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By Emily Willingham As with most decision points around pregnancy, cannabis use is a fraught subject. Researchers can’t assess it in randomized trials because dosing pregnant people with the psychoactive substance is unethical. The next best thing is studies with enough participants who use cannabis on their own, allowing for comparisons with those who do not. The findings of one such study, published on November 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, highlight symptoms of increased anxiety, hyperactivity and aggression in children whose parents used cannabis during pregnancy. And its analysis of placental tissue points to changes in the activity of immunity-related genes. Today pregnant people “are being bombarded with a lot of ads to treat nausea and anxiety during pregnancy” with cannabis, says the paper’s senior author Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai. “Our studies are about empowering them with knowledge and education so that they can make decisions.” The results are “very striking, very much a first,” says Daniele Piomelli, a professor and director of the Center for the Study of Cannabis at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the work. Pregnancy studies in rodents and even in sheep, which have a placenta more like ours, have required cautious interpretations of findings that show effects on offspring behavior and function, he says. The new study is one of the first to tackle the question in people “in a systematic way,” Piomelli adds. © 2021 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 13: Memory and Learning; Chapter 4: Development of the Brain
Link ID: 28078 - Posted: 11.17.2021

By Katherine Ellison Jessica McCabe crashed and burned at 30, when she got divorced, dropped out of community college and moved in with her mother. Eric Tivers had 21 jobs before age 21. Both have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and both today are entrepreneurs who wear their diagnoses — and rare resilience — on their sleeves. With YouTube videos, podcasts and tweets, they’ve built online communities aimed at ending the shame that so often makes having ADHD so much harder. Now they’re going even further, asking: Why not demand more than mere compassion? Why not seek deeper changes to create a more ADHD-friendly world? “I’ve spent the last five or six years trying to understand how my brain works so that I could conform, but now I’m starting to evolve,” says McCabe, 38, whose chipper, NASCAR-speed delivery has garnered 742,000 subscribers — and counting — to her YouTube channel, “How to ADHD.” “I think we no longer have to accept that we live in a world that is not built for our brains.” With Tivers, she is planning a virtual summit on the topic for next May. As a first step, with the help of Canadian cognitive scientist Deirdre Kelly, she says she’ll soon release new guidelines to assess products and services for their ADHD friendliness. Computer programs that help restless users meditate and a chair that accommodates a variety of seated positions are high on the list to promote, while error-prone apps or devices will be flagged. Kelly also envisions redesigning refrigerator vegetable drawers, so that the most nutritious food will no longer be out of sight and mind. In the past two decades, the world has become much kinder to the estimated 6.1 million children and approximately 10 million adults with ADHD, whose hallmark symptoms are distraction, forgetfulness and impulsivity. Social media has made all the difference.

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition
Link ID: 27960 - Posted: 08.25.2021

By Katherine Ellison ADHD — the most common psychiatric disorder of childhood —  lasts longer for more people than has been widely assumed, according to new research. “Only 10 percent of people really appear to grow out of ADHD,” says the lead author, psychologist Margaret Sibley, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “Ninety percent still struggle with at least mild symptoms as adults — even if they have periods when they are symptom free.” The study challenges a widely persistent perception of a time-limited condition occurring mostly in childhood. Indeed, one of the earliest names for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder was “a hyperkinetic disease of infancy,” while its most common poster child has long been a young, White, disruptive male. Previous research has suggested the condition essentially vanishes in about half of those who receive diagnoses. But in recent years, increasing numbers of women, people of color and especially adults have been seeking help in managing the hallmark symptoms of distraction, forgetfulness and impulsivity. By the most recent estimates, 9.6 percent of children ages 3 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Yet researchers report that only 4.4 percent of young adults ages 18 to 44 have the disorder, suggesting that if the new estimates are valid, there may be some catching up to do. Sibley’s paper paints a picture of an on-again, off-again condition, with symptoms fluctuating depending on life circumstances. © 1996-2021 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition
Link ID: 27946 - Posted: 08.14.2021

