Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Low Dopamine in Children

Recent research from Stockholm University in Sweden has found that ADHD children and below-average achievers, in general, benefit from background noise.Three surprising results point out that background noise stimulates the brain to function better.

It improves:
1. Concentration
2. Memory
3. School achievement.

Research also showed that children without ADHD may distrub their brain with too much irrelevant stimulation and lower their ability to concentrate or remember as well as children with ADHD.This discovery was a surprise since previous research stated ADHD children were easily distrubed with background noise.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Brain Function Linked to Late-Onset Depression

A new study suggests that People with late-onset depression show poorer performance on executive function tests than those with early onset depression. Also, they showed a tendency for repeated negative thinking patterns. When executive dysfunction does not lead to rumination, it usually does not predict late-onset depression. Late-onset depression usually affects people 60 and over. It is linked to a decline in the brain's executive functions that leads to repetetive, negative, thought patterns.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chiropractics and ADHD

A new study finds that adults with ADHD can greatly benefit from chiropractic care. The World Chiropractic Alliance in Switzerland made this news public. A press release stated that the chiropractic care seemed to increase the level of concentration in people with ADHD. Between 3 and 10% of children living in the US suffer from ADHD, and between 1 and 6% of adults do the same. Researchers evaluated attention in 9 adult patients before and after 2 months of wellness chiropractic care. Every patient experienced significant improvements in concentration and 88% normalized parts of the test. This means everyone benefited from this care. Chiropractic manipulation effects the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that is partly responsible for concentration and attention. If the cerebellum isn't functioning to it's fullest potential, the rest of the brain will become clumsy. By activating the spinal receptors and balancing the cerebellum, the brain is able to better function.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ADHD In The Preschools

ADHD is no longer the "in" diagnosis for just school-age children, but is also the new "in"diagnosis for the preschool aged kids as well. Attention deficit disorder is now the most common mental health diagnosis for children ages 3 to 5. Stimulant drugs are increasingly prescribed "off-label" to younger children, even though the FDA has not approved Ritalin, Adderall and other stimulant ADHD medications for children under the age of 6. The dangers and side effects are much higher for children under the age of 6 and the effectiveness is much lower for this age group as well. According to the September 2007 issue of Harvard Mental Health Letter there are things families should be trying before resorting to drugs for ADHD preschoolers. Here are a few:
--Parent training, based on the belief that parental negligence, harsh discipline, or intrusiveness could be triggering hyperactive behavior in a child along with impulse control.

--Setting appropriate limits and using moderate punishments as well as rewards.

--Specialized daycare
The most popular among these is the parent training. Parents are taught how to set the appropriate limits and to use the punishments and rewards system correctly. Basically, be slow in making a diagnosis, and definitely be sure. Please, consider any alternatives like the parent training or specialized daycare, or even something not mentioned here like all natural treatments, before resorting to stimulant drugs. Seems to me that anything is better than your toddler depending on something like that.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Daytrana Malfunctions

Up to 5% of patients using the Daytrana transdermal patch, used for ADHD treatment, have reported trouble removing the release liner from the sticky part of the patch. The patches have been withdrawn following these reports of application difficulty. While this has nothing to do with the release of the drug into the body, the manufacturer decided to withdraw the product anyway.
Shire, the UK company whom holds the global license for Daytrana, says the patches could be used as long as they weren't damaged. Improvements are in the works to fix the problem, and the new patches should replace the ones being withdrawn. Daytrana is the first and only transdermal medication approved by the FDA to treat ADHD symptoms, and was approved by the FDA last year for children with the disorder between ages 6 to 12.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ADD- With or Without Medication?

So many kids these days are being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. According to a new study by the National Association of School Psychologists, catching ADD early on may make it possible to reduce symptoms. The most important tool for this is structure. Environmental management is what they are calling it, as it relates to ADD. 30% of preschool aged children with ADD improved with no medication at all, according to a new study. Changing the routine, diet, and overall family atmosphere can make a huge difference. A few more examples are monitoring sugar intake, a strict bedtime, and more structure throughout the day. Proactive parenting and education makes it possible to tackle ADD and make medication a last resort.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Non-Medical Interventions For ADHD

Non-Medical Interventions are an option with ADHD. According to one U.S. study, non-medical interventions can help prevent academic and behavior problems due to ADHD. The early intervention techniques use highly individualized programs, relying mostly on positive support to reinforce good behavior. This technique is simply known as positive reinforcement. When using a variety of early intervention techniques, an average 17% decrease in aggression and a 21% improvement in social skills was reported by the children's parents. The children's teachers reported a 28% improvement in both of those categories. Literacy skill improved up to 3 times over the baseline status. The multi-tiered approach to the early intervention offers more traditional services to at-risk children, and a more intensive service to children in greater need. While medicines might address symptoms of ADHD, it does not necessarily improve a child's academic and social skills.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

ADD- Or Lack Of Quality Sleep?

The university of Michigan has recently done a study suggesting that around 30% to half of all ADHD diagnosed children may have nothing more than a lack of quality sleep problem. Children don't usually tell their parents that they are tired and want a nap or that they want to go to bed. Instead, they act irritable, temperamental, and in school aged children experience a great lack in focus and attention. Children aren't the only ones with this problem. Many adults simply do not get enough sleep. Avoiding caffeine, keeping TVs and computers out of the bedroom, and going to bed at the same time every night are all examples of simple ways to get more sleep. Although pediatricians are not yet appreciating this concept, any child with ADD should be changing their sleeping habits, in an attempt to potentially change their symptoms. Hey, it can only help right?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Is 5 Minutes Enough Time to Diagnose ADD?

