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How Ritalin Works in the Brain

A new study dispels a common belief about how stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall work in the brain.

The drugs are usually prescribed to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but are sometimes used by otherwise healthy people to boost their thinking.

Many assume these drugs improve focus, but researchers found that they actually get the brain to e...

Could Cellphone, Microwave Radiation During Pregnancy Raise ADHD Risk?

Pregnant women exposed to high levels of radiation from cellphones, microwaves and Wi-Fi may be increasing their baby's risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new study suggests.

Called MF (magnetic fields) nonionizing radiation, these waves are in the air all around people. They also come from cellphone towers, high-tension electrical wires, electric appliances,...

Report Reveals Link Between Poverty, ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other learning disabilities are more common in families locked into a cycle of poverty, a new U.S. government report suggests.

Nearly 19% of children living in families below the federal poverty level had a diagnosis of ADHD or a learning disability, compared with about 13% of families at or above the poverty level, the new report s...

Severe Deprivation in Childhood Has Lasting Impact on Brain Size

Severe deprivation in childhood can lead to a smaller-than-normal brain, lower IQ and attention deficits in early adulthood, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed MRI brain scans of 67 young adults, ages 23 to 28, who were institutionalized as children in Romania during the Communist regime. They had spent between 3 and 41 months in institutions, where they were often malnourishe...

Could Brain Scans Spot Children's Mood, Attention Problems Early?

Children's mental health issues are hard to predict until they're causing problems, but researchers may have found a way to use brain scans to spot which kids are at risk for depression, anxiety and attention problems.

"We're facing a tremendous epidemic with teen anxiety and depression, and we wanted to find an early marker that predicted the development of anxiety, depression and a...

ADHD in Childhood May Mean Financial Struggles Later

Children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) tend to lag behind their peers long after they leave school, earning less as adults and living with their parents longer, a new study finds.

This is often true even if the hallmark symptoms of the disorder -- including inability to focus, hyperactivity, fidgetiness and impulsivity -- appear to have abated.

...

Young Adults With ADHD More Vulnerable to Nicotine

Young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk for nicotine addiction, new research shows.

For the study, a Duke University team used a nasal spray to determine how nicotine affected 136 nonsmoking volunteers, aged 18 to 25.

About half had been diagnosed with ADHD. The others had no diagnosed mental health conditions.

In the...

Could Fish Oil Be an ADHD Remedy for Some Kids?

Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and low blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids might benefit from supplements, new research suggests.

Fish oil supplements appeared to boost attention in these kids, British researchers report.

The effect seemed limited to youngsters who weren't already getting enough omega-3 in their diets, however.

Prior ...

ADHD Rates Doubled Among U.S. Adults Over 10 Years

If the latest statistics are any indication, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is no longer an issue for children only.

Over a 10-year period, ADHD rates more than doubled among American adults, new research shows.

However, the rate among children remains much higher than in adults.

"While we can't pinpoint the source of the increase in ADHD rates in ...

Acetaminophen in Pregnancy Might Raise Children's Odds of ADHD, Autism

Two-thirds of American women take acetaminophen for the aches and pains of pregnancy, but the medication might not be as benign as thought.

New research shows that women who took acetaminophen, best known as Tylenol, at the end of their pregnancies were much more likely to have child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism.

After testing blood from t...

Raising a Child With ADHD Can Test a Parent

Parenting can be tough business, but when your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) the task can often be overwhelming.

Over time, that stress can give rise to a certain amount of friction between the parent and child, one expert notes.

Dara Babinski, a child psychologist with Penn State Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., has spent considerable time delving...

Pregnancy Much More Likely for Teen Girls With ADHD

Girls with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are six times more likely to wind up as teenage moms, a new Swedish study reports.

The impulsiveness and disorganization associated with ADHD appear to make girls with the disorder more likely to become pregnant, said lead researcher Charlotte Skoglund, a clinical neuroscientist with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

...

Pediatric Group Issues Updated ADHD Guidelines

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is in the news a lot, and now newer research has prompted a leading pediatricians' group to update its guidelines for diagnosing and treating the disorder for the first time since 2011.