By Christina Caron Q: How common is adult A.D.H.D.? What are the symptoms and is it possible for someone who was not diagnosed with it as a child to be diagnosed as an adult? A: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D., is a neurodevelopmental disorder often characterized by inattention, disorganization, hyperactivity and impulsivity. It is one of the most common mental health disorders. According to the World Federation of A.D.H.D., it is thought to occur in nearly 6 percent of children and 2.5 percent of adults. In the United States, 5.4 million children, or about 8 percent of all U.S. children ages 3 to 17, were estimated to have A.D.H.D. in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. For decades, experts believed that A.D.H.D. occurred only among children and ended after adolescence. But a number of studies in the ’90s showed that A.D.H.D. can continue into adulthood. Experts now say that at least 60 percent of children with A.D.H.D. will also have symptoms as adults. It’s not surprising that so many people are now wondering whether they might have the disorder, especially if their symptoms were exacerbated by the pandemic. The Attention Deficit Disorder Association, an organization founded in 1990 for adults with A.D.H.D, saw its membership nearly double between 2019 and 2021. In addition, Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or CHADD, reported that the highest proportion of people who call their A.D.H.D. help line are adults seeking guidance and resources for themselves. © 2021 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition
Link ID: 27933 - Posted: 08.07.2021

By Branko van Hulst, Sander Werkhoven, Sarah Dursto “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” It is an often-used quote, and for good reason. Juliet tragically underestimated the impact of the Montague surname. She was not the first, nor the last, to underestimate the power of the names we give. In psychiatry, handbooks determine which names (or classifications) we give to the difficulties that people face. We use them so that when we say ADHD, schizophrenia or depression, people have a more or less consistent idea of what we mean. Moreover, it enables us to study groups of people with the same classification and learn about treatments and prognostics. However, a severe and often overlooked side effect of this practice is that these names implicitly suggest causality. The classificatory terms we use all refer to disorders that cause symptoms, and therefore suggest that we understand the causes of the problems. Which we do not. At the very least, the term disorder suggests a common causal structure, which goes against all our current knowledge on causal heterogeneity in psychiatry. Moreover, these classifications are applied to individuals and therefore suggest that causes lie mainly with the affected individual. The most common psychiatric handbooks (DSM-5 and ICD-11) are clear on the status of their classifications: they are purely descriptive and are not based on underlying causes. Still, in practice, we say things like “he is inattentive at school because he has ADHD.” It is a circular statement: a child is inattentive because of his inattentiveness. When we say that someone has an attention deficit, we are inclined to look for the cause of the problem. But when we say someone has an attention deficit disorder, we might wrongly assume we have already found the cause. Or, in a milder version, assume the cause to be located somewhere in the (brain of the) individual. © 2021 Scientific American,

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 13: Memory and Learning
Link ID: 27725 - Posted: 03.11.2021

By Cheryl Maguire When my 15-year-old son was given a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at age 7, I was told that it was a lifelong chronic condition. So I felt a little bit hopeful when a study published last winter in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics said that “an estimated 30 percent to 60 percent of children diagnosed with A.D.H.D. no longer meet diagnostic criteria for this disorder by late adolescence.” Does that mean they outgrew it? There is no simple answer, said Thomas Power, director of the center for management of A.D.H.D. at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the senior author of the study. He was one of eight experts I consulted, and while they fell into different camps on whether someone can outgrow A.D.H.D., they all agreed that the answer is complicated. Some said there could be a genetic component to outgrowing A.D.H.D., while others told me that certain coping skills and job choices play a prominent role in lessening symptoms, which could make it seem that the person no longer has it. Russell Barkley, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, clarified that ceasing to meet the definition of A.D.H.D. in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the main resource that clinicians use to make a diagnosis, does not mean that the person no longer has the issues of A.D.H.D. “People are outgrowing the D.S.M. criteria but not outgrowing their disorder for the most part,” Dr. Barkley said. “Diagnosing A.D.H.D. is not like leukemia, where you do a blood test and you know definitively you have leukemia,” said Dr. William Barbaresi, a developmental behavioral pediatrician at Children’s Hospital in Boston, and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. When a young child is given an A.D.H.D. diagnosis, doctors and clinicians rely on patient, parent and teacher feedback. But when a late adolescent or adult is assessed, it is normally based on self-reports only. “There are a lot of reasons to wonder how accurate that report is since it is difficult to evaluate yourself,” said Dr. Barbaresi. And Dr. Power noted, “Individuals with A.D.H.D. tend to underreport their symptoms.” © 2020 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition
Link ID: 27578 - Posted: 11.14.2020

