HealthDay News — When the latest version of what is considered the “bible” of psychiatry is unveiled in May, experts believe several changes in it will broaden both the definition and diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — or ADHD.But experts also differ on whether the shifts in thinking about this neurodevelopmental disorder will be a good thing.Dr. James Norcross, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, outlined the major changes that should be coming in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association.
(HealthDay News) — Many parents pursue costly and time-consuming treatments to help their children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Now, a new study finds little evidence that non-drug interventions reduce key symptoms of ADHD.
A multinational team of experts identified no positive effects from psychological treatments including mind exercises (cognitive training), neurofeedback and behavioral training (positive reinforcement). And the researchers discovered only small benefits associated with dietary treatments: supplementation with omega-3 and omega-6 free fatty acids, and elimination of artificial food coloring.
Still, parents shouldn’t be discouraged, said study co-author Dr. Emily Simonoff.
Although children with ADHD may seem to be inherently anti-structure, they actually function best in a structured, familiar setting. But vacations and travel are all about getting away from the familiar – new places, new schedules, new people. As the parent of a child with ADHD, you probably know that this is a recipe for crankiness at the very least and meltdowns at the worst. There are some steps you can take to mitigate the impact that travel will have on your child’s behavior.
Girls with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – and their families – often look forward to the likely decline in visible symptoms such as fidgety or disruptive behavior as they mature into young women.
However, new findings from UC Berkeley caution that, as they enter adulthood, girls with histories of ADHD are more prone to internalize their struggles and feelings of failure – a development that can manifest itself in self-injury and even attempted suicide.
“Like boys with ADHD, girls continue to have problems with academic achievement and relationships, and need special services as they enter early adulthood,” said Stephen Hinshaw, UC Berkeley professor of psychology and lead author of a study that reports after 10 years on the largest-ever sample of girls whose ADHD was first diagnosed in childhood
When I started to realize that my son's Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was having an impact on his social interactions, I considered social skills group therapy as a solution. Social skills group therapy helps children with ADHD or a disorder on the autism spectrum learn and practice social skills with other children.
I live in Northern California, right next to Berkeley, so I figured it would be easy to find a group. You can't throw a stone in Berkeley without hitting a therapist of some kind. But you could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized that there were only a couple of these groups in my area, and they met too far away from us to make using them feasible.
I read a few books, which gave me some ideas such as role-playing with him, to practice the correct interactions. But unfortunately my son just found role-playing kind of dumb, maybe because he was role-playing with me instead of another child. I was beginning to run out of methods.
HealthDay News — The brains of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD show abnormalities in certain areas involved with "visual attention," new research finds.Researchers performed functional MRIs fMRIs on 19 children aged 9 to 15 diagnosed with ADHD and 19 without the disorder while the children took a test in which they were shown a set of numbers and then asked to remember whether a subsequent group of numbers matched the original.
HealthDay News — Children with specific gene variants respond better to the drug methylphenidate Ritalin, Concerta, which is widely used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD, a new study says.The finding could help improve treatment of ADHD, according to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center researchers."Physicians don’t have a good way of predicting who will experience great improvement in ADHD symptoms with a particular medication, so currently we use a trial-and-error approach. Unfortunately, as a result, finding an effective treatment can take a long time," lead investigator Dr. Tanya Froehlich, a physician in the division of developmental and behavioral pediatrics, said in a medical center news release.
(HealthDay News) — In new guidelines released Sunday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has expanded the age range for the diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to children as young as 4 and as old as 18.
For the youngest children, the academy is emphasizing the use of behavior treatments over medication in most cases.
"I think the most significant changes are expanding the ages from preschool through adolescence. The original guidelines were from 6 to 12, because that’s where the evidence was. We’ve been able to broaden the scope of the guidelines because there was more evidence available for preschoolers and adolescents," said the lead author of the new recommendations, Dr. Mark Wolraich, CMRI Shaun Walters Professor of Pediatrics and the Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.
Ah, summer. Is there any time of the year more dear to children’s hearts? Its bliss is only marred by what’s at the end of it – back to school. After months of nothing more strenuous than camp, children’s brains are just not ready for the rigors of the classroom and the structured format of the school day. The switching of gears is especially hard on children with ADHD. They often need time to get used to changes, so a little preparation is in order to keep from the first day of school being a rude shock.
HealthDay News — Preschool children with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD have a smaller-than-normal structure in the brain that plays an important role in cognitive and motor control, new research shows.The finding may help efforts to develop ways to treat the common behavioral disorder in the early stages, according to the researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.In the study, high-resolution MRI was used to examine the brains of 13 preschoolers with ADHD symptoms including inattentiveness and impulsivity and 13 without ADHD symptoms. The scans showed that children with ADHD symptoms had a significantly smaller caudate nucleus, a small structure in the subcortical region of the brain.In addition, the smaller the child’s caudate nucleus, the greater the level of ADHD symptoms reported by parents, the investigators found.