Dr. Mark Wolraich, lead author of the guidelines, noted that there weren't any dramatic differences between these and previous guidelines. But, he said,...

More U.S. Kids Being Diagnosed With Autism, ADHD

More U.S. children today have developmental disabilities like autism and ADHD than a decade ago, though improved recognition may be a major reason, according to a government study.

Researchers found that between 2009 and 2017, the percentage of U.S. children and teens with a developmental disability rose from just over 16% to nearly 18%. Increases in ADHD (attention deficit h...

Youngest in Classroom Diagnosed More Often With ADHD, Other Problems

If a child can't sit still or blurts out random thoughts in kindergarten or first grade, does the child have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Or is the youngster just not mature enough to sit still yet?

Both are possibilities, and whichever might be true, new research suggests that the youngest kids in class are being diagnosed with ADHD, intellectual disability and ev...

Anemia During Pregnancy Tied to Higher Odds for Autism, ADHD in Kids

Women who suffer from anemia early in pregnancy are at risk for having a child with autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and intellectual disabilities, a study by Swedish researchers suggests.

The study couldn't prove cause and effect, but "a diagnosis of anemia earlier in pregnancy might represent a more severe and long-lasting nutrition deficiency for the fetus," ...

Why ADHD Might Raise the Risk of Early Death

Swedish researchers think they have honed in on why people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to die prematurely.

Accidental injuries, suicide and substance abuse all play a part, and psychiatric problems fuel these factors, a new study from the Karolinska Institute suggests.

To arrive at that conclusion, the researchers examined data from n...

Less 'Screen Time,' More Sleep = Better-Behaved Kids

School kids who get to bed early rather than staring at their devices at night may be better equipped to control their behavior, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that 8- to 11-year-olds who got adequate sleep and had limits on "screen time" were less likely than their peers to report problems with impulsive behavior.

Impulsivity is generally described as a tendency to...

ADHD Meds May Alter Boys' Brains

One of the most popular and effective medications used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to alter the brains of boys with the disorder, a new study shows.

While the researchers couldn't say for certain whether the changes were good or bad, one ADHD expert thinks the findings suggest the changes help young males with the disorder.

For the study,...

Don't Sweat It: Hyperhydrosis Can Be Treated

There's nothing more embarrassing than sweating profusely in public places, yet one expert says many people suffer through the humiliation for decades.

At least 15 million people in the U.S. have excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Yet, half of people with the condition delay the many effective treatments available for 10 years o...

Athletes With ADHD May Need More Time to Recover From Concussion: Study

College athletes with attention- deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be slower to recover from a concussion and may have more severe symptoms.

That's the preliminary conclusion of a study of 120 U.S. college athletes who suffered concussions. Forty had ADHD; 80 did not. Of those with ADHD, half were taking stimulant medications for the disorder.

All were evaluated befo...

Plastics Chemicals Meant to Replace BPA May Not Be Any Safer for Kids

Manufacturers have been phasing out the plastics chemical bisphenol A because of evidence it might harm human health. Now a new study raises questions about the chemicals that have replaced it.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, has long been used in plastics. It was once in a wide range of products -- including the lining of food cans, food storage containers, water bottles and even the coating on...

ADHD Meds Help Keep Kids Out of Trouble

Some parents may be reluctant to give their kids powerful stimulants to treat the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but a new review shows the medications bring significant benefits.

In addition to helping kids calm down and concentrate in school, the review also found that the drugs help children avoid a lot of long-term negative consequences associated wit...

Many Youngsters Aren't Ready for Kindergarten

The start of school is just around the corner, but a leading pediatricians' group warns that many kids entering kindergarten lack the skills they need to succeed in class.

To help parents get their young ones ready to start school, the American Academy of Pediatrics has just released a report on what helps boost success as well as what factors may hinder kids' school experience.

...

Prenatal Opioid Exposure Could Bring Long-Term Harm to Kids

Children exposed to opioids in the womb may have heightened risks of long-term mental and physical health issues, a new study suggests.

The findings, published online June 28 in JAMA Network Open, dovetail with an opioid epidemic that has taken a widespread toll in the United States -- pregnant women and newborns included.

Opioid use has been rising among pregnant wom...