The reality is this; Most pediatricians are booked for two patients every 15 minutes. With about five of those minutes dedicated to paperwork, doctors have about five minutes to spend on each child.Can your doctor truly give an adequate ADD diagnosis in 5 minutes? It is the opinion of many that doctors simply cannot provide a diagnosis for an issue as intricate as Attention Deficit Disorder in a short amount of time.What the pediatricians often do with new mental health problems is guess what the problem is, write a prescription and then see if the medication works. This is time efficient for the doctor - they don't have to ask a lengthy series of questions.However, a child may have ADHD coupled with other issues like anxiety and depression that can worsen with stimulant medication. Or, the child might not have ADD at all but gets stuck with the label - and the drugs to go with it.If your doctor has not spent at least 15 to 20 minutes to thoroughly address your child's issue, it's time to either get a new doctor or demand the time an ADD diagnosis truly needs.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ritalin Affecting Chilldren's Brain's?

Somewhere around 2 and 18% of american kids are affected by ADHD, as well as Ritalin, which is a stimulant not unlike amphetamines or cocaine. Ritalin still is one of the most prescribed drugs for the behavioral disorder.The Weill Cornell Medical College animal study is is one of the first to research the effects of ritalin(methylphenidate) on the neurochemistry of the developing brain. They did this research on rats of course. "The changes we saw in the brains of treated rats occurred in areas strongly linked to higher executive functioning, addiction and appetite, social relationships and stress, said Professor Teresa Milner, the study's lead author. "These alterations gradually disappeared over time once the rats no longer received the drug." Physicians should be extrememly careful when diagnosing ADHD and before prescribing Ritalin,this is because whileRitalin may help to battle the disorder, it is also potentially harmful when given to young children with an overall healthy brain chemistry. The risks seem to outweigh the benefits sometimes huh.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Divorce and ADD- Connection?

Children that come from divorced families are twice as likely to be prescribed attention-deficit disorder medication, than children whose parents are still married. Of the children with married parents, only 3.3% were prescribed Ritalin. From divorced families, 6% of 633 kids received this treatment, according to a Canadian study. This study began in 1994, with 4,700 families with children, and parents who were not yet divorced. Then, these families were frequently checked up on, to record the status of their marriages, and what their children were being prescribed. Researchers aren't yet sure why children of single parents are more likely to receive medication like Ritalin, and other mood altering drugs. But, there is definately some connection here, don't you think?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Stress Actually Making Us Fatter?

We all know stress can make you eat right? Although sometimes, stress will make you not eat. Well, a new study finds that stress can be fattening. As stress levels grow, so might your belly fat. A study done at Georgetown University states that there is a hormone called neuropeptide Y that promotes the growing of abdominal fat. The researchers found that stress triggers the release of this hormone. While some scientists try to come up with yet another pill that will block this hormone, the rest of us could try and reduce stress in drug free ways. For instance, relaxing our minds and bodies would help. Try mindfulness meditation or relaxation response. Also, subliminal messaging has been known to work for many individuals.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Girl Talk leading to Depression?

Girls have always been known to tell their friends basically everything about themselves. From who they have crushes on, to whom they think are the prettiest girls, and so on. Up until now, we have had no reason to believe that this "sharing of information" was unhealthy in any way. Indeed, there has been new research done stating that excessive discussion of "problems" and "stuff" will strengthen friendships, but take a very emotional toll on girls ages 8-15. Non-stop venting about popularity, crushes, and personal issues could lead to anxiety and/or depression for girls, but not for boys. The results of this study may be reflecting the tendency among girls to blame themselves when guys don't call them back right away, or they don't get invited to "the party." Apparently the more they talk about it, the more anxious and depressed it makes them. So, is it really better to share feelings, rather than keeping them "bottled up inside?" Students were surveyed twice, six months apart. Researchers used questionnaires to assess students' anxiety, depression, and friendship quality, and tendency to relay their problems. Ultimately, they found that students with emotional difficulties were more likely to ruminate about their problems. Then, examined the effect this had on the students emotional well-being and friendships. While the boys had no changes in feelings of depression or anxiety, the girls felt worse, although the change was a modest one. Basically, girls are at risk of this despite having strong supportive friends. This supports findings that support groups can reinforce eating disorders or delinquent behaviors. Most people think having similar social support wold be a positive thing, but putting people with similar issues together doesn't necessarily make anything better.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Laughter is the Best Medicine!- It's True

