Thursday, June 30, 2005

Concerta Review Shows Unexpected Psychiatric Reactions in Children

The FDA, after a Concerta review, plans to strengthen warnings about the possible psychiatric side effects of Concerta and similar drug treatments for ADHD. A routine FDA review of Concerta unearthed unexpected psychiatric reactions in children - psychotic behavior, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations and aggression - in addition to heart complications.

Concerta, a once-daily form of methylphenidate (Ritalin), is now the most prescribed drug for ADHD. A subsequent review of other methylphenidate products found similar psychiatric complications. The FDA plans to conduct a review of Adderall and Strattera to see whether similar behavior is reported with these ADHD drug treatments. That review is expected to be complete early in 2006.

Click [here] to view the full version of this article.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Simple Changes to Add 9 Years to Your Life

Here are four simple, health-happy lifestyle changes that pay big on living longer, and living better longer. Researchers at Loma Linda University in California studied the lifestyles of more than 34,000 Seventh-Day Adventists - a religious group known for their longevity and healthy lifestyle. You don't need to convert religions to reap the longevity benefits of this study; simply take on the lifestyle habits of this group. Below is a synopsis of lifestyle changes and the associated years gained because of the lifestyle.
_ Exercise vigorously three times per week; gain 2.1 years.
_ Eat nuts fiver times a week; gain 2.9 years.
_ Maintain a healthy weight; gain 1.5 years.
_ Eat a vegetarian-style diet; gain 2.4 years.

Quote of the Day: "It is a lesson which all history teaches wise men, to put trust in ideas, and not in circumstances." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Watch Comedy, Remove Bias

This article is from a February 1, 2005 Univeristy of Michigan News Service article. I found it interesting and thought you might too.

Positive emotions slash bias, help people see big picture detailsPositive emotions like joy and humor help people "get the big picture," according to new University of Michigan research.

Researchers asked a group of 89 students to watch a video either of a comic to induce joy and laughter, a horror video to induce anxiety, or a "neutral" video that would not effect emotions.

To simulate getting a quick glance of a stranger, scientists flashed photos of individuals for about a half second, finding subjects recognized members of their own race 75 percent of the time but only recognized members of another race 65 percent of the time, Johnson said. However, researchers found positive emotions boosted that recognition of cross-race faces about 10 to 20 percent, eliminating the gap.

Subjects who watched the comedy tested for having much higher positive emotions, while those who saw the horror video had far more "negative" emotions. Those in a positive mood had a far greater ability to recognize members of another race, while their ability to recognize members of their own race stayed the same.

The researchers conclude that positive emotions bring with them a "broadening effect" that helps people see a bigger, broader picture of the world around them.

"Negative emotions create a tunnel vision," said U-M psychology researcher Kareem Johnson. "Negative emotions like fear or anger are useful for short-term survival when there's an immediate danger like being chased by a dangerous animal. Positive emotions like joy and happiness are for long-term survival and promote big picture thinking, make you more inclusive and notice more details, make you think in terms of 'us' instead of 'them.'"

The findings will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Proper Prenatal Care to Reduce Childhood Depression

Mothers-to-be - please listen! Poor health habits during pregnancy can have lifelong consequences for the mental health of the child.

A recent Australian study indicates that prenatal factors can contribute to childhood depression. Specifically, low birth weight babies, poor nutrition during pregnancy and those exposed to drugs, alcohol or nicotine while in the womb are more likely to suffer depression.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Help Your Depressed Employees

Want Better Production from your Employees? Provide High-Quality Depression Care.

A new report indicates that providing high-quality depression care can improve productivity at work and lower absenteeism. And this effort on the employer's part reaps big rewards -- an estimated value of over $2,000 per full-time depressed employee.

A two-year nationwide program involving depressed employees showed a 6 percent improvement in productivity at work by an average of 6 percent (an estimated annual value of $1,491) and a 22 percent reduction in absenteeism (saving the companies an estimated $539 for each depressed full-time employee).

The program involved 326 blue-collar and white-collar workers who were diagnosed with depression. Workers received either standard or “enhanced” depression treatment. Researchers found that workers receiving the "enhanced" treatment made the largest gains in productivity while reducing their rate of absenteeism and the severity of their depression.

The study, published in "Medical Care" demonstrates that improving the quality of care for depression has positive consequences for productivity and absenteeism.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Stress Kills -- and It Makes You Age Faster Too

Researchers at the University of California have found that chronic stress makes cells age faster, putting the stressed person at higher risk of age-related diseases earlier in life. Put simply, stressed people will get old faster and are more likely die earlier.