Leonardo da Vinci May Have Had ADHD

Leonardo da Vinci's legendary struggles to complete projects suggest he may have had attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a British researcher says.

That's the latest in a series of attempts to understand the genius and work habits of an inventor and artist often considered the most creative person ever known.

The fascination with da Vinci dovetails with the 500t...

Crash Risk Much Higher for Teen Drivers With ADHD

Parents often fret when their teen drivers get behind the wheel, but parents of teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may now have added worries.

A new study found that teens with ADHD are significantly more likely to get into a car crash than their peers.

During the first month a teen with ADHD is driving, the risk of an auto accident is 62% higher...

New Treatment Guideline Focuses on Tourette Syndrome

Tourette syndrome can be a nerve-wracking condition, but there are effective treatments for sufferers, a new American Academy of Neurology guideline says.

Tourette is a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in childhood and causes involuntary vocalizations and repetitive movements known as tics.

Accurate diagnosis, ongoing medical assessment of tic severity, and treatments...

Americans' Prescription Med Use Is Declining

Bucking a longstanding upward trend, new data shows that the percentage of Americans taking any prescription drug has fallen slightly over the past decade.

Still, nearly half -- 45.8% -- of Americans said they took at least one prescription medicine over the past month, according to a national survey conducted in 2015-2016.

That's a slight dip from the 48.3% of Amer...

Many Kids With Chronic Illness Are Still Happy: Study

Many children deal with chronic health issues -- but it doesn't mean they can't enjoy life as much as other kids, a new study finds.

Researchers found that among more than 1,200 5- to 9-year-olds, those with some of the most common childhood ills were no less happy with their lives than other kids.

They said the findings highlight an important point: Kids aren't "defined" by...

Does Diet Affect a Child's ADHD?

Parents of kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may change their child's diet in the hope it might ease the disorder's symptoms.

But a new study suggests it might not be worth the effort.

The researchers found that while kids with ADHD are more likely to have unhealthy diets, their poor diets weren't at the root of their ADHD symptoms.

"In con...

Good Sleep a Must for Teens With ADHD

Teenagers tend to shortchange themselves on sleep, but when they have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), that can really hamper their thinking skills, researchers say.

The new study included teen volunteers with ADHD who spent a week in which their sleep was restricted to 6.5 hours per night. That was followed by a week in which they were allowed to sleep up to 9.5 hours...

New Link Between Mom-to-Be's Diet, Child's ADHD

Eating for two takes on added significance with a new study suggesting that a mother's diet during pregnancy could affect her child's risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Spanish researchers found a link between levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in umbilical cord blood and ADHD at age 7.

The fatty acids play an important role in the structure and ...

Risk of Psychosis Varies With ADHD Meds, But Still Small: Study

Stimulant drugs used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) carry a small risk of a psychotic episode, but it appears to vary depending on which medication young people use, a new study finds.

Soon after receiving a stimulant prescription, about one in 660 teens and young adults developed psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and hearing voices, the researchers...

Can Some Children Outgrow Autism?

Some toddlers thought to have mild autism "outgrow" the diagnosis, but most continue to struggle with language and behavior, new research suggests.

The study is not the first to document cases of autism "recovery." Doctors have known for decades that a small number of young children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) seem to outgrow it.

But what does that mean ...

ADHD Meds Safe With Epilepsy, Study Finds

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often occurs in people with epilepsy. Now, new research provides reassurance that taking ADHD medications won't raise their risk of seizures.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from thousands of epilepsy patients in Sweden. Taking ADHD medications such as Ritalin (methylphenidate), was associated with a 27 percent reduction in seiz...

Time Change Tougher for Kids With Mental Health Issues

When the clocks spring forward an hour this Sunday, it will throw everyone off.

But the time change will affect children with mental health issues the most, experts warn.

"Sleep is a more complicated issue for patients with a mental health disorder," said Dr. Robert Kowatch. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and sleep medicine specialist at Nationwide Children's Hosp...

Half of U.S. Kids With a Mental Health Disorder Don't Get Treatment

If you're worried that your child may suffer from a mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you have plenty of company.

