rates of prescribing medication for ADHD are on the rise, both in Australia and overseas, which would suggest that some doctors are willing to treat with amphetamines what can be cured with tough love and patience while maturity kicks in.

Shaun Rudd is Queensland chair of the Australian Medical Association. The Hervey Bay GP says while some children are appropriately diagnosed with ADHD, a large and increasing number are misdiagnosed.

Parents, often supported by teachers in their unqualified assessment, march in to a doctor’s room and demand a prescription.

Dr Rudd says while some children benefit from being on medication, others do not need it and their behaviour could be improved with better parenting.

Setting boundaries, enforcing limits, saying no instead of yes after endless nagging, and refusing to indulge tantrums and other attention-seeking actions are cornerstones of good parenting.

They apply in the classroom as well. Kids need to be praised for positive behaviour and not rewarded, with undue fuss, for the negative.

Parents also have a responsibility to send their children to school as well-equipped as possible to learn. At a minimum, this means ensuring they get a decent sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and arrive at school on time.

Teachers also need to be better prepared. When studies show that burnout is greatest in the first five years of teaching and that dealing with difficult children is a key contributor, then more must be done to support educators as they tackle the demands of the modern classroom.

Some kids act out due to boredom, particularly if they are very bright, others due to frustration, if they can’t grasp the work as presented. Others still are struggling with bullying, trauma or various forms of neglect.

And let’s not forget that children learn and develop at their own pace.

Turning to ADHD as an easy explanation for problematic behaviour fails to do justice to the little people in our care.

Know more @ couriermail

Posted in ADHD | Tagged | Leave a comment

Improved Academic Performance and Medication Rebound in Patients with ADHD Following the Use of Vayarin®, a Multi-Year, Real-World Retrospective Study

New Retrospective Study to be Presented at The American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders (APSARD) Annual Meeting January 13-15, 2017 in Washington DC.

In a release issued under the same headline January 10, 2017 by VAYA Pharma, please note that in the first paragraph under Results at a Glance, “38 percent of patients who suffer” should read “65 percent of patients who suffer.” The corrected release follows:

Up to 75 percent of individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) experience emotional dysregulation, according to Research in Developmental Disabilities. Emotional dysregulation is characterized by rapid, poorly controlled shifts in emotion, mood swings and behavioral outbursts. Studies have shown that individuals with ADHD and emotional dysregulation have significantly more impaired peer relationships, family life and academic performance than those diagnosed with ADHD alone. A new multi-year retrospective study initiated by Robert Chudnow, M.D. at Texas Child Neurology looked at patients’ reports on long-term impact of Vayarin® PS-Omega-3 medical food on patients with ADHD along with indicators for emotional dysregulation, academic performance and medication rebound. A poster presentation about the study will be featured at the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders (APSARD) annual meeting January 13-15, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Results at a Glance

The lead investigators found that 68 percent of children with ADHD who added Vayarin® to their ADHD management routine reported general improvements following a short and long-term administration period (an average of six and 36 months, respectively) of the medical food. For example, patients reported improvements in their academic performance (58 percent) and emotional regulation (51 percent). Emotional dysregulation is a component of ADHD that has been shown to predict poor long-term clinical and educational outcomes in early-adulthood, such as academic performance. Additionally, 65 percent of patients who suffer from medication rebound reported improvement in the rebounding effect. Medication rebound is characterized by the re-emergence of ADHD symptoms after prescription medications – including stimulants – wear off.

“The results of this retrospective study are extremely promising for patients with ADHD who also suffer from emotional dysregulation and have other challenges that impact their well-being,” said Dr. Gali Artzi, director of medical affairs, VAYA Pharma. “The results are also exciting because the population included patients with real-world experiences – patients who are taking different medications, have different co-morbidities and have struggled day-to-day with the impact of ADHD on many parts of their lives. The improvements shown by the participants in this study further support the benefit of Vayarin® in patients with ADHD. We are thrilled to have this research featured at the 2017 APSARD annual meeting.”

The investigator-initiated retrospective study analyzed 518 patients with ADHD. The effects of Vayarin® based on patients’ reports were evaluated by a clinician using the Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGIC) scale, as well as a self-rated outcome tool. The study was funded by a grant from VAYA Pharma and the use of VAYA Pharma’s Vayarin® medical food was analyzed in the results.

About Vayarin®

Vayarin® is a prescription medical food for the dietary management of complex lipid imbalances associated with ADHD. Vayarin’s unique lipid composition allows it to effectively deliver lipids to the brain, across the blood brain barrier. Previously, in a double-blind placebo controlled clinical study, this composition was shown to significantly reduce ADHD behaviors, especially in children with emotional dysregulation. Vayarin® is safe and well tolerated in children, with side effects that were equivalent to placebo.

Taken from globenewswire

Posted in ADHD | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

6 Million Visits for ADHD by U.S. Kids Each Year

Medications prescribed or continued in 80% of visits.

Office visits during 2012-2013 by children with a primary diagnosis of ADHD reached an annual average of 6.1 million, equating to a rate of 105 per 1,000 children ages 4 to 17, data from a large federal survey indicated.

The majority of these visits were not with a psychiatrist: 48% were performed by pediatricians and 12% by family practitioners. Only slightly more than a third of visits (36%) were with psychiatrists.

