Saturday, November 08, 2008

Adult ADHD Tip: Where Did the Day Go?

Time management is a sticky widget for adult ADHDers.

One of the best things you can do to keep you on task is to make a "To Do" list the night before or first thing in the morning. Write down everything you want to get done during the day, even if the list is longer than you know you can realistic accomplish.

Once you have your list, highlight the top six priorities of the day and do those before anything else. Make sure you check each project off as you move through the day to help you keep track of what was done and what still needs to be done.

Another popular technique is to have a dry-marker erase board on hand. These can be purchased for just about nothing at any of the popular mass-merchandise stores. When you have something that needs to be done, just write it on the board!

Sticky notes are great too….

Friday, November 07, 2008

Lawsuit Alleges Drug Manufacturers Targeting Methods Too General

Richard Scruggs, an Oxford attorney, is most popularly recognized for his paving the way for a settlement between the tobacco industry and the U.S. States in 1998. More recently, he has set his eyes on another tragic situation reaching epidemic proportions: ADHD medication and our children.

Stating a conspiracy grouping psychiatrists and the drug manufacturer of Ritalin, Scruggs contends that over 4 million
children are taking Ritalin when it is not even necessary. Filed in the state court in San Diego, CA and the federal court in Hackensack, NJ, the lawsuits claim that the American Psychiatric Association, Novartis AG, and a popular non-profit “support” group called Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder have inappropriately and unnecessarily expanded upon the definition of this disorder to include children that would otherwise not be diagnosed with ADHD.

But why expand on the definition of ADHD to include many “normal” children? For profit of course.

By playing on the basic nurturing nature of a caregiver, the defendants of the lawsuits are playing on the fears of the caregiver wanting a healthy child. But by the expanded standards, virtually every child within the United States would be diagnosed with ADHD.

With over 90 percent of Ritalin sales found in the United States, professionals are finding it hard to explain why Europe and other countries are not experiencing this enormous influx of ADHD diagnosed children.

This spring, the White House launched an important initiative to reduce the number of children using this popular treatment.

Scruggs hopes to alter the method by which Ritalin is prescribed.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

UK Doctors Looking at US Model for Treating ADHD -- And Doing the Opposite

Recent UK clinical studies have led professionals to compose new guidelines and regulations concerning the use of stimulants such as Concerta and Ritalin to counter the symptoms of ADHD. Often used as a first-line of defense against ADHD within the US, these often harsh stimulants are being replaced by behavioral therapy for the child and family.

In the US, approximately one in ten children are being or have been treated with stimulants with over 420,000 prescriptions handed out in 2004 alone nearly doubling since 1998. The UK has gone to great lengths to avoid this popular rising trend of giving stimulants to children as is commonplace in the US.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) offers new guidelines involving the parents of children diagnosed with ADHD. Involving parents in an intense behavioral therapy to manage the behavior of the ADHD child coupled with teacher training for managing the students diagnosed with ADHD is just one part of the diversion from the ever-growing popularity of stimulants.

While stimulants may be utilized for treating severe ADHD in children, pre-school aged children are never allowed treatment with stimulants. In addition, stimulant use is always a small part of the much more intense treatment plan.

Educational instruction, behavioral guidance, and psychological interventions are all part of ensuring that children within the UK diagnosed with ADHD and those children’s care takers are taught to manage the behavior rather than mask the symptoms.

By taking a look at how the US has “handled” the rise in children diagnosed with ADHD, the UK has developed a positive step forward recognizing the need for intensive behavioral therapy rather than harsh stimulants.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Does Your Dog Have A.D.H.D.D?

Mike Adams, the man behind Natural News, posted a spoof press release Monday about A.D.H.D.D (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Doggy Disorder). It cracked me up. You can read the "press release" at;

Make sure you check out the accompanying "Fidolin ADHD Medication Ad Parody " at;

This 3-minute video clip is flat-out funny!

Monday, March 17, 2008

"ADHD Child Parenting Guide"

Hi all! I just stumbled across an excellent website that I found to be of great value. ADHD Child Parenting Guides highlights a number of (ADHD) treatment and therapy techniques and has a slew of informative articles. Here's a few;
Group Activities For Adhd Students

Fun Activities For Adhd

How To Deal With An Adhd Child

Diet Therapy For Adhd

Disciplining An Adhd Child

Adhd Teaching Strategies

Raising A Child With Adhd

Moms and dads, teachers and all who love our young bundles of energy - if you want a new place to find fresh information, this is one site to see.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

ADHD Kids Doomed to Failure?

