Does having ADHD put you at higher risk of dying prematurely? Recent research suggests having ADHD can significantly shorten your life. Dr. Russell Barkley, an ADHD expert, has cast this as a serious public health issue that needs to be addressed through better education, evidence-based treatment interventions and lifetime monitoring. The importance and urgency of addressing ADHD as a public health concern have become higher as more children are diagnosed with ADHD.
Neurodiversity is the idea that neurological differences like autism and ADHD are the result of normal, natural variation in the human genome. Today, most organizations are familiar with the advantages they can achieve by fostering diversity in the backgrounds, disciplinary training, gender, culture, and other individual qualities of employees. As our understanding of the human brain expands, the wisdom of neurodiversity in all areas of human endeavor seems destined to become a recognized essential ingredient of innovation and achievement.
Science is providing us with greater insight into the neurological factors that govern ADHD. If you have ADHD and want to make sense of your behaviors, it is important to understand the neurological differences in the ADHD brain that underlie those behaviors. Since ADHD behaviors are frequently mislabeled and misjudged by society, there is some comfort in knowing that there are neurological explanations for sometimes incomprehensible behaviors.
A new genomic study of families whose members had ADHD showed they all had specific features in certain genes. The identification of such patterns may help improve the diagnosis of ADHD. Genetically based diagnosis of ADHD could provide earlier detection and treatment. This is especially critical now that 10% of children in the U.S. are being diagnosed with ADHD.
New research on how we pay attention to things in our environment could shed new light on ADHD. Brains normally shift the focus of attention about 4 times per second. This prevents us from focusing too much on something at the cost of putting ourselves in danger. The ADHD brain, on the other hand, can become more easily locked in a state of either hyperfocus or high distractability.
Preschool ADHD can have a substantial impact on the daily functioning of a child. It is generally predictive of executive function impairment through adolescence, despite treatment with medication. A recent collaborative study of 4 universities in the Netherlands and the U.K. has shown that training parents to do behavioral interventions at home can have a positive effect on a child’s ADHD symptoms and reduce stress within the family.
A new research study, conducted at the University of California, Irvine, shows that therapy dogs may be effective in reducing the symptoms of ADHD in children. It offers families a viable option when seeking alternative or adjunct therapies to medication treatments for ADHD, especially when it comes to impaired attention and building social skills.
A study recently published in the journal Pediatrics, concludes that parents who experienced severe trauma and stress during their own childhood are more likely to see behavioral health problems in their children. This shows a generational link between behavioral health issues of parents and their children. The support of teachers, coaches or mentors may have a key role in building a child’s resilience and mitigating the negative effects of childhood trauma.
Can a person with ADHD train their brain to improve? The answer to that question may lie with something known as neuroplasiticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to create or alter its neural networks – essentially rewire itself – in response to stimuli from the environment. Understanding how our brains can “rewire” to help us improve offers another tool for individuals with ADHD to help overcome its negative effects and leverage its super powers.
If you have an ADHD child who is on a treatment plan that involves taking stimulant medications, you may face a vexing decision when summer vacation arrives. That is, whether to give your kid a “drug holiday” – discontinuing their medication during the summer break from school. There are many factors to consider when contemplating a summer drug holiday for your ADHD child. Be sure to give it as much consideration as you did when starting the medication treatment in the first place.