Have you ever heard the saying "Laughter is the best medicine?" Well, it's actually true! Laughter really is the "best" medicine for all kinds of diseases, this has been medically proven. Stimulating the brain, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the muscular system, and the hormonal system isn't all it does. Laughter can also reduce allergies and stress, lower blood pressure, increase muscle flexion, lighten depression, and can strengthen the immune system. Sigmund Freud wrote a book called "Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious" all about this subject, and in it he describes laughter as the body's way of safely releasing anxiety, aggression, fear and anger. Exercise releases endorphins in the body, which are the body's natural painkillers.These are the same chemicals triggered in response to sexual stimulation. They make a person feel good, relieving stress and indirectly reducing one's risks of suffering a heart attack and other health problems."Laughing provides the same effect, which makes people, like exercising, naturally happier individuals. Some people even say that laughing is the body's internal jogging. Stress hormones will constrict the blood vessels which causes high blood pressure and leads to heart problems. Health professionals actually admit that laughing decreases stress hormones and growth hormones, like adrenaline, this allows them to return back to normal. Based on all of this, we can truly say that laughing helps the body to fight off diseases. Laughing is like exercise in that they release the same hormones (endorphins, the painkillers), but laughing is also considered exercise for certain parts of the body. For instance laughing gives the diaphragm, abdominal, intercostal, respiratory accessory, and facial muscles a complete workout. Beyond all of this, laughing can actually make you appear more friendly and approachable. Think about someone you know who has a long, unhappy face most of the time, now picture someone who laughs all day long, who would you rather spend time with. Most people would say the laughing person. Laughter will eventually even create "laugh lines" in your face, which actually poses a warmer kindly look, as opposed to stress lines and wrinkles due to unhappiness and hardships, ultimately aging a person, giving them an angry or hard appearance. When it comes to relationships, because laughter is so uplifting, it takes you to a deeper level where there is understanding and a mutual release of a person's reservations and inhibitions. They say that even if you can't laugh for whatever reason, tat faking it can help you achieve the same affect, since it it the action of laughing that is most beneficial. Basically, laughing can actually help you live longer, so laugh and laugh, until you just can take anymore, and then try a little harder!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dementia caused by Depression?

New evidence is pointing to depression as one cause of dementia. Not only depressed people in general, but also people who may just have episodes of depression here and there. Depression in certain people can be situational, which can easily be overlooked, and not treated. According to a study done by the University of Pittsburgh, just one depressive episode, untreated, during late middle-age, can double the risk of having dementia as a senior.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Depression Higher Among Back Pain Sufferers?

Clinical evidence in the past has shown that depression among people with chronic pain was around 20 to 30%. The general population has an average incidence of major depression that is around 5%. A recent study done in June of 2007 shows that 61% of chronic back pain sufferers now suffer from depression. This is a giant increase in a not so large amount of time. Treating depression is done in many ways, involving lifestyle changes, professional counseling, and support groups. Then there's the medication route, including anti-depressants like , Lexapro, Effexor XR, Cymbalta and Wellbutrin. The fact that people with chronic pain and/or back pain have depression, is no surprise really. Having continuous pain will likely drain anyone physically, emotionally, and mentally, making everyday normalcy's nearly impossible to maintain. Most impressive, is that most of these people are reporting their own depression, indicating that depression among the back pain population is under-diagnosed, and that more medical professionals treating patients with back pain should be looking out for symptoms of depression in those patients.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Risperdal- Doing More Bad Than Good?

Risperdal is a prescription only anti psychotic medication, used ideally for aggression, anxiety, disruptive behavior, and general behavioral difficulties. Recently though,a study has proven that one side effect of Risperdal is actually causing depression in children. Being a new adverse reaction for risperidone, the consequences of this could potentially be severe, meaning physicians need to be aware of this risk.The IMMP study is a nationwide cohort study that observes the usage and safety of atypical anti psychotics in kids.Symptoms of depression developing in kids that had no prior mood disorders were found in the study. About 1 in 3 kids reported adverse affects, being weight gain, fatigue, and dental caries. Maybe some of these people should try natural or homeopathic remedies, eliminating these negative side effects and adverse effects altogether.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Do your neurons do their job?

Do you now anything about your neurons? Apparently the neurons inside your body will aid you in finding certain things you are looking for. New research indicates that someone looking for a ripe tomato at the store may be more likely to notice apples, strawberries or other red fruits, based on a study measuring blood flow in the brain. Also, extra neurons may be used to help our eyes find another object we may be looking for.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Men with Postpartum Depression- It Happens

Research was performed on more than 5,000 two-parent families, revealing that 14% of mothers and 10% of fathers had symptoms of moderate to severe postpartum depression. Parents were asked to complete a questionnaire, and were interviewed to prove whether they did or did not have depression. Observing parent-child interactions, such as reading, story-telling, and singing songs is important, because lack of interaction is a sign of depression in either parent.

Health care providers often blame postpartum depression on the hormonal changes that occur in women after childbirth. Hormone upheaval can contribute to postpartum depression. Life upheavals that occur with having a baby can also contribute to depression. Fatigue, marital discord, strained finances and a lack of social support are other factors suspected to play a role in this type of depression.

According to Mental Health America, postpartum depression can begin any time after childbirth and can last up to a year. Symptoms include sadness, fatigue and hopelessness. The person experiencing postpartum depression might have drastic changes in mood and appetite, be excessively preoccupied with their baby's health or have thoughts of harming the baby

Friday, July 13, 2007

Asthma and ADD

University of Virginia Children's Hospital researchers believe that until these other conditions are addressed, asthma programs will not be completely affective for young patients. The April 12, 2007 issue of "The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics" states that asthmatic children report higher incidences of ADHD, depression, anxiety, and learning disabilities. The study also revealed that the more severe a child's asthma, the higher the incidence of these other health conditions. Researchers believe that physicians can better help asthma sufferers by managing these co-morbidities, and that children with asthma need tailored and precise treatments that address physical, mental, and developmental health.

Running Rats are Happier AND Grow New Brain Cells

With a headline like that, you could easily expect this article to fall under the "News of the Weird" category. However, this article isn't off-beat in the least. It shows, once again, that exercise is a viable cure for depression. Okay, so the test subjects were rats who ran on wheels. We humans hit the treadmill. Not much of a difference, is there?

I digress. Let's move on to the study...

A group of Swedish researchers genetically altered rats to exhibit depressive behaviors and matched them up against their non-depressed rat counterparts. A portion of rats from each group had free access to running wheels for 30 days and others did not. After 30 days, researchers found that the running rats were a cheery bunch of rats. In fact, running had a similar effect as common SSRI (selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors) antidepressants.

This is not new news. Study upon study upon study shows that running and other forms of aerobic exercise provide powerful antidepressant effects. The amazing part of this research was that exercise actually prompted new brain cells growth.

When researchers examined the hippocampus region of the rats' brains, they found that neurons increased dramatically in the depressed rats after wheel-running. Past studies found the human brain's hippocampus (area involved in learning and memory) shrinks in depressed individuals.

If you feel like you are on the treadmill of life, my suggestion is to lace up your running shoes and hit the treadmill, hit the streets running or sign up for a daily aerobics class. Your brain and your mood will thank you.

Having Trouble? Take Drugs

The advice doctors often dole out is that if something's wrong, pop a little pill to make it all better. Last year, 2006, doctors wrote more than 30 million prescriptions for ADHD alone. Doctors doled out another 118 million scripts for antidepressants, the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. That's a whole lot of Americans hopped up on drugs.

Couple this with another scary stat; In 2006 over 120,000 people died as a direct result of taking prescription drugs. Only 11,000 people died from illegal drug use. It seems that our government's "War on Drugs" should be focused on the drugs that kill the most people. That's just me though.

At what point do we recognize that we are an over-medicated, pill-popping society that takes drugs to make problems disappear?

Depression and Insomnia Linked?

Most of us are aware that with depression, often comes insomnia. What you may not have known is that chronic insomnia could be a sign all in it's own of depression or anxiety. More than 25,000 Norwegian adults were surveyed, researchers discovered that the people with chronic insomnia were more likely to have depression and/or anxiety disorders. Even people who had insomnia 10 years ago are at a higher risk for axiety disorder now. This could mean insomnia may raise the risk of future axiety issues, or maybe that person is particularly at risk to having anxiety problems anyway. This information can be found in the medical journal Sleep.

While sleep problems are common among people with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. Whether or not insomnia leads to these disorders is not clear.

On the Horizan: Nicotine Prescriptions to Balance Mood

I felt like Woody Allen in the 70's movie "Sleeper" when I came across a news article from "Wired" that touts the potential health benefits of nicotine. Who could imagine that a substance with such a bad rap could actually possess therapeutic qualities?

It appears researchers are now developing nicotine-based drugs that may prove beneficial for brains, bowels, blood vessels and immune systems. Nicotine stimulates a number of brain chemicals including seratonin, dopamine and norepinephrine - the same nuerotransmitters antidepressants work to stimulate. Clinical trials are currently underway for depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, Attention Deficit Disorder anxiety and anger management.

"About half the cigarettes in this country are bought by people with psychiatric problems -- high percentages of people with depression and schizophrenia smoke, for example," said Ed Levin, a nicotine researcher at Duke University. "When we can give people their medicine in a form that doesn't kill them, it will be real progress."

Anti-psychotics Among Children Are on the Rise!

In recent studies , we can see that 83,039 kids under 18 found their use of atypical anti-psychotics jumped 138.4% and for the atypical antidepressants the leap was 42.8% between 1997 and 2000. Not only are the doctors prescribing more psychotic medicine than ever, the prices of medication are also increasing. 62.3% of minors under 18 were prescribed psychoactive meds for their issues. Also, the price of meds was rising 17.6%, up to $7.90 per order.

From 2000 to 2003, in just 3 years, the amount of children on meds treating behavioral conditions relating to autism and conduct disorders, rose by more than 60%. The spending on these drugs increased 142% in the pediatric group. Even among children as young as 5 through 9, use was up 85%, and spending up 174%. These numbers are simply outrageous. Why are children this young even on this medication? Of 5.8 million doctor visits by children, at which they were prescribed an anti-psychotic, pediatricians, family-medicine and emergency-department practitioners, anyone besides a mental health professional, wrote about a third of those prescriptions!

Between 1996 and 2001 the percentage of youngsters receiving an anti-psychotic for a new use soared from 6.8 percent to 95.9 percent. If more people tried natural solutions to these problems, we may all save ourselves money, troubles, and some nasty side effects. These numbers speak for themselves. All I can say is- What is going on? You be the judge.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Southern States More Likely to Numb Childhood Behavior With Psychotropic Drugs.

Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee respectively have the highest percentage of children ages 4 to 17 who have been diagnosed and are taking medication to treat ADHD, according to a 2005 study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just why children in these states are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and take medication to treat it is unclear.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ADHD and Driving

University of Virginia Health System researchers found that driving is especially challenging for young ADHD drivers. Compared to their non-ADHD peers, ADHD drivers are nearly four times more likely to have a car accident. The ADHD teen behind the wheel racks up three times as many speeding tickets.