Can a video game help children struggling with ADHD? That question inspired hopeful headlines last month after the Food and Drug Administration permitted marketing of the first digital game that may be prescribed to treat children ages 8 to 12 who have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In EndeavorRx, designed for iPhones and iPads, children guide an avatar surfing through molten lava and an icy river, dodging fires and icebergs while grabbing flying objects. The game is not yet available for purchase, nor has a price been released, but its Boston-based developer, Akili Interactive Labs, may now feature its unique status in ads and pursue coverage by insurance plans. No trip to the pharmacy is needed: Doctors and nurses will be able to prescribe the game by giving parents a code to download an app. Akili’s website touts its digital approach as “the future of medicine.” But some critics say: Not so fast. “It’s a marketing ploy,” said clinical psychologist and researcher Russell Barkley, author of several books on ADHD. Barkley and three other ADHD experts who reviewed Akili’s research said the firm was overpromising by implying that EndeavorRx can provide meaningful help for children struggling in school and at home with the sometimes-debilitating neurodevelopmental disorder, whose symptoms include distraction, forgetfulness and impulsivity. “I’m a little shocked and more perplexed about why the FDA would approve this and allow it to be paid for by insurance,” said Mark Rapport, head of the Children’s Learning Clinic at the University of Central Florida, who has published extensive research on other brain-training programs making similar claims. “I abhor seeing desperate parents spend money based on empty promises. . . . On moral grounds, I think it’s wrong to tell people to get their doctors to prescribe this when it does nothing of real-world importance.”

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition
Link ID: 27384 - Posted: 07.27.2020

By Katherine Ellison After a lifetime of arriving late, missing deadlines and having friends call her a ditz, Leslie Crawford wanted to know whether her chronic distraction meant she had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD. And, if that were true, could medication help? Over three visits with her managed-care plan doctor in San Francisco, Crawford, 57, a busy mother of two and professional editor, complied with urine and blood tests some doctors require to rule out drug abuse, and was checked for any preexisting heart condition that might make stimulants too risky. Then came the last step: a telephone interview. “What kind of student were you in elementary school?” she remembers the psychiatrist asking. “I was an A student,” Crawford answered. “I’m sorry,” he said, as Crawford recalled. “You don’t meet the qualification for ADHD and we can’t give you medication.” AD “I couldn’t believe it,” Crawford said later. Two private therapists had already told her she had ADHD, she said. But her plan’s psychiatrist said it was company policy to deny diagnosis and medication if a patient had done well in school as a child. This left Crawford with the option of paying several hundred dollars for a private psychiatrist’s evaluation, plus recurring costs for new prescriptions over time. For now, she’s not pursuing that. After her three appointments, “I just felt exhausted,” she said. ADHD affects more than 16 million U.S. children and adults. Despite decades of research involving thousands of studies, it remains one of the most perplexing of mental health diagnoses, susceptible to confusion and controversy even among doctors who treat it. The muddle can be particularly damaging to girls and women, who like Crawford may miss early treatment that could have spared them years of shame, anxiety, depression, self-harm and even suicide attempts.

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 27252 - Posted: 05.18.2020

Differences associated with learning difficulties are found less in specific areas of the brain and more in the connections between them, experts say. After scanning 479 children's brains, Cambridge University researchers found they were organised in multiple "hubs". Those with no difficulties - or very specific ones, such as poor listening skills - had well connected hubs. But those with widespread and severe difficulties - 14-30% of all children - were found to have poor connections. It was recently suggested schools were failing to spot ADHD and autism, which could be contributing to a rise in exclusions. Dr Duncan Astle told BBC News: "We have spent decades searching for the brain areas for different types of developmental difficulty such as ADHD and dyslexia. "Our findings show that something which is far more important is the way a child's brain is organised. "In particular, the role that highly connected 'hub' regions play. "This has not been shown before and its implications for our scientific understanding of developmental difficulties is big. "How do these hubs emerge over developmental time? "What environmental and genetic factors can influence this emergence?" "Another key finding is that the diagnostic labels children had been given were not closely related to their cognitive difficulties - for example, two children with ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] could be very different from each other. "This has been well known in practice for a long time but poorly documented in the scientific literature." Mental-health disorders © 2020 BBC

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition
Link ID: 27080 - Posted: 02.28.2020

By Richard Klasco, M.D. A. The theory of the “sugar high” has been debunked, yet the myth persists. The notion that sugar might make children behave badly first appeared in the medical literature in 1922. But the idea did not capture the public’s imagination until Dr. Ben Feingold’s best-selling book, “Why Your Child Is Hyperactive,” was published in 1975. In his book, Dr. Feingold describes the case of a boy who might well be “patient zero” for the putative connection between sugar and hyperactivity: [The mother’s] fair-haired, wiry son loved soft drinks, candy and cake — not exactly abnormal for any healthy child. He also seemed to go completely wild after birthday parties and during family gatherings around holidays. In the mid-’70s, stimulant drugs such as Ritalin and amphetamine were becoming popular for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. For parents who were concerned about drug side effects, the possibility of controlling hyperactivity by eliminating sugar proved to be an enticing, almost irresistible, prospect. Some studies supported the theory. They suggested that high sugar diets caused spikes in insulin secretion, which triggered adrenaline production and hyperactivity. But the data were weak and were soon questioned by other scientists. An extraordinarily rigorous study settled the question in 1994. Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, a group of scientists tested normal preschoolers and children whose parents described them as being sensitive to sugar. Neither the parents, the children nor the research staff knew which of the children were getting sugary foods and which were getting a diet sweetened with aspartame and other artificial sweeteners. Urine was tested to verify compliance with the diets. Nine different measures of cognitive and behavioral performance were assessed, with measurements taken at five-second intervals. © 2020 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 27060 - Posted: 02.21.2020

Maternal obesity may increase a child’s risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to an analysis by researchers from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health. The researchers found that mothers — but not fathers — who were overweight or obese before pregnancy were more likely to report that their children had been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or to have symptoms of hyperactivity, inattentiveness or impulsiveness at ages 7 to 8 years old. Their study appears in The Journal of Pediatrics. The study team analyzed the NICHD Upstate KIDS Study, which recruited mothers of young infants and followed the children through age 8 years. In this analysis of nearly 2,000 children, the study team found that women who were obese before pregnancy were approximately twice as likely to report that their child had ADHD or symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention or impulsiveness, compared to children of women of normal weight before pregnancy. The authors suggest that, if their findings are confirmed by additional studies, healthcare providers may want to screen children of obese mothers for ADHD so that they could be offered earlier interventions. The authors also note that healthcare providers could use evidence-based strategies to counsel women considering pregnancy on diet and lifestyle. Resources for plus-size pregnant women and their healthcare providers are available as part of NICHD’s Pregnancy for Every Body initiative.

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 4: Development of the Brain
Link ID: 27055 - Posted: 02.20.2020

By Perri Klass, M.D. Whenever I write about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — whether I’m writing generally about the struggles facing these children and their families or dealing more specifically with medications — I know that some readers will write in to say that A.D.H.D. is not a real disorder. They say that the rising numbers of children taking stimulant medication to treat attentional problems are all victims, sometimes of modern society and its unfair expectations, sometimes of doctors, and most often of the rapacious pharmaceutical industry. I do believe that A.D.H.D. is a valid diagnosis, though a diagnosis that has to be made with care, and I believe that some children struggle with it mightily. Although medication should be neither the first nor the only treatment used, some children find that the stimulants significantly change their educational experiences, and their lives, for the better. Dr. Mark Bertin, a developmental pediatrician in Pleasantville, N.Y., who is the author of “Mindful Parenting for A.D.H.D.,” said, “On a practical level, we know that correctly diagnosed A.D.H.D. is real, and we know that when they’re used properly, medications can be both safe and effective.” The choice to use medications can be a difficult one for families, he said, and is made even more difficult by “the public perception that they’re not safe, or that they fundamentally change kids.” He worries, he says, that marketing is really effective, and wants to keep it “at arm’s length,” far away from his own clinical decisions, not allowing drug reps in the office, not accepting gifts — but acknowledging, all the same, that it’s probably not possible to avoid the effects of marketing entirely. Still, he said, when it comes to stimulants, “the idea that we’re only using them because of the pharmaceutical industry is totally off base,” and can make it much harder to talk with parents about the potential benefits — and the potential problems — of treating a particular child with a particular medication. “When it comes to A.D.H.D. in particular, it’s a hard enough thing for families to be dealing with without all the fear and judgment added on.” © 2020 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: Development of the Brain; Chapter 3: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 27030 - Posted: 02.10.2020

Alex Smith When children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, stimulant medications like Ritalin or Adderall are usually the first line of treatment. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidelines on Monday that uphold the central role of medication, accompanied by behavioral therapy, in ADHD treatment. However, some parents, doctors and researchers who study kids with ADHD say they are disappointed that the new guidelines don't recommend behavioral treatment first for more children, as some recent research has suggested might lead to better outcomes. When 6-year-old Brody Knapp of Kansas City, Mo., was diagnosed with ADHD last year, his father, Brett, was skeptical. Brett didn't want his son taking pills. "You hear of losing your child's personality, and they become a shell of themselves, and they're not that sparkling little kid that you love," Brett says. "I didn't want to lose that with Brody, because he's an amazing kid." Brody's mother, Ashley, had other ideas. She's a school principal and has ADHD herself. "I was all for stimulants at the very, very beginning," Ashley says, "just because I know what they can do to help a neurological issue such as ADHD." More and more families have been facing the same dilemma. The prevalence of diagnosed ADHD has shot up in the U.S. in the past two decades; 1 in 10 children now has that diagnosis. The updated guidelines from the AAP recommend that children with ADHD should also be screened for other conditions, and monitored closely. But the treatment recommendations regarding medication are essentially unchanged from the previous guidelines, which were published in 2011. © 2019 npr

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 3: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26657 - Posted: 10.01.2019

Patti Neighmond Most children enrolled in Medicaid who get a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder don't get timely or appropriate treatment afterward. That's the conclusion of a report published Thursday by a federal watchdog agency, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General. "Nationwide, there were 500,000 Medicaid-enrolled children newly prescribed an ADHD medication who did not receive any timely follow-up care," says Brian Whitley, a regional inspector general with OIG. The report analyzed Medicaid claims data from 2014 and 2015. Those kids didn't see a health care provider regarding their ADHD within a month of being prescribed the medication, though pediatric guidelines recommend that, he says. And one in five of those children didn't get the two additional check-ins with a doctor they should get within a year. "That's a long time to be on powerful medications without a practitioner checking for side effects or to see how well the medication is working," Whitley says. Additionally, according to the OIG report, "Nearly half of Medicaid-enrolled children who were newly prescribed an ADHD medication did not receive behavioral therapy," though that, too, is recommended by pediatricians. Elizabeth Cavey, who lives with her family in Arlington, Va., knows just how important it is to get a child with ADHD accurately diagnosed and treated. Kindergarten, Cavey says, was a disaster for her daughter. "She was constantly being reprimanded and forced to sit still," Cavey recalls. "And she's a bright child, but she kept falling further and further behind in learning letters and language, because she could not concentrate." © 2019 npr

