The adverse effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on behavioral, cognitive, and social development can lead to a range of symptoms referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Attention and cognition problems seen in individuals with a history of prenatal alcohol exposure often resemble those linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ). An assessment of these disorders has found that while children with FASD may meet the behavioral criteria for ADHD, their attention difficulties differ in subtle but important respects. Results will be published in the April 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View. "ADHD is clinically diagnosed primarily on the basis of observations by the parent, teacher, and clinician regarding the degree to which a child exhibits specific behavioral symptoms, such as difficulty sustaining attention to and completing tasks or play activities, failure to listen when spoken to directly, impulsivity, talking out of turn, or difficulty sitting still, " explained Joseph Jacobson, professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine and the study's corresponding author.
Children who are mixed-handed, or ambidextrous, are more likely to have mental health, language and scholastic problems in childhood than right- or left-handed children, according to a new study published today in the journal Pediatrics. The researchers behind the study, from Imperial College London and other European institutions, suggest that their findings may help teachers and health professionals to identify children who are particularly at risk of developing certain problems. Around one in every 100 people is mixed-handed. The study looked at nearly 8, 000 children, 87 of whom were mixed-handed, and found that mixed-handed 7 and 8-year old children were twice as likely as their right-handed peers to have difficulties with language and to perform poorly in school. When they reached 15 or 16, mixed-handed adolescents were also at twice the risk of having symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ). They were also likely to have more severe symptoms of ADHD than their right-handed counterparts.
ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is among the costliest of behavioral disorders. Its combination of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity leads to accidental injuries, school failure, substance abuse, antisocial behavior and more. Yet despite nearly a century of study, the disorder's roots remain mysterious. Much of modern ADHD research has focused on heritability of the condition, and indeed evidence suggests that genes may account for as much as 70 percent of hyperactivity and inattention in children. But that leaves 30 percent unexplained, so recently the focus has shifted to the environment. What is it that triggers an underlying susceptibility and changes it into a full-blown disorder? New research suggests that the culprit may be an old villain-lead-and what's more it explains the causal pathway from exposure to disability. Lead is a neurotoxin. This has been known for a long time, and in fact government regulation drastically reduced environmental lead a generation ago.
Researchers At Freie Universitat Berlin And Queensland Brain Institute In Brisbane See Possibilities For Further Advances In Treatment Of ADHD
An Australian-German team of scientists at Freie Universitat and the Queensland Brain Institute in Brisbane, Australia, has found a way to measure the attention span of a fly. The findings could lead to further advances in the understanding of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) and autism in humans. Associate Professor Bruno van Swinderen at the Queensland Brain Institute in Brisbane and Dr. BjÃ rn Brembs at Freie UniversitÃ t combined genetic techniques with brain recordings and behavioral testing. They found different mutations that either increase or decrease a fly's attention span. Using the genetic fruit fly model, Drosophila melanogaster, van Swinderen found that a fly's level of distractibility is finely tuned to allow "normal" behavioral responses to a constantly changing environment. He said, "We now have the two ends of an attention spectrum in our model. We have a fly memory mutant that is hard to distract and another fly memory mutant that's too distractible.
Can't study. Can't focus. Can't remember what I was supposed to do next. I've got to do this. No, I've got to do that. What was I doing? In college, students with attention deficit/hyperactive disorder face an array of challenges-long days and nights of classes, studying and activities, all of which require increasing amounts of concentration. Dr. Mark Thomas stands ready to help, both at The University of Alabama's Student Health Services and through his research into treating AD/HD on campuses across the country. That treatment includes prescribing drugs that allow students to focus over long periods of time and training in better study habits. "Medications are, far and away, the most effective treatment for ADHD, " says Thomas, a physician in the Student Health Center/University Medical Center, part of UA's College of Community Health Sciences. "They're not the total treatment, but they're the component of treatment that makes the most difference. We do try to advocate to students with AD/HD that the medication is just one part of the overall treatment approach.
