ADHD in the News 2020-03-26

Best Practices in Using Telemedicine for ADHD During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our American health care system is under an extreme strain placed upon by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The necessary precautions and safety measures undertaken have created roadblocks for individuals with psychiatric conditions to obtain care, and psychiatrists are exploring ways to best serve this population while complying with the medicolegal restrictions. Here, I will outline approaches to best leverage the use of telemedicine in a desperate time like this and discuss the most recent policy changes.

New research pinpoints how ADHD medications such as Ritalin and Adderall can change people’s motivation to complete difficult tasks.

Common assumption has long held that Ritalin, Adderall, and similar drugs work by helping people focus. The new study shows that these medications—usually prescribed to individuals diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder...actually work by directing the brain to fix its attention on the benefits, rather than the costs, of completing difficult tasks. The study in Science marks the first time that scientists have examined precisely how stimulants such as Ritalin alter cognitive function.

If you’re a parent suddenly homeschooling a child with ADHD, here’s some expert advice

Trying to teach a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a different job than parenting. You know that ADHD affects the ability of children to learn in a number of ways (see below) — such children can be forgetful, easily distracted and impulsive — but you may not have seen how that plays out daily in the classroom. Here is some advice from Maggie Sibley, a member of the professional advisory board of the nonprofit organization CHADD, or Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

How Parents of Children with ADHD Divide Up Their Time

There’s a new study out that emphasizes how having a child with ADHD has implications for how parents spend their time. In the study, researchers surveyed parents of 1,600 children with ADHD and 11,923 without, looking at how those parents were involved in different aspects of their children’s lives. One interesting finding was that parents of children with ADHD tended to invest more time in several aspects of their children’s education than parents of children without ADHD.

Low Socioeconomic Status Predicts Likelihood of Receiving ADHD Medication

Children and young people of low socioeconomic status are more likely to receive medication for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than their wealthier peers, according to study data published in BJPsych Open. This cross-sectional study cohort comprised children with a diagnosis of ADHD who were seen at participating secondary care centers in Sheffield, United Kingdom, between January and December 2016.

Magnetic Field Exposure in Utero May Heighten Kids’ Risk of ADHD

Specifically, children whose mothers were exposed in pregnancy to fields of more than 1.3 milligauss (mG) during normal activities were more than twice as likely to develop ADHD as those exposed to lower levels (adjusted hazard ratio 2.01, 95% CI 1.06-3.81), reported De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, of Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues.

Adolescent anxiety may predict future psychiatric diagnoses and suicidal ideation

Adolescents with anxiety are at risk for future psychiatric diagnoses and suicidal ideation, according to a study published in BMC Psychiatry. Anxiety disorders, which include disorders like social anxiety disorder and panic disorder, are the most widespread mental health disorders in the western world. These disorders often make their appearances in childhood or young adulthood and frequently co-occur with other mental health issues like substance abuse, depression and suicidal ideation.

From Burnout to Bonus with ADHD Champion Peter Shankman

Shankman challenges ADHD individuals to see their diagnosis as a gift, a superpower to make positive choices and use one’s “faster brain” to channel all that hyper-focused energy to do amazing things. Shankman shares his rules for life for those with and even without ADHD, to be more productive, avoid burnout and truly thrive.

Keeping up kids’ mental health during coronavirus

The response to the pandemic among kids spans the spectrum. Some are enjoying the novelty of time off from school, while others are experiencing what Chicago-based clinical psychologist John Duffy described as “a level of fear approaching terror.” “What kids are telling me is that they are afraid of the unknown,” says Duffy, author of Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety.