ADHD in the News 2016-03-17

ADHD and immaturity: examining the UK context

Imagine you are a family grappling with the difficulties faced by having a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a developmental disorder characterised by pervasive symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ...Then you pick up a newspaper and read ‘ADHD is vastly overdiagnosed and many children are just immature, say scientists’...You are now battling not only with the challenges you meet with your child, but a society that questions the diagnosis and suggests your child is just immature……..what is behind these headlines?

Younger Kids in Their Grade More Likely to Get ADHD Diagnosis, Study Finds

Rising rates of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, have led scientists to question who is getting diagnosed and why, and a new study of Taiwanese children suggests that when a child is younger in their grade, they are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD...Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a pediatric neurologist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, said the study shows that it is vital that doctors look at multiple factors when making an ADHD diagnosis and that they take a student's age into account.

How Do Stimulant Medications Affect Sleep in Children With ADHD?

This is the Medscape Psychiatry Minute. I'm Dr Peter Yellowlees. Stimulants are very widely prescribed by child psychiatrists and pediatricians. Despite common complaints from patients about the adverse effects on sleep, there have been mixed findings from formal studies evaluating whether stimulant medications actually alter children's sleep.

Gene Mutation Linked to Persistent ADHD

Persistent attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents may be associated with a gene mutation that encodes a subunit on a brain receptor, findings from a longitudinal Italian study suggest. A 5-year follow-up study of more than 400 children revealed a polymorphism in the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor 2B subunit gene (Grin2b) that not only predicted persistent ADHD but was also linked to reductions in anterior cingulate volumes in the brain. The findings were presented here at the European Psychiatry Association (EPA) 24th Congress.

Understanding the Link Between ADHD and Obesity

Doctors have long known that there is a correlation between ADHD and obesity, both in childhood and adulthood, but a new study tightens the connection. In the latest research, researchers linked ADHD in childhood to later obesity in women, but not in men. This, taken in conjunction with other research and the clinical experience of hundreds of ADHD experts, suggests that ADHD is a risk factor for obesity, and that doctors should find ways to address that risk in their patients.

Leanna Landsmann: Student with ADHD tries to find school to fit needs

Q: My granddaughter, Rena, a senior, wants to attend college. She is a champion tennis player, but has struggled academically because of ADHD. Her ACT score and GPA are low. She was rejected by her college choices. Her counselor offers no encouragement except, “Go to a local community college to get ready for college work.” But the schools don’t have tennis. She has a great personality and wants to teach. Any suggestions?