The author of AD/HD & Driving offers these tips for parents of ADHD teens;- Give your teen ample practice time behind the wheel.- Allow a learner's permit only when you are satisfied that your teen can handle the responsibility of driving. Also, not treating the ADHD could be very dangerous in these situations.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Dangerous Side Effects of ADD Drugs

Most ADHD drugs now carry "black box" warning labels about the risks of possible heart problems and manic or agressive behavior. Tourette's syndrome, suicidal thoughts, early onset of Parkinson's disease, stunted growth, and loss of appetite are other dangerous side effects associated with ADHD medications. Still, ADHD prescriptions continue to increase at an alarming rate.

There are safe options. A few key items include, eating healthy, sticking to a schedule or routine, lowering the stress level in the house, and natural ADHD supplementslike Attend and Extress.

Friday, July 06, 2007

More Stress, Less Brain

Researchers reports that long-term stress can actually shrink the part of the brain involved in certain types of learning and memory. A Stanford University study found that stress hormones, called glucocorticoids, damage brain cells. Neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain, responsible for memory, are full of glucocorticoid receptors. Prolonged exposure to stress can kill these neurons.
If you have excessive stress and happen to appreciate your brain cells, use Extress and the Stress Relief self-hypnosis CD. Your brain and your memory will thank you.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Omega-3s Good From Start to Finish

Research shows that the Omega-3 fatty acid benefits begin in the womb and continue throughout life, preventing Alzheimer's disease and dementia in the elderly.

Omega-3 fatty acids are so critical to the development of a intelligence, brain function and emotional well being that the U.S. National Institutes of Health now recommends that pregnant and lactating women supplement their diet with 1200 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids daily. Recent studies show that the average pregnant and nursing mother receives just 18 percent of the recommendation, and only 3 percent of women surveyed were getting the omega 3 they needed in their diet. Some scientists believe that mothers can suffer from post-partum depression due to the baby's depleting it's mother's DHA and EPA.

The lack of Omega-3s can result in childhood behavior problems, temper tantrums and learning difficulties such as ADD, ADHD and dyslexia.

Omega-3s can help adults who suffer from migraine headaches, depression and bipolar disorder. Studies also show that adults who regularly fatty, cold-water fish have 47 percent less dementia and 39 percent less Alzheimer's.

A 12-year Harvard Medical study of over 43,000 men showed that Omega-3s help prevent stroke. Those who ate fish just once a month had a 44 percent less risk of stroke than those who ate fish less than once a month. Research has shows that eating fish two to three times a week lowers blood pressure, triglycerides, prevents irregular heart beats, and reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Stress Is Hard On The Heart

A study published in "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" links emotional trauma to subsequent cardiac conditions. Researchers believe the chance of sudden death brought on by caridac arrest increases with stress, and the areas of the brain responsible for regulating heart function can become unbalanced due to stress.

The University College London and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School studied 10 people with heart conditons. As patients underwent moderate stressful tasks, electrical changes on the surface of the skull were measured. Researchers found the brain's cortex produced a stress response that increased a physical stress response. British researchers also found a close relationship between heart performance of the heart and cortex activity. The cortex is responsible for understanding, awareness and perceptions. The cortex also sends and receives signals from the heart

Monday, July 02, 2007

Daytime Stress=Sleepless Nights

Travelodge wanted to know what keeps people awake at night, so the hotel chain polled 1,700. In this survey, a mere 3 percent received the recommended amount of sleep. Stress was cited as the main cause of restless nights for the rest.

This poll suggests that people worry more now than they did five years ago. Social anxieties and long working hours were the reasons cited by more than half polled. Health problems, terrorism, financial issues and identity theft worries also contributed to the tossing and turning at night.

If daytime stress is keeping you up at night, we have a few suggestions guaranteed to have you sleeping like a baby; Extress, the Deep Sleep subliminal CD, Stress Relief CD and Nite-Rest.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Straterra-not better or safer

Although Straterra is a non-stimulant ADHD drug, Straterra is not necessarily better or even safer than stimulants. A recent study conducted by pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics found that ADHD children who use Strattera are four times more likely to switch drugs compared to children treated with stimulant medications.

Straterra side effects mimic many side effects common in traditional stimulant ADHD medications. Straterra side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, decreased appetite and weight loss. Depression, tics, mood swings and irritability are also side effects shared by Straterra and other ADHD drug medication. Straterra can increase heart rate and blood pressure like other ADHD drug medications. Though rare, some patients have reported hives and allergic reactions to Straterra. The two most common reported side effects of Straterra are nausea, vomiting and tiredness, drowsiness, sleepiness - with sleepiness the most prevalent.

If you are worried about the side effects of stimulant and non-stimulant ADHD medications, use Attend as a safer and healthier alternative. Attend works as effectively as prescription medications without the side effects. And, unlike prescription medications, Attend is backed by a 100% guarantee.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Asthma and ADD- A Double Whammy

The University of Virginia Children's Hospital researchers believe that until these other conditions are addressed, asthma programs will not be completely affective for young patients. The April 12, 2007 issue of "The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics" states that asthmatic children report higher incidences of ADHD, depression, anxiety, and learning disabilities. The study also revealed that the more severe a child's asthma, the higher the incidence of these other health conditions.

Researchers believe that physicians can better help asthma sufferers by managing these co-morbidities, and that children with asthma need tailored and precise treatments that address physical, mental, and developmental health.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Divorce and ADD- connection?