Scientists at the Queensland Brain Institute have found a way to measure the attention span of a fly, which could lead to further advances in the understanding of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) and autism in humans. The researchers combined genetic techniques with brain recordings and found different mutations that either increase or decrease a fly's attention span. Interestingly, all of these mutations produce learning and memory problems. Using the genetic fruit fly model Drosophila melanogaster, lead researcher Associate Professor Bruno van Swinderen found that a fly's level of distractibility is finely tuned to allow "normal" behavioural responses to a constantly changing environment. "We now have the two ends of an attention spectrum in our model. We have a fly memory mutant that is hard to distract and another fly memory mutant that's too distractible. They both have the same result - they don't learn well but for completely different reasons, not unlike human patients afflicted with autism and ADHD, " Dr van Swinderen said.
KemPharm, Inc. today announced positive results from a Phase 1 clinical trial of KP106, its novel prodrug for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ). KP106, a new chemical entity (NCE) composed of the active pharmaceutical compound d-amphetamine and a ligand, was created using KemPharm's proprietary Ligand Activated Therapy (LAT) prodrug approach. The pharmacokinetic (PK) profile of d-amphetamine released from KP106 is modified versus the profile observed with Vyvanse ® , a currently marketed amphetamine-based stimulant for ADHD. These results suggest that KP106 may have an improved side effect profile and a lower propensity for drug abuse. Most significantly, the data reported from the trial proved that KP106 is cleaved and d-amphetamine is released as predicted in humans; therefore establishing proof of concept for KP106. "The results of our first trial of KP106 reinforce our belief that this will be the next-generation ADHD treatment. The human PK data are highly consistent with our expectations and predict that KP106 will deliver the efficacy of current amphetamine-based ADHD treatments with the additional benefit of reduced potential for abuse.
Two brain areas fail to connect when children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder attempt a task that measures attention, according to researchers at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain and M.I.N.D. Institute. "This is the first time that we have direct evidence that this connectivity is missing in ADHD, " said Ali Mazaheri, postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Mind and Brain. Mazaheri and his colleagues made the discovery by analyzing the brain activity in children with ADHD. The paper appears in the current online issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry. The researchers measured electrical rhythms from the brains of volunteers, especially the alpha rhythm. When part of the brain is emitting alpha rhythms, it shows that it is disengaged from the rest of the brain and not receiving or processing information optimally, Mazaheri said. In the experiments, children with diagnosed ADHD and normal children were given a simple attention test while their brain waves were measured.
The Center for Attention Deficit and Learning Disorders announces today that it has added Hemoencephalography (HEG) to its list of treatment options for patients with ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, mood disorders and other conditions. HEG utilizes infrared light to measure blood flow and oxygenation levels in the brain during a Neurofeedback session. "The use of HEG in our Neurofeedback training sessions allows us to better target the areas of the brain that are not functioning at normal levels, " said Dr. Sanford J. Silverman, Ph.D., founder of the Center. "The goal of Neurofeedback is to exercise the brain in a specific way, and create new connections between neurons that carry information to other areas of the brain. In patients with ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities and other disorders, we typically see less activity in certain areas of the brain. Our program trains the brain to reactivate these areas. It's like taking your brain to the gym." According to Dr. Silverman, adding HEG to the Center's training program was part of his ongoing effort to offer the most comprehensive treatment plan available to train the brain in a variety of modalities.
A new thought-operated computer system which can reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD ) in children will be rolled out across the UK this month. Professor Karen Pine at the University of Hertfordshire's School of Psychology and assistant Farjana Nasrin investigated the effects of EEG (Electroencephalography) biofeedback, a learning strategy that detects brain waves, on ten children with an attention deficit from Hertfordshire schools. They used a system called Play Attention, supplied by not-for-profit community interest company, Games for Life, three times a week for twelve weeks. The system involves the child playing a fun educational computer game whilst wearing a helmet similar to a bicycle helmet. The helmet picks up their brain activity in the form of EEG waves related to attention. As long as the child concentrates they control the games, but as soon as their attention waivers the game stops. The researchers found at the end of the study that the children's impulsive behaviour was reduced, compared to a control group who had not used the system.