About one in every six American kids has at least one mental health disorder, new research shows. But the study delivered even more troubling news -- only half of those children are getting treatment.

Poor Sleep Plagues Many Kids With Autism

Young children with autism are more than twice as likely to have sleep problems than typical kids or those with other developmental delays, a new study reports.

Several factors profoundly affect the sleep of 2- to 5-year-olds with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), said lead researcher Dr. Ann Reynolds. They are more likely to resist their bedtime, have trouble getting to sleep, suffer f...

Animal Study Suggests Ritalin Won't Harm the Heart

Ritalin, a widely used stimulant drug to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), likely poses no risk of heart damage in children, new research in monkeys suggests.

The findings are "very reassuring," said the study's principal investigator, Dr. Steven Lipshultz.

Each year, more than 1.8 million children in the United States take drugs to treat ADHD. Concerns...

Use of Common Epilepsy Drug in Pregnancy Tied to ADHD in Kids

When a woman with epilepsy uses the anti-seizure drug valproate during a pregnancy, the odds that her baby will go on to develop ADHD rise, a new study suggests.

The Danish report can't prove that valproate causes attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in these cases, only that there's an association.

But in the new study, fetal exposure to valproate was tied to 48...

Autism, ADHD in One Child Tied to Raised Risk in Siblings

Autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are so closely linked that they not only run in families, but each increases the risk of the other in future siblings, a new study finds.

Younger siblings of children with autism have a 30-fold increased relative risk they'll be diagnosed with autism themselves. They're also nearly four times as likely to be diagnosed with ADH...

Infections in the Young May Be Tied to Risk for Mental Illness: Study

Could an infection make your child or teen prone to mental health issues?

New research from Denmark suggests it's possible.

"The findings linking infections with mental disorders in the developing brain do add more knowledge to this growing field, showing that there exists an intimate connection between the body and the brain," said lead researcher Dr. Ole Kohler-Forsberg, f...

Could Young Age at School Start Lead to False Diagnosis of ADHD?

Does being the youngest in the class up your child's odds of being erroneously diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

It might. New research suggests these kids appear to be about 30 percent more likely to receive a diagnosis of ADHD. However, it probably doesn't change a child's actual risk of developing ADHD.

So if your child was an August ...

Newly Mapped Genes May Hold Keys to ADHD

Millions of American kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have a genetic vulnerability to the disease, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 55,000 individuals and identified 12 gene regions linked with ADHD. These regions probably affect the central nervous system, the study authors said. The discovery might help scientists develop n...

Parents, Don't Be So Quick to Jump to an ADHD Diagnosis

A growing number of U.S. children are being diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

But parents shouldn't be too quick to get their child checked for ADHD, a child expert says.

"The key to determining if your child has the disorder is the consistent demonstration of at least six specific traits for a minimum of six months, and in two settings such as at home...

ADHD Tied to Raised Risk of Early Parkinson's

People with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be more than twice as likely to develop an early onset form of Parkinson's, new research warns.

What's more, among "those ADHD patients who had a record of being treated with amphetamine-like drugs -- especially Ritalin [methylphenidate] -- the risk dramatically increased, to between eight- to nine-fold," said senior stu...

ADHD Rates Rising Sharply in U.S. Kids

The number of ADHD diagnoses among children has risen dramatically in the past two decades, going from 6 percent to 10 percent, a new report shows.

However, it's still an open question whether all of these diagnoses represent a true increase in ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) among kids, said senior researcher Dr. Wei Bao. He's an assistant professor of epidemiology wi...

Which Drugs Work Best for ADHD? Large Study Zeroes in on Two

Researchers have identified what they describe as the safest, most effective short-term drug treatments for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

It's methylphenidate for kids and amphetamines for adults, according to a new study.

Those conclusions are drawn from an analysis of more than 133 clinical trials that included more than 14,000 children and teens, as wel...

Can Smartphones Trigger ADHD Symptoms in Teens?

Teenagers who constantly use their smartphones may have a heightened risk of developing symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, a new study suggests.

The findings offer a look at a question many parents may have: Can those ubiquitous digital devices -- and their constant pull on kids' attention -- cause mental or behavioral issues?

The answer, the study authors...

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