Children that come from divorced families are twice as likely to be prescribed attention-deficit disorder medication, than children whose parents are still married. Of the children with married parents, only 3.3% were prescribed Ritalin.
From divorced families, 6% of 633 kids received this treatment, according to a Canadian study. This study began in 1994, with 4,700 families with children, and parents who were not yet divorced. Then, these families were frequently checked up on, to record the status of their marriages, and what their children were being prescribed.
Researchers aren't yet sure why children of single parents are more likely to receive medication like Ritalin, and other mood altering drugs. But, there is definately some connection here, don't you think?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Is 5 minutes enough time to diagnose ADD?

The reality is this; Most pediatricians are booked for two patients every 15 minutes. With about five of those minutes dedicated to paperwork, doctors have about five minutes to spend on each child.

Can your doctor truly give an adequate ADD diagnosis in 5 minutes? It is the opinion of many that doctors simply cannot provide a diagnosis for an issue as intricate as Attention Deficit Disorder in a short amount of time.

What the pediatricians often do with new mental health problems is guess what the problem is, write a prescription and then see if the medication works. This is time efficient for the doctor - they don't have to ask a lengthy series of questions.

However, a child may have ADHD coupled with other issues like anxiety and depression that can worsen with stimulant medication. Or, the child might not have ADD at all but gets stuck with the label - and the drugs to go with it.

If your doctor has not spent at least 15 to 20 minutes to thoroughly address your child's issue, it's time to either get a new doctor or demand the time an ADD diagnosis truly needs.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Feeling Depressed? Go play in the dirt!

This study, published in “Neuroscience” journal, falls under the “Odd but True” heading. British researchers found that a type of friendly bacteria found in soil may provide depression relief.

This “antidepressant” soil bacteria, called Mycobacterium vaccae, is already used as a vaccine against tuberculosis, in asthma sufferers and is now looked at as an effective way to boost the production of serotonin.

Researchers believe these dirty little microbes affect the brain by causing immune cells to release chemicals called cytokines. Cytokines are chemicals known to activate sensory nerves that stimulate the brain.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stick it to Depression with acupuncture

Although acupuncture shows a great deal of success in the treatment for depression, this traditional Chinese medicine is often scoffed at by Western medicine.

Here’s where the East meets the West;
The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine funded a scientific study in 1998 to see if acupuncture is effective in relieving depression.

In this 16-week trial, 34 seriously depressed women were divided into three groups. The first group received the depression-specific acupuncture. The second group received a dummy treatment with needles in nonspecific places. The third group went on a wait list for eight weeks before receiving the.

The two groups receiving the real acupuncture treatment experienced a 43 percent reduction in their symptoms compared with a 22 percent reduction for the dummy group. More than half no longer met the criteria for clinical depression.

Five people dropped out of the study. Interestingly, the dropout rate was much lower than for studies using antidepressant medications.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The 4 A- Disorders

The number of children diagnosed with ADHD, autism, asthma and allergies has skyrocketed in recent years. These seemingly unrelated conditions may share two common threads.

"Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders" looks at nutritional deficiencies and environmental factors as triggers in kids genetically predisposed to these health conditions.

Dr. Kenneth Bock and writer Cameron Stauth propose detoxifying the body and dietary changes – not prescription drugs – as an effective treatment. In this new book, Dr. Bock describes his natural approach and the impressive results seen. If you have a child that suffers from any of the “4-A” disorders, this is a book you want to read.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The social stigma of having ADHD

The Social Stigma of Having ADHD

Researchers discovered that a social stigma is attached to kids with ADHD. In a first ever, four-part study, sociologists at Indiana University, University of Virginia and Columbia University looked at how the world perceives children with Attention Deficit Disorder.

These researchers found that 66 percent of the almost 1,400 adults interviewed believe ADHD medication only delays solving the real behavior problems, and 86 percent said their doctors overmedicated children that had common behavior problems. Most were concerned about confidentiality and the long term and immediate effects treatments had on their children's futures.

Key findings of this study include:

- 45 percent believed rejection at school is a consequence of getting treatment and 43 percent believe the stigma associated with childhood treatment will also have negative ramifications in adulthood.

- 40 percent believed children with depression would be dangerous to others, compared to 30 percent who believed adults with depression would be dangerous to others. And 31 percent believed that children with ADHD would be dangerous to others.

- 85 percent felt that doctors overmedicated children, 68 percent believed medications have long term negative effects on children's development. 52 percent believed that children turned into "zombies" due to medication, and therefore, 56 percent said that prevented families from working out problems.

- 64 percent claimed they have heard of ADHD, but only 46 percent were able to identify symptoms, medications to treat it and causes of ADHD. Lack of this knowledge makes it difficult for parents, teachers, and others to make well informed decisions about how to help children with this problem.

- 57 percent worried whether confidentiality regarding these matters would be maintained.

Having to deal with the stigma of ADHD creates a reluctance to find help, fears from children and their parents of being excluded, and feelings of lower self esteem among the children, which can make a child's situation even worse.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Food of the gods!

A new study at Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital shows that a specially formulated high EPA Omega-3 fatty acid should be the first treatment for children who suffer from ADD, ADHD, bipolar disorder and other behavioral problems. Of the 20 children with bipolar disorder who were tested over an eight week period, half experienced a rapid 30 percent reduction in symptoms without side effects.

