ADHD in the News 2019-05-02

Parents cautious of new FDA-approved device for kids with ADHD

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the first medical device of its kind to treat ADHD in children between the ages of 7 and 12 years-old is being met with "cautious optimism" by parents and advocates. The new device known as the Monarch eTNS system will cost parents about $1,000 and isn’t yet covered by insurance.  

ADHD Tied to Short Stature in Early Childhood

From kindergarten to fourth grade, kids with diagnosed ADHD had almost four times the odds of having a short stature (height <3rd percentile) versus kids without ADHD (odds ratio 3.88, 95% CI 1.69-8.88, P<0.01) after adjusting for sex, parental education, and family income, reported Ladan Davallow Ghajar, MD, of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and colleagues.

Does Diet Affect a Child’s ADHD?

"In contrast to what may be expected, we observed that a poor diet does not predict the level of ADHD symptoms in children, either diagnosed or not. So, based on our study, dietary changes may not prevent or reduce ADHD symptoms," said study author Trudy Voortman. She's an assistant professor of nutritional epidemiology at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Maternal cotinine levels linked to ADHD in offspring

Children of women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than children of nonsmoking mothers, according to the first study to investigate the association between smoking and ADHD based on nicotine serum biomarker levels rather than self-reported smoking. Further, the investigation found that as the amount of smoking increases, so does the likelihood of ADHD.

Children With ADHD More Likely To Engage In Substance Use At Earlier Ages

A study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that children with ADHD used drugs or illicit substances at earlier ages on average than those not diagnosed with the condition. On average, children with ADHD also had higher rates of smoking marijuana and cigarettes and were more likely to carry those habits with them into adulthood.

Adults with ADHD represent an important subgroup of OCD

Adult patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and ADHD experienced earlier onset of and more severe obsessive-compulsive symptoms, according to a large cross-sectional study. “Recent findings suggest that OCD and ADHD could share common genetic predisposition factors or be associated with dysfunctions in similar neurotransmitter pathways,” Thiago BlancoVieira, PhD, from the department of psychiatry, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil, and colleagues wrote.

Brain’s support network may play key role in attention deficit, hyperactivity behaviors

A new UCLA study suggests that brain cells called astrocytes, previously thought to provide mainly nourishment and housekeeping functions for neurons, may play a key role in the regulation of attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity.

ADHD Treatment Strategies Are Based on Evidence

Experts are concerned that health professionals are not identifying and treating individuals with ADHD as aggressively as they could.4-8 Several recent meta-analyses confirm pharmacological treatment’s short-term efficacy—and long-term efficacy to a lesser extent.4-8 Research into nonpharmacological interventions (table 12) is less robust. For this reason, experts recommend prescribing behavioral interventions, in combination with medication, as the benefits outweigh the risks.