This new study, to be published in "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," compared 39 healthy mothers of chronically ill children to 19 mothers of healthy children.

Completed questionnaires measured the mothers' levels of stress. Blood samples measured age markers of white blood cells.

Researchers found that the highly stressed mothers' cells had an equivalent ageing of ten years. In other words, the very stressed mothers seemed ten years older.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Neurontin Suicide Link

I received this email yesterday and, with the sender's permission, posted it. Just weeks prior we wrote a newsletter article addressing the link between Neurontin and Suicide.

My father had been taking Neurontin for approximately 18 months to treat side effects after suffering a stroke. He had never been a depressed person, even after having the stroke. He was very outgoing and active, especially with his Stroke Support Group he attended regularly. That is why we were shocked when we found my father very confused but thankfully alive after he attempted suicide by cutting his wrists using both hands leaving approxiamatly 20 scars on both wrists.(even though one hand does not work properly due to the stroke). After being admitted to the hospital and treated for 3 weeks, we found the effects of Neurontin was to blame for the sudden need to end his life. I need to know how to get this information out to people so this does not happen to others who are ill informed about the true side effects of this dangerous drug. Is this something you could help me with?

Friday, June 17, 2005

FDA Tells Strattera Maker to Pull Misleading Commercial

The FDA has asked Strattera maker Eli Lilly to pull a recent television ad, deeming the ad “false or misleading because it inadequately communicates the indication for Strattera and minimizes the risks associated with Strattera.”

The 60-second television commercial was busy and distracting, with competing visuals, graphics and music presented at the same time the risk information and indication information was being presented.

As if someone with ADHD needs more stimuli thrown at them, especially when it concerns an important topic like drugs to treat the very symptoms the commercial addresses.

Additionally, the commercial implied a broader indication for the drug by promoting it as a treatment for ADD. Strattera is only approved to treat ADHD. Distractability, inattentiveness and inability to focus or concentrate are common symptoms of ADD. The hyperactivity and impulsive components of ADHD differentiate the two.

The pharmaceutical company complied with the FDA order, but denies wrongdoing.

Of course.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Moms - Get Help For Your Depression

The infamous Chicago-area humidity can hang so heavy in the summer that any movement beyond necessity becomes near impossible. Outside, the simple act of breathing becomes labored. People become cross, ill-tempered and lethargic. It is in this weather condition that I think of the crippling affects of depression. Depression can weigh on the home and family environment in much the same way.

A recent study points to the need to find adequate treatment for depression.

Children whose mothers were depressed during the first five years of the child's life have elevated conduct problems, states a February issue of "Archives of General Psychiatry."

A mother's depression taking place after the children's birth was associated with children's antisocial behavior, while depression before the children's birth was not.

Back to the Chicago/humidity analogy, getting out of the stifling heat and into air conditioning will bring peace and comfort. In some situations, it can save your life.

If you experience depression, don't try to go it alone. Find help in any way that you can. This help can come in the form of working with a counselor, finding self-help tips, using antidepressants, or finding an complementary treatment like Deprex.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

June 15 Newsletter is In!

Hi all! Just a quick note to let you know we just published the June 15 newsletter. Be sure to check it out -- you will find Attend at a great price. If you haven't signed up for our bi-monthly newsletter, you will want to send an email to requesting to be put on our newsletter list. Each issue of the Attention Deficit Disorder Help Center newsletter contains information specifically addressing Attention Deficit Disorder issues, along with brain-boosting ADHD recipes and monthly product specials.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"Mental Illness" Affects 1 in 4 Americans

According to a new government survey, one out of every four Americans has a "mental illness." That may seem incredibly far-fetched until you realize that Attention Deficit Disorder has been thrown into this "mental illness" pot. According to this classification, one of my children, three of my dear friends and a whole bunch of other people I know are "crazy." I do take offense to labeling ADD as a mental illness. Sure it can cause a bit of havoc here and there but there are many excellent attributes to having ADD. And to classify ADD as a mental illness takes away our responsibilities to correcting the enviromental issues that can cause attentional, focus and hyperactivity issues. I don't buy the results of this study. Take ADD out of the picture and give me a true number of people who truly suffer from mental illness.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Teenage Girls with ADHD