This new study on Omega-3 fatty acids adds to the results of a three month double blind study from the University of Oxford. This study of 117 children from five to 12 years of age with ADHD demonstrated improvements in their motor skills, literacy skills and behavioral learning difficulties among those taking high EPA Omega-3s.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Brain Protein Not Correlated to ADHD?

Based on a brain imaging study, scientists conclude that a protein previously thought to be a marker for ADHD is not correlated with the disease. Compared with control subjects, researchers discovered that ADHD patients have lower levels of the dopamine transporter proteins. But ADHD patients had much higher levels of inattention for any level of the dopamine transporter. The results of the study suggest that the severity of inattention in ADHD cannot be accounted for by dopamine transporter levels alone.

U.S. Dept. of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory along with Mount Sinai School of Medicine from New York conducted this study. Research results will be published in the journal Neuroimage.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Enlisting the Help of an ADD Coach

Do you have a difficult time getting out of the door in the morning? Do you have problems with time management or procrastination? Many adults who struggle with these common ADD issues find that an ADD coach can help benefit life's daily tasks.

An ADD coach is goal oriented and will help provide approaches to solving daily problems. An ADD coach helps to identify goals and objectives, the reasons why these goals and objectives currently are not being met and then draw up an action plan to attain the goals.

In addition to developing customized strategies to achieve goals, the ADD coach will also assist their client in staying focused on their goals and help their client face obstacles and address core ADD issues such as organization, time management, and even self-esteem.

Most people with ADD benefit from setting priorities, defining goals, and allocating time on a weekly planner for each goal. Being able to keep in contact with a coach between sessions is crucial for clients who must adhere to a schedule until it becomes an established routine.

An ADD coach differs from life coaches in that an ADD coach knows the unique challenges that an adult with ADD faces both personally and professionally. While many life coaches follow standard methods and procedures, an ADD coach might develop systems that work uniquely for each client, to help the client use ADD to their advantage.

It is also noteworthy that those with accompanying ADD symptoms such as depression, anxiety disorders or addictions may benefit from traditional psychotherapy, despite ADD coaching advantages.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fish Oil to Cure ADHD

As our regulars already know, we LOVE omega3s. Time and again studies show that these power-packed fatty acids are the best brain-boosters that have the ability to rid children and adults of ADD symptoms just as well as prescription drugs. Here's yet another study to prove that good ole' Mother Nature is one smart cookie;

Researchers at the University of South Australia and an Australian government research body found that omega fish oil can help those suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. These results, derived from the largest, clinical-based trial of omega fatty acids of its kind, bolstered the views of many that fatty acids do indeed relieve symptoms of ADHD.

Results at the end of a 30-week-long trial, involving 132 children between seven and 12 with ADHD symptoms, showed that almost half who were taking omega supplements had significant reductions in their symptoms. The children's symptoms included inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Free 411 Calls - Thanks Google!

Okay - I'll admit this is not health related. It is pretty cool though. Dial (800) GOOG-411 (That's 800-466-4411) from any phone to get 411 "Directory Assistance" at no charge. Free!

This is an experimental offering from Google at this point and only offers business listings. Hopefully this will expand to residential down the road.

The voice recognition is fantastic. During a test call, I asked for an oddly-named pizzeria in my town and I got the listing - no problem. On my second test call, I simply requested "pizza" after naming my city and state. It provided the top 8 pizza joints in my town.

I don't know about you, but I just hate paying that annoying $1 every time I need to call 411 for a phone number. I avoid it as much as possible but sometimes there's just no way around needing a number. Twice last week I needed to call 411. I made the first 411 call to find our local YMCA's telephone number after my 15-year-old left this voice mail on my cell phone; "Hey Mom. I'm at Y and my tire's flat. Can you pick me up?" Two days later I drove to a store, only to find that the business had moved. There I was dailing 411 again to find that business' phone number to find the new location.

A buck is a buck is a buck -- especially when they add up month after month. I was thrilled to stumble across this very cool little money saver this morning. I just love Google!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Stress Kills? Not Cancer Cells

We've all heard that stress kills. There is plenty of research that shows that stress breaks down our bodies immune function and makes us more prone to sickness. Here's the interesting thing; stress not only breaks down our body's ability to fight illness, it actually strengthens cancer cells. Talk about a double whammy.

Researchers at Wake Forest University found that some stress hormones make cancer cells more resistant to cell death.

You can read more about this study here.

If you are under stress, try Extress. Extress is a natural stress reliever.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fiber Pathways Abnormalities To Blame?

New research shows that anatomical differences in the brain can cause ADHD. ADHD is typically described as a chemical imbalance, but research of brain scans on children with ADHD shows abnormalities in the fiber pathways where brain signals communicate.

Using an imaging technique, researchers found subtle anatomical differences in children diagnosed with ADHD that may affect communication between key areas of the brain involved in regulating attention, impulsive behavior, motor activity, and inhibition.

Using an all natural product like Attend will help smooth the fiber pathways between brain cells and the transmission of brain signals. Attend contains all natural ingredients and homeopathics that will safely aid anyone with ADHD without the dangerous side effects that are possible when using prescription medications.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Looking for a Tutor?

By learning to read from ages four and up, children have better success in grades one to three. If their reading skills aren't up to par, a tutor may be needed to see your child succeed.