The rate was especially high among boys: 147 per 1,000 population, according to the analysis of data from the 2012-2013 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, reported in a National Center for Health Statistics databrief.

Girls had less than half that rate, at 62 per 1,000, according to investigators led by Michael Albert, MD, MPH, of the CDC.

These disparities persisted when broken down by age group: For children ages 4 to 12 years, there were 156 visits per 1,000 boys versus 59 visits per 1,000 girls, and for children ages 13 to 17, there were 130 visits per 1,000 boys compared with 67 visits per 1,000 girls.

Jeff Epstein, PhD, director of the Center for ADHD at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio, who was not involved in the study, said the disparity may be due to the fact that boys with ADHD tend to display behaviors such as impulsivity, so they “are more likely to be referred for assessment and treatment.” In contrast, “girls with ADHD are more likely to just have problems with inattention.”

The low rate of psychiatrist involvement may be traced to unequal distribution of specialists around the country, Epstein suggested.

“In many regions of the U.S., particularly in rural areas, there is often decreased access to mental health specialists … Even in areas where mental health specialists, like psychiatrists, are available, it is often the case that these providers cannot support the demand. Hence, many children with ADHD rely on primary care pediatricians for ADHD care.”

Using ICD diagnoses codes, the researchers determined that about 29% of children who had ADHD office visits had any additional mental health disorder, including episodic mood disorder (7%); anxiety, dissociative, and somatoform disorder (7%); and disturbance of emotions specific to childhood and adolescence (4%).

Thomas Power, PhD, of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who also wasn’t involved in the study, said this is likely an underestimate, given that most ADHD visits are not with psychiatrists, “who are more attuned to investigate other mental health comorbidities.”

When looking at the use of CNS stimulant medications, they found these drugs were mentioned — either provided, prescribed, or continued — at 80% of all visits.

The most commonly mentioned were methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana) or dexmethylphenidate (Focalin) at 47%, followed by amphetamine/dextroamphetamine combinations, at 13%.

Power noted that CNS medications are commonly prescribed because “they [have been] repeatedly demonstrated to manage symptoms of ADHD in children and adults. Overall, about 75-80% of children will respond to one or both classes of stimulants mentioned in the article.”

He noted that the disparity in use of the two classes of medications, methylphenidate and amphetamines, “is most likely a result of embedded prescribing patterns among physicians and marketing and does not reflect differences in effectiveness.”

If these medications are not effective, doctors will use second-line medications such as atomoxetine (Strattera), Power said, adding that non-pharmacological treatments such as behavioral therapy “can be used in combination with pharmacological treatments and even alone in milder cases of ADHD.”

Know more @ medpagetoday

Posted in ADHD | Tagged | Leave a comment

ADD vs ADHD; What’s The Difference?

Is your child having difficulty paying attention, experiencing a hard time focusing, has a frequent tendency to shift from one task to another, loves procrastinating, exhibits disorganization, often forgetful, exhibits fidgeting, keeps on talking and moving excessively, shows signs of impatience, likes interrupting, and experiences difficulty in completing tasks? You might want to have your child checked for ADHD.

What Do We Know About ADHD?

ADHD not impulsivity and hyperactivity was previously known as ADD. ADD simply stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. Recent findings have changed the ADD name to include it under the ADHD umbrella. To date, the ADD term is no longer used.

ADHD Symptoms are usually evident at a very early stage in childhood. It may become even noticeable when the child’s circumstances change- example when they start going school. Most ADHD cases are identified between 6 and 12 years old.

ADHD symptoms progress with age. Most adults are diagnosed with ADHD condition at a very young age and continuously experience problems. People diagnosed with ADHD may have other concerns such as anxiety and sleep disorders.

“There is a question as to whether those with primarily inattentive symptoms should really be classified as ADHD at all, and if maybe the inattentive type isn’t more of a learning disability,” Lee Ann Grisolano, Ph.D. said.”It’s a hot topic right now.” Grisolano is a pediatric neuropsychologist in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
If There Is One Thing Worth Noting About ADHD – It Is Often Controversially Overlooked

“Sometimes you see a child who zones out in class because he can’t focus,” confirmed Judith Joseph, M.D. She is a psychiatrist and clinical instructor at the New York University Child Study Center. “He may also struggle with organization and is known as the child with the messy desk, messy locker, [who] doesn’t complete the homework or finish exams. While these kids have organizational and attention issues, they lack hyperactivity and impulsivity, which makes their ADHD go under the radar or undetected. So children with the purely inattentive type of ADHD often go undiagnosed.”

According to Dr. Joseph, children who may exhibit hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms have tendencies to be diagnosed early on since their behaviors are not subtle.

The medication remains the same regardless of what type of ADHD your child might have. These medications are most often stimulants inducing positive responses on the majority of children. Behavioral modifications can, however, yield subjective results. These measures can greatly help parents, teachers and the children themselves to manage the symptoms efficiently with the use of a variety of coping strategies. For example, for a child dealing with hyperactivity, he/she might need to divert energy to activities that will allow him/her use to get rid of the excess energy. Parents and teachers can also practice strategies that will help the child sit still when needed.

In total, a child suffering from attention deficit will benefit most from strategies that emphasize on organizational skills. Systems for homework and technological tools (such as a smartphone) may also be employed to help the child manage and maximize his time.

Taken from @ itechpost

Posted in ADHD | Tagged | Leave a comment