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New Research Offers the Promise of a Genetically Based Diagnosis for ADHD

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.

Training Parents of Young Children with ADHD Can Make a Difference

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.

The Long Reach of Childhood Trauma

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.

ADHD and the Neuroplastic Brain

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.

Should You Give Your ADHD Child a Drug Holiday During Summer Break?

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.

ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

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.

Can Video Games Be an Alternative Therapy for ADHD?

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.

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