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.