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 4: Development of the Brain
Link ID: 26500 - Posted: 08.15.2019

By Ryan D'Agostino If you have a son, you have a one-in-seven chance that he has been diagnosed with ADHD. If you have a son who has been diagnosed, it's more than likely that he has been prescribed a stimulant—the most famous brand names are Ritalin and Adderall; newer ones include Vyvanse and Concerta—to deal with the symptoms of that psychiatric condition. The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies stimulants as Schedule II drugs, defined as having a "high potential for abuse" and "with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence." (According to a University of Michigan study, Adderall is the most abused brand-name drug among high school seniors.) In addition to stimulants like Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse, and Concerta, Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, Demerol, and OxyContin. According to manufacturers of ADHD stimulants, they are associated with sudden death in children who have heart problems, whether those heart problems have been previously detected or not. They can bring on a bipolar condition in a child who didn't exhibit any symptoms of such a disorder before taking stimulants. They are associated with "new or worse aggressive behavior or hostility." They can cause "new psychotic symptoms (such as hearing voices and believing things that are not true) or new manic symptoms." They commonly cause noticeable weight loss and trouble sleeping. In some children, some stimulants can cause the paranoid feeling that bugs are crawling on them. Facial tics. They can cause children's eyes to glaze over, their spirits to dampen. One study reported fears of being harmed by other children and thoughts of suicide. ©2019 Hearst Magazine Media, Inc.

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 4: Development of the Brain
Link ID: 26420 - Posted: 07.15.2019

By Caterina Gawrilow, Sara Goudarzi Those affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are clinically thought of as inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive. However, people with ADHD are also perceived as being very spontaneous, curious, inquisitive, enthusiastic, lively and witty, a perception that creates an impression they are more creative than those without ADHD. But is there truth to this idea? Creativity is generally the ability to generate something original and unprecedented. The ideas must not only be new and surprising, but also useful and relevant. Among other things, creativity comes through intensive knowledge and great motivation in a particular field, be it painting, music or mathematics. For years, both laypersons and scientists have been fascinated by the proverbial proximity of genius and madness. According to psychologist Dean Keith Simonton from the University of California, Davis, unusual and unexpected experiences, such as psychological difficulties and psychiatric stays, are an important characteristic of people who create masterpieces. Advertisement Two core symptoms, inattention and impulsiveness, suggest a connection between creativity and ADHD. Inattention, which occurs more frequently in those affected with the disorder, likely leads to mind wandering, or the drifting of thoughts from an activity or environment. Such drifting can lead to new, useful and creative ideas. © 2019 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior; Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: Development of the Brain; Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition
Link ID: 26324 - Posted: 06.12.2019

By Dhruti Shah BBC News When Dani Donovan wanted to show her colleagues what life was like for her as someone diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), she never thought her sketches would lead to a series of web comics with a celebrity fan base. The 28-year-old, who lives in Omaha, Nebraska, was diagnosed about a decade ago with ADHD and now hopes her comics will help others to understand the challenges for those with the condition. She told the BBC: "I'd just started a new job working in data visualisation, and it was the first time I was able to be really open about having ADHD and talk to my colleagues about what it's like. "We were telling stories and joking about how I always get off track while I'm telling stories, and I said that it's very much like having a sleepy train conductor running my train of thought. I had the idea for a flowchart, I posted it on Twitter and it took off immediately." Her graphic shows that when she hears non-ADHD storytelling, it involves a straight move from the start of a story to the end. Her storytelling, however, involves a pre-story prologue before moving to the start of the story, and then wandering through 'too many details', a side-story and losing her train of thought before reaching the end of the tale - and then apologising. However, as with all things that hit the internet - once it's let loose, be careful of memes and amendments. Dani's diagram was re-versioned by an unknown person who split the flowcharts and created a meme with 'How a normal person tells a story' taking the place of the 'Non-ADHD Storytelling' heading Dani had given her first flowchart, and 'How I tell a story' replacing the 'ADHD Storytelling' heading for the meandering flowchart. © 2019 BBC

