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Outward-Turning Eyes May Indicate Risk of Autism, Mental Illness

Scientists at the University of California and Mayo Clinic have found two indicators that can warn parents and doctors that a very young child may develop a mental disorder.

In the first study from the M.I.N.D. Institute of the University of California in Davis, researchers found that even children as young as one year old can show signs of autism. Dr. Sally Ozonoff, who reported her findings in the journal Autism, studied 66 one-year-olds, of nine of whom were later diagnosed with autism. She found that seven of the nine had unusual ways of looking sideways or staring intently at objects. They were also more likely to spin or rotate their toys.

"We feel that our field could do a better job of diagnosis," Ozonoff said. "Our results suggest that these particular behaviors might be useful to include in screening tests. The earlier you treat a child for autism, the more of an impact you can have on that child's future."

Dr. Brian Mohney and his colleagues at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota matched 407 patients with an eye disorder with 407 children who did not have the disorder. Children whose eyes turn outward, upward, or down had a 41 percent greater chance of developing mental illnesses before age 17. Children with eyes that turned inward were not at an increased risk.

Dr. Mohney, writing in the journal Pediatrics, noted that he did not know why there was a link between mental illness and ocular misalignment.

Labels: diagnosis, mental_illness, symtoms

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Walk in the Park May Help Kids with ADHD

A study conducted by the University of Illinois found that a 20-minute walk in a park improved the focus of kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
"'From our previous research, we knew there might be a link between spending time in nature and reduced ADHD symptoms,' said researcher Faber Taylor. 'So to confirm that link we conducted a study in which we took children on walks in three different settings - one especially "green" and two less "green" - and kept everything about the walks as similar as possible.'"
The study found that, when all other elements of the walk were the same - time of day, amount of sleep, use of medication, even the person they were walking with - ADHD children's attention improved far more after walking in a park than after walking in either a downtown or a residential area. Source: PsychCentral

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Labels: exercise, green_time, symtoms, walking

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Be Informed About ADHD Medication

ADHD medication can work wonders in managing ADHD symptoms for children who have been properly diagnosed. But it's important to know how the medication will interact with other medications; cold medicine, allergy medicine, and even vitamin C can negate the effects of some ADHD medications.
"[Dr. Oluwole] Olusola said the smart thing to do is to be informed. 'Parents should, depending on which medication their child is on, obtain from the pharmacy a list of foods or medications which will counteract the medication in a negative way,' Olusola said."
It's important for parents to take charge and be responsible, taking the initiative to ensure that a child's medication has the best chance of being effective. Source: Mental Hope News

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Labels: medications, diagnosis, symtoms

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Alternative Treatment for Children with Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is a hereditary form of mental retardation that often includes an ADHD disorder. Previously, stimulant medications like Ritalin were found to produce side effects like increased irritability. Now, a new study has found that a certain amino acid (called L-acetyl carnitine or LAC) can reduce ADHD symptoms without side effects.
"Those treated with LAC demonstrated reduced hyperactive behavior and increased attention. No side effects were exhibited, confirming that LAC is a safe alternative to stimulants... The patients treated with LAC also had significantly improved social ability compared to the placebo-treated group."
The authors of the study concluded that LAC should be proposed as a viable alternative treatment for children with FXS who also display ADHD symptoms. Read more at MedicalNewsToday.com.

Labels: mental_health, genetics, symtoms

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Symptoms of ADD/ADHD

Most of the articles in this blog share treatment options and other stories related to ADD/ADHD. But sometimes it's good to go back to the beginning, so we've included an article that gives a general overview of the symptoms you should watch for if you're concerned that your child may have ADD/ADHD.
"Understanding your child's possible ADD/ADHD is imperative to getting along with him or her. The earlier ADD/ADHD is identified in your child, the more time you have to work with and understand your kid."
If your child has the symptoms outlined here, it doesn't necessarily mean that he or she has ADD/ADHD. But he or she should be evaluated by a professional who's qualified to determine whether your child one of these disorders, and to what degree.

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Labels: treatment, diagnosis, symtoms

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Simple Routines

ADHD symptoms are appearing in younger and younger aged children. It is estimated that between one and four percent of preschoolers may have ADHD. Since ADHD medication hasn't been formally approved for very young children, most parents turn to various forms of behavior therapy.
"New research suggests simple techniques that give more structure to a preschooler's day can offer a nondrug alternative to help the tiniest sufferers of ADHD."
Some tips include finding very structured preschools, praising good behavior, and using "transitional systems" like a timer or bell to help children prepare for activity transitions.

Labels: diagnosis, structure, symtoms

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Prevalence far Exceeds Treatment

Colleagues at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center who studies over 3,000 children found that the number of children who exhibits signs of ADHD far exceeds the number that are being treated.
"Based on standard diagnostic criteria, 8.7 percent of the children fulfilled criteria for ADHD in the year prior to the survey... Among children meeting criteria for ADHD, 39 percent had received some medication treatment and 32 percent were treated consistently with ADHD medications during the previous year."
Additionally, less than half of the children who met the ADHD criteria had been previously diagnosed. Read more at News-Medical.net.

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Labels: treatment, diagnosis, symtoms

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ADHD is a Lifelong Condition

ADHD used to be considered a condition that faded with the onset of puberty. But we now know that people who are accurately diagnosed with ADHD will likely have to learn to manage the condition for the rest of their lives.
"Even as children, they are accident-prone, and their parents get well-acquainted with the local emergency room. As they get older, rock climbing, bungee jumping, car racing, motorcycle riding, white-water rafting and related activities are among their favorite activities."
As people with ADHD grow up and grow older, they learn to be less disorganized and impulsive, but the ADHD symptoms rarely disappear altogether. Read more at SunHerald.com.

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Labels: adult_ADHD, diagnosis, symtoms

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Tonsil Removal Helps ADHD in Some Kids

Recent studies are beginning to find an unusual link between ADHD in young children and their tonsils. More specifically, of kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD and had their tonsils removed, about half see diminished ADHD symptoms; or the symptoms disappear altogether.
"In one recent study, at the University of Michigan, 22 children with ADHD and sleep-disordered breathing had adenotonsillectomies [their tonsils removed]. After one year, 11 no longer battled ADHD."
The link seems to be between the tonsils and adenoid, and a child's sleep patterns. The tonsils and adenoid can partially block a child's airway when he lies down. The result is disturbed sleep patterns, and in some children (especially young children) lack of sleep causes hyperactivity and acting out that often gets worse the longer the child is sleep deprived. Read more at AZFamily.com.

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Labels: treatment, sleep, symtoms

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Clinical Trial Supports Benefits of Omega-3

Many studies have been conducted about the affects of Omega-3 on children with ADHD. Many have found that ADHD symptoms decrease significantly when Omega-3 is introduced to a child's diet. However, some in the medical community have expressed doubts about the studies, claiming the research methods weren't adequate. The most recent study of Omega-3 may put some of those concerns to rest.
"The new study from the University of South Australia recruited 132 kids with ADHD aged 7 to 12 for the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind intervention study. One hundred and four children completed the trial."
The trial lasted for a total of 30 weeks and by the end, the behavior ratings given by parents showed significant improvement in 9 of the 14 scales of the Conner's Parent Rating Scales. Read more online.

Labels: diet, studies, symtoms

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