In one corner you have the problem kindergartner. He pick fights with his classmates, incessantly interrupts the teacher and openly defies his teacher if push comes to shove. In the other corner you have the well-behaved kindergartner who wants nothing more than to please his teacher.

Guess which student performed better in reading and math by the time they reached the fifth grade?

In a large scale study of behavior and school performance, an international team of researchers analyzed measures of social and intellectual development from over 16,000 children.

Researchers found that the problem kindergarteners performed as well in reading and math as well-behaved peers by the time they ended their elementary school career.

So moms, dads, teachers and principals, please lighten up. The kindergarten terrors don't necessarily need to be medicated, held back or frown upon. Their early school behavior problems will not doom them to a lackluster finish to their elementary school years.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention Deficit Brains Deficit? Not So.

Researchers have long debated whether ADHD, the most common psychiatric diagnosis given to disruptive children, is due to a brain deficit or to a delay in development. A recent study provides strong evidence that ADHD is more of a delay and not a problem with an abnormal brain.

National Institute of Mental Health and McGill University researchers, using imaging techniques, found there there is nothing deficit about these kids' brains. They are simply a little slow in the development department. This report, published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explains why many children outgrow their ADHD diagnosis in middle school or later.

Experts say the findings of this study could change the way parents, educators, doctors and scientists view and treat disruptive children. Stimulant medication will rev up the brain but is that the best possible treatment we can offer our children? They just might need to grow up a little and time will take care of that all on its own.

Maybe, just maybe, the real problem is the inappropriate maturity expectations place on young children as soon as they enter classrooms.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Consume Fish Oil, Curb Violence and Aggression

If you want to test the affects of diet on violence and aggression, what better place than a prison? New research from within prison walls suggests that vitamins and fish oil can curb violent and aggresive behavior.

Related research shows that those outside prison walls also benefit from a better diet.

In a study of prison inmates, a physiologist at Oxford University investigated the effects of nutritional supplements on behavior. Half of the 230 British inmates received multivitamin, mineral and fatty-acid supplements while the other half received placebo. Here's what the study found;

  • Minor prison rule infractions dropped by 26 percent in the group taking supplements. The placebo group's behavior did not change.

  • Violent incedences dropped by 37 percent in the group taking supplements. The placebo group's behavior did not change.

Researchers in the Netherlands conducted a similar study and found similar results. Of the 221 inmates who participated in the Dutch study, 116 were given multivitamin, mineral and fatty-acid supplements and the remaining 105 inmates received placebos.

Reports of violence and aggression dropped by 34 percent in the group taking supplements. Reports of violence and aggression actually increased 13 percent in the placebo group.

Researchers are quick to emphasize that poor nutrition is not the only cause of antisocial behavior. Researchers are just as quick to emphasize that there is no down side to an improved diet. And for the prison population, better nutrition is a cost-effective way to address violence and aggression among inmates.

If supplements benefit the prison population, supplements should also work in the population are large as well. Right? (The answer is "yes")

Another Oxford University physiologist took this diet and behavior test to 12 primary schools in northeastern England. This study examined 117 underachieving children between the ages of 5 and 12. Half of the children in this study received an omega-3 supplement for three months. The other half received a placebo made of olive oil.

Researchers found that the group that received omega-3 supplements did substantially better at school than those in the control group. The omega-3 group performed twice as well as expected in spelling. The placebo group, instead of improving, continued to fall behind.

Again, researchers were quick to emphasize that poor nutrition is not the only cause of underachieving school behavior and were just as quick to emphasize that an improved diet can only help.

Based on this and other research, the World Health Organization last year reported: "Certain dietary choices, including fish consumption, balanced intake of micronutrients and a good nutritional status overall, also have been associated with reduced rates of violent behaviour."

The Daytrana Patch - A Sticky Situation

Daytrana, the first and only transdermal medication approved to treat the symptoms of ADHD, seemed like a great idea. Smack a sticky medicated patch on the body and let your skin soak in the drug.

It seems though that this patch worked just a little too well.
Shire, the pharmaceutical company that holds the global license for Daytrana, pulled their product off the market in response to "mechanical problems" with the patch.

Up to five percent of patients reported trouble removing the release liner from the sticky part of patches. Enhancements are underway to improve the release liner. The FDA last year approved Daytrana for children aged six to twelve years with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Food Additives Increase Hyperactivity

Is your youngster bouncing off the walls? Take the Red out. And the Yellow. Remove Sodium benzonate too.

A recent study found that artificial food coloring and preservatives commonly found in kid-favorite foods can increase hyperactivity and disruptive behavior. Conversely, avoiding food additives can lower the risk of hyperactivity and disruptive behaviors in children.

This UK study incorporated 298 children who consume one of three fruit drinks:
  • Mix A contained artificial food coloring.

  • Mix B contained artificial food coloring and the preservative sodium benzoate.

  • Mix C was a placebo drink with no artificial coloring or preservatives.

The food colorings used were: tartrazine (a synthetic lemon yellow dye), sunset yellow, carmoisine (a synthetic red dye), and ponceau (a synthetic red dye). Researchers measured behavior based on parent and teacher ratings along with computerized tests that measured attention spans.

The results ...

  • Children who consumed Mix A had significantly increased hyperactivity compared to the placebo group (Mix C).

  • Children who consumed Mix B had significantly increased hyperactivity compared to the placebo group (Mix C).

Researchers also noted that increased hyperactivity also increased educational difficulties, especially in relation to reading. Study authors wrote, "This study provides evidence of deleterious effects of (artificial food colours and additives) on children's behaviour."

This study found that food additives and preservatives negatively affected all children who experience trouble with inattention, impulsivity, and overactivity and not just those diagnosed as ADHD.

Distractions for the Distracted?

You would think a quiet room with few distractions is the best environment to help ADHD children concentrate. New research from Stockholm University in Sweden shows otherwise.

A new study, published in the Psychological Review, found that concentration and memory improved for ADHD children when they listened to background noise while learning. Previous research indicated that ADHD children were easily disturbed in distracting environments. So what gives?

Researchers explained the surprising results by stating that background noise stimulates the brain just enough for it to function better. For children without ADHD, on the other hand, noise can serve as a distraction and can lower their ability to concentrate and remember things.

Will a little noise help your child? The only way you will know is if you give it a try. Throw a little background noise into the after-school homework routine and see what happens. If the noise seems to distract, turn it off. If it seems to help, by all means keep it on!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Depression: A Moldy Issue?

New research reveals that people living in damp moldy houses have a higher risk of developing depression. This groundbreaking public health study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, is the largest study to associate mold and mood.

While a handful of European studies published over the past decade linked mold to depression, these researchers originally set out to debunk that link. Needless to say, the skeptical US researchers were quite surprised when their study actually substantiated the European studies.

Researchers analized data from a large-scale European survey of housing and health that included almost 6,000 adults in almost 3,000 households. This analysis found a "solid association" between depression and the condition of the home.

Molds are toxins that can affect the nervous and immune system, as well as the part of the brain linked to social function. Researchers of the US study are still not entirely convinced that mold itself directly causes depression. Mold-related health problems such as illness, wheezing and fatigue could elevate the risk for depression. Also, a perceived lack of control over the household environment could also increase the risk of depression.

What the study does make clear is that an unhealthy home is unhealthy for the mental state of the people who live in it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Are You Stressed? Join the Crowd

Are you stressed and anxious? Join the crowd. According to a recent Stress and Anxiety Disorders Survey, 7 out of 10 adults say they experience stress or anxiety on a daily basis.

The Stress & Anxiety Disorders Survey is a report that examines the effects of anxiety disorders and everyday stress and anxiety on sleep. This year's installment clearly shows that we are STRESSED.

In addition to the 70% of the daily stressed, 70% also stated that they have trouble sleeping. While most everyone surveyed stated that stress interferes, at least moderately, with their lives, about one-third report that they have had an anxiety attack or panic attack or that they have persistent stress or excessive anxiety daily.

Anxiety disorders (identified as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias) are the most common psychiatric illnesses in the U.S. Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults and and are on the increase.

Adults who are most likely to report daily stress or anxiety are;
  • Under age 55
  • Particularly those between the ages of 18 and 24 (91 percent)
  • Have children (81 percent)
  • Are employed (73 percent).

Women are much more likely to experience daily stress or anxiety than men (56 percent vs. 39 percent).