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition
Link ID: 26246 - Posted: 05.18.2019

Aimee Cunningham Children who turn 5 just before starting kindergarten are much more likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder than their oldest classmates. The finding bolsters concerns that the common neurodevelopmental disorder may be overdiagnosed. “We think ... it’s the relative age and the relative immaturity of the August-born children in any given class that increases the likelihood that they’re diagnosed as having ADHD,” says Anupam Jena, a physician and economist at Harvard Medical School. Jena and his colleagues analyzed insurance claims data for more than 407,000 children born from 2007 through 2009. In states that require kids be 5 years old by September 1 to begin kindergarten, children born in August were 34 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than those born nearly a year earlier in September — just after the cutoff date. For August kids, 85.1 per 10,000 children were diagnosed with ADHD, compared with 63.6 per 10,000 for the September kids, the researchers report in the Nov. 29 New England Journal of Medicine. People with ADHD typically have symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness that are severe or frequent enough to interfere with their daily lives. In 2011, 11 percent of U.S. children aged 4 to 17 were reported to have an ADHD diagnosis, a rate higher than most other countries. Differences between states also suggest overdiagnosis, says Jena, “unless there’s something so different about kids across different states.” For example, while nearly 19 percent of 4- to 17-year-olds reportedly were diagnosed in Kentucky, the rate was about 12 percent in neighboring West Virginia. |© Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2018

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition
Link ID: 25728 - Posted: 11.29.2018

Jon Hamilton Kids with ADHD are easily distracted. Barn owls are not. So a team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is studying these highly focused predatory birds in an effort to understand the brain circuits that control attention. The team's long-term goal is to figure out what goes wrong in the brains of people with attention problems, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. "We think we have the beginnings of an answer," says Shreesh Mysore, an assistant professor who oversees the owl lab at Hopkins. The answer, he says, appears to involve an ancient brain area with special cells that tell us what to ignore. Mysore explains his hypothesis from one of the owl rooms in his basement lab. He has a distraught bird perched on his forearm. And as he talks, he tries to soothe the animal. The owl screeches, flaps and digs its talons into the elbow-length leather glove that Mysore wears for protection. He covers the bird's eyes with his free hand and hugs the animal to his chest. The owl, no longer able to focus on the movements of his human visitors, goes quiet. When it comes to paying attention, barn owls have a lot in common with people, Mysore says. "Essentially, a brain decides at any instant: What is the most important piece of information for behavior or survival?" he says. "And that is the piece of information that gets attended to, that drives behavior." © 2018 npr

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition
Link ID: 25441 - Posted: 09.12.2018

By Rachel Bluth The number of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyper­activity disorder (ADHD) has reached more than 10 percent, a significant increase during the past 20 years, according to a new study. The rise was most pronounced in minority groups, suggesting that better access to health insurance and mental-health treatment through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may have played some role in the increase. The rate of diagnosis doubled in girls, although it was still much lower than in boys. But the researchers say they found no evidence confirming frequent complaints that the condition is overdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The United States has significantly more instances of ADHD than other developed countries, which researchers said has led some to think Americans are overdiagnosing children. Wei Bao, the lead author of the study, said in an interview that a review of studies around the world doesn’t support that. “I don’t think overdiagnosis is the main issue,” he said. Nonetheless, those doubts persist. Stephen Hinshaw, who co-authored a 2014 book called “The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money, and Today’s Push for Performance,” compared ADHD to depression. He said in an interview that neither condition has unequivocal biological markers, which makes it hard to determine whether a person has the condition. Symptoms of ADHD can include inattention, fidgety behavior and impulsivity. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN: Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 14: Attention and Higher Cognition; Chapter 4: Development of the Brain
Link ID: 25434 - Posted: 09.11.2018