But what about GIRLS with ADHD?

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, impairing neurobehavioral disorder that generally onsets in early childhood. Though ADHD is 2-3 times more prevalent in boys than girls, approximately 6% of girls are diagnosed with ADHD in childhood, which makes it one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in girls. A recent meta-analysis (method described below) in the journal Pediatrics looked to further understand how ADHD manifests in girls as opposed to boys, as well as…

Continue reading

ADHD Medication and Risk for Later Alcohol and Drug Use

Many parents have to make difficult choices about how to help their children with an ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) diagnosis. Two treatments have been proven in well-designed and carefully controlled research studies to be effective: behavioral management (also known as parent training) and medication (typically Ritatin or Adderall). Medication treatment has raised concerns about whether the use of medication to treat ADHD may be either a “gateway” for future substance use (e.g., ever trying…

Continue reading

Children with ADHD have greater likelihood of trying substances and developing substance use disorders.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in childhood. In fact, estimates of the rates of ADHD had found that between 5-10 percent of all children meet diagnostic criteria for the disorder. Children with and without ADHD, at a group level, show several differences, including poorer school performance, more peer rejection, and increased rates of anxiety, depression, and acting out behavior. Following children over time is a common way…

Continue reading

ADHD and Memory: Differences in What is Remembered

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD (formerly known also as ADD) are classically seen as the kids in class who have trouble staying in their seats and paying attention during long lessons. Underlying these problematic behaviors is a confluence of factors, with evidence pointing to genetics, neural function, and environmental factors (including parenting and lead exposure), which all can affect ADHD behavior. Many children diagnosed with ADHD seem to simply “grow out” of…

Continue reading

Is ADHD a real disorder?

Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that approximately 5 percent of children have a specific deficit in attention compared to children of their same age and sex, many people still question whether ADHD (and some still call it it’s former name: ADD) is a real disorder. A recent article in the New York Times takes on this subject carefully. The article outlines biological evidence that finds clear correlates to the disorder, including molecular genetics, twin studies indicating…

Continue reading

Treatments for ADHD – and the forgotten role of motivation

Research on the treatments for ADHD suggest that even the most effective treatments may not be sufficient for improving outcomes for children with ADHD diagnoses. Current treatments have a predominately person-biased approach to conceptualizing and treating the disorder. For example, the largest study conducted to assess the efficacy of ADHD interventions pitted medication and psychosocial treatment against one another, as well as their combination, along with “treatment as usual” (Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD [MTA],…

Continue reading

brain mapping disorders

An ever growing number of studies feature brain mapping to illustrate structural differences in the brain based on grouping those with and without a given disorder. Techniques such as structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can aid in researchers understanding of differences in shape and volume of various brain regions. Group differences are often found, yet there is wide variability in the structure and volume within any group. One potential contribution is the current methods for…

Continue reading

The Ethics of Neuroenhancement

A recent issue of the New Yorker featured a wide-ranging and engagingly written review of the current controversy over the ethics of neuroenhancement. Neuroenhancement refers to the growing trend of off-label use of psychiatric drugs by men and women of all ages and backgrounds for the purpose of boosting their brain power and ability to get things done. In an anonymous survey of scientists and academics that appeared in the journal Nature in 2007, about…

Continue reading

Self-Control is important, and teachable to some extent

Self-control or behavioral disinhibition has been implicated in a number of psychiatric disorders, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It may be a mediating factor responsible for the lowered academic performance found among many children with ADHD. The ability to inhibit responses may predict academic performance even better than IQ. This New Yorker article reviews studies of self-regulation and how “will power” may be a trainable trait that makes a difference in our social, academic, and financial…

Continue reading

Schoolchildren, self-regulation, and addiction

It’s no secret that diagnoses like ADD and ADHD have been seen with much greater frequency in the last decade or so. Slight variations on the same theme, both of these disorders have to do with a person’s (usually a child) inability to appropriately control their impulses and behave appropriately. The debate about the sources of the large increase in these diagnoses is still ongoing. Some think that they are nothing but an inflated push…

Continue reading