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.
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a condition where a child is almost always angry, frustrated and defiant toward authority figures. The exact causes of ODD are not known, but it occurs more frequently in families with a history of ADHD. There are many effective treatments for ODD, and strategies that parents can use to lessen the severity of symptoms and their negative impacts both within and outside the home.
Many parents who have children with ADHD may wonder how the symptoms will change as their child gets older. Will they get worse, diminish, or just change into something different. Researchers have studied this question and come up with a kind of roadmap for how ADHD symptoms are likely to change, on average, with age.
Findings from several recent studies suggest that certain aspects of ADHD can be improved with at-home computer interventions. This comes as welcome news to children, who adapt easily to mobile devices, and to parents who seek alternatives to drugs that have limited effectiveness and adverse effects. These studies provide encouraging evidence that video game technology might one day be used as part of an ADHD treatment regime.