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Brain Study Suggest Newfound Cause for ADHD

A new study conducted through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has found that an abnormality in the way the brain processes rewards and motivation may be a root cause of ADHD.

In studies past, researchers have focused on issues of attention and hyperactivity, viewing them as the primary issues -- but a NIDA release indicates that approach may need to be revised:
Recent studies have found that children with ADHD dont respond to rewards in the same way as children without ADHD, [lead researcher Nora] Volkow said. In addition to the classic symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity, there is also a disruption in motivations and sensitivity to rewards, she said.
This newest study found a disruption in the brains reward/motivation pathway in people with ADHD. The study also found a direct correlation between that disruption and the severity of inattention. Researchers called the study a wake up call for teachers, believing it emphasizes the importance of finding creative ways to keep kids engaged.

Labels: research, brain_activity, brain_chemistry

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Researchers Explore Ritalin's Effect on Brain Development

A research team at Weil Cornell Medical College has discovered some potential long-term effects of Ritalin use on brain development. The study was conducted on very young rats that were given injections of Ritalin from the time they were seven to 35 days old.

"The changes we saw in the brains of treated rats occurred in areas strongly linked to higher executive functioning, addiction and appetite, social relationships and stress," the study's senior author, neuroscience professor Dr. Teresa Milner, wrote. "These alterations gradually disappeared over time once the rats no longer received the drug."

According to July 18 article on the www.news-medical.net, Dr. Miner also reported that that the study emphasizes the degree of caution that doctors must use in diagnosing ADHD before prescribing Ritalin. For example, the brain changes noted in the study would be helpful for someone with ADHD, but could harm an individual with healthy brain chemistry.

Labels: research, ritalin, brain_chemistry

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ADHD May Affect Kids' Ability to Perceive Time

A research team from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London has found that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may not accurately perceive the passing of time. This may explain some of the inattention and lack of patience exhibited by kids with ADHD.
[Lead researcher Katya Rubia] revealed that her team used MRI scans to show that 12 boys with ADHD had less activity than usual in the frontal lobe, the basal ganglia and cerebellum, all areas of the brain known to be crucial for time perception. (Source: New Kerala)
Kids with ADHD also have a shortage of dopamine, which is another factor in time perception. The study found that dopamine-enhancing drugs increased to near-normal levels activity in areas of the brain that are involved in time perception.

Labels: Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder, brain_chemistry

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Ritalin may not have Long-term Effects on Brain

A team of scientists from New York's Weill Cornell Medical College recently conducted a study to determine if Ritalin has any long-term effects on the brain. They used rats, which were divided into two groups, one was injected with Ritalin doses for a month, and the other received no treatment.
"The scientists noticed some subtle, short-term structural changes in the rats' brains immediately after Ritalin treatment ended. But those differences werent major, and they faded within three months."
The results of the study were published in The Journal of Neuroscience, and though they were positive, researches don't yet know if the findings apply to people. Read more at MedicineNet.com.

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Labels: medications, long_term_effects, brain_chemistry

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Possible Correlation between Vaccines and Neurological Disorders?

Generation Rescue, an organization that was formed by parents of children who have been diagnosed with neurological disorders, recently conducted a phone survey that may force the Centers for Disease Control to study the effects of vaccines on children.
"The survey... compared vaccinated and unvaccinated children in nine counties in Oregon and California. Among more than 9,000 boys age 4-17, the survey found vaccinated boys were two and a half times (155%) more likely to have neurological disorders compared to their unvaccinated peers."
The study also found that vaccinated boys between 11 and 17 were 317% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than unvaccinated boys. Read more at Pharma-Lexicon.com.

While many people believe that vaccinations are the cause, scientists say people are born with Pervasive Developmental Disorders: Autism or Asperger's Syndrome. Unfortunately, scientists do not fully understand the genetics of PPDs and have found no cure for them, they have discovered new ways of helping, educating and rehabilitating people with PPDs. Learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorders from www.yourlittleprofessor.com.

Labels: vaccines, brain_chemistry, neurological_disorders

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Does ADHD Medication Predispose Kids to Substance Abuse?

Many parents and doctors have long worried about the effects ADHD medication may have adolescents. The fear is that ADHD medication may cause teens to be predisposed to future drug abuse.
"The answer may depend on the age at which ADHD treatment is started and how long it lasts, say the authors of a new brain-imaging and behavioral study conducted in animals..."
One of the stimulants used in ADHD medication, methylphenidate, influences the brain's reward pathways and was the focus of the study. The study used rats, which were given doses of methylphenidate once a month for eight months. At the end of eight months, brain scans revealed an increase in the number of dopamine receptors, which are associated with pleasure and with drug abuse. Read more at EmaxHealth.com.

If your ADHD teen is also struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, visit DrugRehabTreatment.com to find how you can help. Find residential treatment programs that can help diagnosis your child, like The Aspen Institute for Behavioral Assessment.

Labels: medications, brain_chemistry, substance_abuse

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Scientists Discover How People Pay Attention

A group of researchers from Australia have conducted a breakthrough study that may help explain what causes things like ADHD and schizophrenia. The study was published today in Science and shows that there are complex interactions taking place between two areas of the brain when an object catches the eye.
"It seems that a high part of the brain... stimulates activity in a lower area responsible for processing visual information... This interaction between the two areas helps to select those signals from the visual world which should be processed further..."
The research team hope this is a first step toward better understanding how different parts of the brain work together to influence attention. Read more at News.com.au.

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Labels: research, brain_chemistry, stimulants

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