A teenager girl with ADHD may face other serious problems according to a newly-released study by Dr. Joseph Beiderman of Harvard Medical School. "As girls mature, there's a rise in mood and anxiety disorders, disruptive behaviors and substance abuse problems," said the Professor of Psychiatry. The study of 235 teenage girls, more than half of whom had ADHD, revealed those with ADHD are as prone as their male counterparts to acting out with disruptive behavior. In addition, the study presented to the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, offered some startling statistics: more than one in three of teen girls with ADHD suffered major depression compared to 3 in 100 without; 56% suffered with anxiety -19% of those without; 12% used drugs compared to 4 % without; 4% drank alcohol as opposed to 1% without; 28% smoked compared to 13% of the others. Anorexia and bulimia affected 5% of the ADHD teen girls. While ADHD is still considered a male disorder, young women are often misdiagnosed and/or the problems go undetected and untreated. Take time to know your ADHD teen girl - there is help available.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Vitamin B-12 / Depression Link

Can the amount of B-12 circulating through your body affect your depression rate? A team of researchers examining the relationship of vitamin B12 and the treatment of depression think so.

Current research suggests that taking vitamin B supplements may help people respond better to depression treatment.

In a study of 115 patients with depression, patients who responded fully to depression treatment had higher concentrations of vitamin B12 in their blood at the start and end of the study when compared to those who did not respond to treatment. The B-12 association remained constant despite the treatment recieved, lifestyle habits and genetic ties.

Previous research showed better treatment outcomes in patients who took vitamins B1, B2 and B6. These vitamins increase the levels of B12 in the body.

The B family of vitamins are known for their overall benefit for mood, mental clarity, and energy. I would highly recommend a quality B supplement for all -- and especially for those who are in need of a mood pick-me-up or improved focus and cognitive skills. It can't hurt (if taken as directed) and certainly can help. Give it a try!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Adult ADD Joke - Enjoy the Chuckle

David, a gent from our newsletter community, sent this email over. I thought I would share. If you are interested in receiving our free newsletter, go to, scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your email address.
Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.D.D. - Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.
(Use to be called "lack of FOCUS" - But I feel much better now that it is a "disease".)

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide my car needs washing. As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay t he bills first. I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only 1 check left.

My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need to be watered. I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

the car isn't washed
the bills aren't paid
there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter
the flowers don't have enough water,
there is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

- Author unknown

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Reduce Your Stress

Your stress level and blood pressure often climb hand-in-hand. Stress can also adversly affect your heart and cardiovascular system, resulting in hypertension. Now none of this is appealing, but you can help reduce your stress, thus improving your overall health, by taking some simple steps.

1) Maintain a positive outlook.
2) Relax your mind through meditation, yoga, a quiet time or even massage. Do you kow massage can increase your circulation? This fact is fueling the surge of in-home massage chairs - perfect for TV viewing !
3) Review and renew your food consumption. Eat more vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts. Reduce your intake of saturated fats, salt and sugar. Eat and drink with moderation.
4) Exercise. Fit in a daily walk. Garden. Bike. Dance. Do something physical that you enjoy and do it often.

Monday, June 06, 2005

"Giving Mercury to Children on Purpose is Stupid"

This came across my email today from a dear woman who has an autistic son. I know this is a long read, but please take the time to read the information and then take another couple minutes to take action. Please. Children need your help. - Jeannine

The following messages are forwarded from Unlocking Autism and NVIC.

Today, Unlocking Autism and the National Vaccine Information
Center are rolling out an ad campaign entitled

"Giving Mercury to Children on Purpose is Stupid"

For the second time in 30 days, President Bush refused to issue an Executive Order on May 27, 2005, that would protect pregnant women and children from vaccines containing levels of mercury that exceed federal safety limits for anyone under 500 pounds.

You can see the six print ads on the Unlocking Autism website at along with three public service announcements that you can launch in your own hometown.

Visit the UA site to find out how you can have the ads placed in your area. Some ads have already been placed and will begin cropping up this week around the country.

This Tuesday morning, volunteers for UA and NVIC will deliver a packet of information to every Member of Congress about this campaign letting them know that constituents back home will be running these ads and handing out these flyers in their districts.

On Tuesday June 7th after 12 Noon Eastern Time, we need your help to contact all Members of Congress, President Bush and Laura Bush. (11am central, 10am mountain, 9am pacific).

How can you help back home?:

Call/Fax Them On Tuesday June 7TH AFTER NOON!!!!!!!
a) Call your Congressman and both of your Senators to make sure that they received their packets. Very important!!! Do not call until after noon eastern time on June 7th! Put the number of the Capitol Hill Operator in your cell phone or by your home phone: 202-224-3121. Operators can connect you to any Member of Congress. (To find your Congressman visit and to find your Senators visit

b) Pick out your favorite ad. Write a letter to President Bush and send your letter along a copy of the ad that you intend to see run in your hometown. Send it to Andrew Card, Chief of Staff via fax at 202-456-1907.

To Call Andrew Card's office to let him know what you think of the President's policy dial 202-456-6798.

c) Call Laura Bush's office at 202-456-7064 to let her know what you think about President Bush's policy, too. If we can't get the President to listen, perhaps the First Lady will.

Keep these numbers handy all day. Call as often as you like. Call until we say quit.

Do not be discouraged if the numbers are busy. That just means that people across America are responding. Keep dialing as if you were trying to win $1 million from a radio station. They need to hear from you. They need to know your concerns.

And apparently, they need to hear them again!

We told them to get temps to answer the phones. Every call makes an impact.

If you think giving mercury to children on purpose is stupid...
Let 'er rip.

Have a great day on Tuesday and happy dialing!

Unlocking Autism and the National Vaccine Information Center
For release Monday, June 6, 2005


Two national parent organizations are calling on President Bush to issue an Executive Order to compel drug companies to remove mercury preservatives from vaccines in order to protect developing fetuses, infants and children from potential immune and brain system damage. Unlocking Autism (UA), a national, non-profit autism awareness organization, and the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), the largest and oldest vaccine safety organization in the U.S., are asking the President to enforce a 1999 directive to drug companies by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove mercury from all vaccines.

Mercury is a known neurotoxin and drug companies removed mercury preservatives from over-the-counter products in the early 1990’s but the FDA has not enforced its 1999 directive regarding vaccines. While mercury has been reduced in many childhood vaccines, some flu vaccines given to pregnant women and infants still contain so much mercury that a person would have to weigh 500 pounds to safely get a flu vaccination according to EPA standards.

During the fall Presidential campaign, Unlocking Autism asked both Presidential candidates if they supported removal of mercury from all childhood vaccines. President Bush said “yes” in writing but since the election has refused to take action despite repeated requests from parents.

“The drug companies have had six years to stop injecting mercury into our children’s bodies and that is long enough. Giving mercury to kids on purpose is stupid. If the FDA won’t make them get it out then nobody but the President can make them do it. We need the President to step up to the plate and protect our children and the unborn from harm.” said Shelley Reynolds, Unlocking Autism (UA) President.

Barbara Loe Fisher, President of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), said “The precautionary principle should prevail here: when in doubt, get it out. Whenever there is a safer product available, the more risky product should be removed from the market. This is like déjà vu for those of us who watched the FDA fail to properly regulate the drug industry after the less reactive DTaP vaccine was licensed for babies in 1996. The FDA refused to recall the more toxic DPT vaccine and so it was injected into American babies for six more years, just like mercury has been injected into babies for six more years after the FDA told the drug companies to get it out of vaccines.”

Unlocking Autism, the National Vaccine Information Center and other parent groups, who are concerned that the dramatic rise in autism and other neurodevelopmental delays in children in the past few decades is in part due to the use of multiple mercury-containing vaccines, are making ads and public service announcements available to parents in every state which ask President Bush to issue an Executive Order to get mercury out of vaccines. State and federal legislators are also being made aware of the request.

For more information, go to and

UA/NVIC open letter to President Bush

Dear President Bush:

You are the President and we trust you will protect us from harm. That is why we are asking you to listen and see the suffering of our children and order the drug companies to remove all mercury from vaccines.

During your campaign, you told Unlocking Autism that, if elected, you would support the removal of thimerosal (mercury preservative) from childhood vaccines. We were so happy to know that you understood that exposing infants and children to a toxin that can damage the brain is not a good idea.

In 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials directed drug companies making vaccines to remove mercury from childhood vaccines because they knew injecting babies with a known neurotoxin was an unacceptable risk. Many babies vaccinated in the 1990’s were exposed to 125 times the amount of mercury on one day that the EPA considers acceptable.

While mercury has been reduced to trace amounts (less than 1 mcg.) in many vaccines, because the FDA has refused to recall vaccines with high amounts of mercury there are still many children and those yet unborn in the womb of pregnant women being unnecessarily exposed to brain damaging mercury in vaccines. What is really sad is that some flu vaccines on the market today contain so much mercury that a person would have to weigh 500 pounds to safely get a flu vaccination.