The same is true with mathmatics. Children can run into problems in middle school as math becomes more complicated and concepts begin to build on each other. If your child hasn't mastered the basics first, middle school math will be a problem. Again, a tutor is a good solution.

While many parents prefer their child have a private tutor, costs are as much as $35 an hour or more. Many parents today lean toward more institutional groups such as Sylvan Learning Center or Kumon to cut down on expenses.

For parents looking for an even more economical approach, the Boys and Girls Club can help with their volunteer mentors and tutors. Many local community centers offer after-school help for students. Many people find that a one-on-one relationship with a mentor or tutor works best for a child.

Schools often have a list of tutors or mentoring programs that are available in the area. You can also find tutors through the Yellow Pages or on CraigsList at craigslist.org. Word-of-mouth is another great way to find a quality tutor.

Whether tutoring is private or offered in a free setting, the main objective is to get your child the necessary help he or she needs to stay ahead of the game.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

25% of Depression is Misdiagnosed

Research suggests that 25% of people diagnosed as clinically depressed might not be. These people, researchers at Columbia University Clinical Psychiatry say, are simply sad or grief stricken. Researchers poured over thousands of depression checklists and found that one in four respondents who would have been labeled depressed were actually dealing with a loss that would make anyone sad.

The standard American Psychiatric Association checklist of depression symptoms does not consider hardships in life like death, divorce, loss of a job, relocation when evaluating a patient for depression. It is normal to experience sadness and grief over such losses.

On the "industry standard" depression screening checklist, questions like these are asked;
- Are you experiencing persistent sad, anxiousness or an "empty" mood?
- Do you have a loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex?
- Do you have decreased energy or fatigue?Do you experience Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping?
- Do you have appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain?
- Do you have difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions?
- Are you restless or irritable?

Researchers believe the simple checklist needs to be fixed to better define whether the symptoms are the result of temporary sadness or clinical depression. A depression diagnosis is too important to get wrong - especially given the side effects to antidepressants typically prescribed for depressed patients.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Healthy Habits Ward Off Depression

Healthy habits make for a healthy mind. This is common sense. A recent study once again proves this to be true.

The "American Journal of Public Health" published a study this month that found;
- Study participants who reported excessive alcohol use (three or more drinks daily) were more likely to suffer from depression.
- Overweight participants were also more prone to depression.
- Those who reported exercising for more than 30 minutes daily were less likely to be depressed.

One of the best "cures" for depression is exercise. Physical exercise is shown time and time again to be an effective treatment of depression and regular exercise will also help with the weight issues that can make you more prone to depression.

I started running 8 years ago, when my older brother was diagnosed with cancer. Bill never smoked, did not drink, exercised regularly, ate well and led an extremely healthy lifestyle. We have no family history either. To this day, we still do not understand how cancer was able to grab the healthiest one among us. I was a smoker at the time and figured I had pushed my luck too long.

Have any of you tried to quit smoking? It's a bugger. A BIG FAT BUGGER. After several failed attempts, I became desperate and signed up to run the Chicago Marathon. If that didn't knock the smoking habit out of me, nothing would. My early runs fell somewhere between humorous and pathetic. I would lace up my shoes and jog to a nearby friend's house to have a cigarette. Pretty soon I would make a few extra loops around the neighborhood before stopping in for a smoke. Eventually, I quit altogether.

What I found out quite by accident was that running did wonders for my mood. Running did not completely wipe out the depression and make me a bright and shiny person. It did make a horrible time more tolerable.

The kids caught on to the magic of my running even before I did. "Do you need to go out for a run," one of the boys would invariable ask when Mom was on the edge. They gladly supported the time I spent on the road in exchange for a more calm mom when I returned. I often joke that running is the only thing that saves my sanity.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

ADHD Drug Use Soars

If you've been following this blog or have spent any time on the ADHD Help Center website, you probably have heard me talking about the over-prescribing of ADHD drugs. Here's proof of that fact;

According to figures for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, the prescribing of ADHD drugs has nearly tripled between the years 1993 and 2003. With such a drastic rise in ADHD drug use, ADHD is on its way to become the leading childhood disorder treated with medications worldwide.

The amount spent on ADHD medication across the OECD increased ninefold, with 83% of that in the US. In 2003 the US spend $2.4 billion on ADHD drugs. The OECD includes the US, Ireland and many European countries.

So here's the question; Do you think that the incidence of ADHD has dramatically increased or do you think ADHD is simply the "in" disorder of this past decade? I am curious as to what all of you readers think. Let me know.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Parenting and ADHD

I know the subject of parenting and ADHD is a touchy subject. After all, we've been blamed enough for our ADHD child's poor behavior. So, please, don't shoot the messenger. I am only reporting on a study that looks at the role of parenting and ADHD...

"A mother's depression predicts whether children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) will develop conduct problems such as lying, fighting, bullying and stealing, according to a new study from a University of Maryland researcher. The study, published in the January 2007 issue of the American Psychological Association's journal, "Developmental Psychology," also found that early positive parenting during the preschool years predicted fewer conduct problems as the children grew to early adolescence. The strength of the findings led the researchers to conclude that maternal depression may be a risk factor, whereas positive parenting may be a protective factor.

"This research gives us clear targets for early intervention to prevent conduct problems in children with ADHD," says Andrea Chronis, director of the University of Maryland ADHD Program and professor of psychology who served as lead author on the paper. "In the real world, this could have important implications..."