If there is a safer vaccine, the FDA should protect the American people and take the more toxic one off the market. We remember when the FDA refused to take the highly reactive DPT vaccine off the market after a purified DTaP was licensed in 1996. Sadly, many children were unnecessarily brain damaged by DPT vaccine for years after that safer product had been licensed.

We have waited six long years for the FDA to make the vaccine manufacturers get mercury out of vaccines.

And during that time, more and more of our children have become chronically ill and disabled. In fact, in the past two decades as the numbers of doses of vaccines the CDC has told American children to get has doubled, there has been a doubling of learning disabilities, ADHD and asthma; a tripling of diabetes and a 200 to 7,000 percent increase in autism in every state.

The CDC now admits that 1 in 6 American children is developmentally delayed. We can’t wait any longer to get mercury out of all vaccines.

The FDA has refused to get the job done. But you are the President. Parents all across America are praying that you, our President, will protect our children and the unborn from harm and issue an Executive Order to make the vaccine manufacturers take mercury out of vaccines.

Sincerely,Shelley Hendrix Reynolds, Unlocking Autism President

Barbara Loe Fisher, National Vaccine Information Center President

UA/NVIC open letter to all members of congress:

To All Members of the House and Senate,

It is very difficult to imagine that fourteen years after the United States Government decided mercury was too toxic to be applied topically to the human body, that we would need an Act of Congress to prevent it from being deliberately injected into the bodies of pregnant women and children.

In 1991, over the counter products containing the mercury preservative, Thimerosal, were taken off the market. In 1999, the FDA directed drug companies to remove mercury preservatives from childhood vaccines but failed to recall the mercury containing shots and most stayed on the market until 2002. It is now 2005 and mercury is still being used to manufacture vaccines.

In fact, most flu shots contain levels of mercury that are above EPA safety limits for anyone weighing less than 500 pounds.

Do you weigh less than 500 pounds? How many of your constituents weigh less than 500 pounds? How much does a fetus weigh? How much does a six-month-old child weigh? How much mercury was in the flu shot you got last fall? Did you opt for the mercury-free version and deny a child back home that option?

For the second time since his reelection in 2004, President Bush has denied our request to issue a ban that would protect pregnant women and children from mercury that can damage the immune system and brain. If the FDA cannot protect us from harm, the President needs to step up to the plate and get it done.

Parents are tired of waiting for government health agencies - the FDA and CDC - to protect the unborn and children from being hurt by a known neurotoxin.

The buck stops at the President's desk.

Our grass roots are now rooted. The ads you see included here will run in your districts soon. Public Service Announcements on this issue will be on air on your local radio stations. Billboards will be popping up along the highways back home. Flyers will be distributed in mall parking lots, through neighborhood canvassing and appear in church bulletins.

Your constituents are determined to pay for these ads and get the job done that the United States Government refuses to do - warn pregnant women and parents of children about the danger of mercury in vaccines.

Your constituents are watching what the President and Congress does about getting mercury out of vaccines. We intend to keep them well informed of the progress, or lack thereof, of the entire United States Government on this issue.

Because mercury kills cells, mercury is toxic. Safer options exist for America's children.

Drug companies could boost production and meet consumer demands for vaccines without mercury if a market allowing mercury-containing vaccines was eliminated. Mercury free vaccines cost a few dollars more per shot to produce.

We believe the future of America's children is worth that investment.

Shelley Hendrix Reynolds, Unlocking Autism President
Barbara Loe Fisher, National Vaccine Information Center President

Think Autism. Think Cure.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Thimerosal in Vaccines Linked to Attention Deficit Disorder

Did you know that according to the Center for Disease Control's data, children were found to be 27-times more likely to develop autism after exposure to three thimerosal-containing vaccines than those who receive thimerosal-free versions.

Thimerosal is nearly 50% mercury, which is a known to be extremely harmful to fetuses, infants and children. As the thermisol vaccines increased, autism rates skyrocketed and the numbers don't lie. Twenty years ago, autism only affected one in 10,000 children. Today the disorder strikes 1 in 150.

In addition to autism, Thimerosal has now been linked to a host of developmental disorders including Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD. Ironically, the pharmaceutical industry is now making money hand over fist off drugs prescribed to treat children with the very disorders that they may have caused. What is wrong with this picture?

I am not recommending that you skip on vaccinations, but you should **absolutely** demand thimerisol-free vaccinations. And don't listen to anyone that says thimerisol can't harm. You are far better to be safe than sorry on this issue.

Peace and blessings to you this weekend. - Jeannine