Health and Fitness

ADHD Genes Found; Known To Play Roles In Neurodevelopment

Pediatric researchers have identified hundreds of gene variations that occur more frequently in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) than in children without ADHD. Many of those genes were already known to be important for learning, behavior, brain function and neurodevelopment, but had not been previously associated with ADHD. "Because the gene alterations we found are involved in the development of the nervous system, they may eventually guide researchers to better targets in designing early intervention for children with ADHD, " said lead author Josephine Elia, M.D., a psychiatrist and ADHD expert at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The study appeared online today in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. Unlike changes to single DNA bases, called SNPs or "snips, " the alterations examined in the current study are broader changes in structure. Called copy number variations (CNVs), they are missing or repeated stretches of DNA. CNVs have recently been found to play significant roles in many diseases, including autism and schizophrenia Everyone has CNVs in their DNA, but not all of the variations occur in locations that affect the function of a gene.

New Goal To Get More People With Learning Disabilities Into Work, UK

People with a learning disability will be helped into paid jobs to close the employment gap, Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Disabled People and Phil Hope, Minister for Care Services pledged today. The goal is set out in the new cross-government Learning Disability Employment Strategy, published today. The strategy sets out a vision to increase the number of real jobs for people with learning disabilities with appropriate support being provided. Care Services Minister Phil Hope said: "Two thirds of people with a learning disability would like to work. Huge progress has been made in getting physically disabled people into employment but more must be done to help people with a learning disability - we're missing a huge talent pool which employers can tap into. "This strategy lays out an ambitious but achievable goal - to close the employment gap, for people with learning disabilities. "The public sector has an important role to play to deliver the strategy, which is why it commits Government departments and the NHS to increasing the number of jobs they offer to people with learning disabilities.

VYVANSE CII Provided Significant Efficacy At 14 Hours After Administration In Adults With ADHD In An Adult Simulated Workplace Environment

Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPGY), the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, announced results from a Phase 3b study that found VYVANSE ® (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) CII demonstrated significant efficacy at 14 hours after administration during a simulated workplace environment study in adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD ). VYVANSE is the first approved stimulant for adults with ADHD to be evaluated in this setting, and these data were presented today at the 49th annual New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit meeting in Hollywood, FL. VYVANSE is currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of ADHD in children age 6 to 12 years and in adults with ADHD. "Long-acting medication may be important for adults with ADHD because ADHD symptoms, such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, may impact them at work, as well as in at least one other area of their life, " said Matthew Brams, MD, study author and psychiatrist in private practice with Bayou City Research, Ltd in Houston.

Consumer Reports To Parents: Think Twice About Free Prescription ADHD Drug Samples For Your Children

According to a new Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs report, parents should be skeptical if their doctors offer them free prescription drug samples, especially for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ). Free samples can hook consumers on high-priced brand name drugs that are not any better or safer than less expensive generic medicines. In addition, when doctors give out free samples, they often fail to give patients information inserts that highlight important safety and side effect information. Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs found that two generic ADHD drugs, dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate, are as safe and effective as well- known drugs like Adderall XR, Concerta or Strattera. By switching to one of those two generic drugs, consumers could save roughly $3, 000 a year off the retail price. "Parents want to do what is best for their children, " says Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. "But free samples and clever advertising convince them they should be shelling out thousands of dollars a year for brand name prescription drugs when equally effective generics are available.

Targacept Announces Decision By AstraZeneca To Advance AZD3480 Program In ADHD

Targacept, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRGT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of drugs known as NNR Therapeutics (TM), announced that AstraZeneca has informed Targacept that it plans to conduct further development of AZD3480 (TC-1734) for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) and has agreed to make a $10 million milestone payment to Targacept. AstraZeneca also confirmed plans to continue development of AZD1446 (TC-6683) for Alzheimer's disease. AZD1446, which is currently in Phase 1, was discovered in the parties' ongoing research collaboration. For Alzheimer's disease, development of AZD1446 has been prioritized by AstraZeneca over further development of AZD3480. AZD3480 and AZD1446 are selective alpha4beta2 NNR agonists. "We continue to be enthusiastic about neuronal nicotinic receptors as a promising new mechanism in the treatment of multiple cognitive disorders, " said Bob Holland, Vice President and Head of the Neuroscience Therapy Area, AstraZeneca.

The Role Of Genetic Factors In Adult ADHD

22nd Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), 12 - 16 September 2009, Istanbul, Turkey Dr. Barbara Franke, who is coordinating the International Multicentre persistent ADHD CollaboraTion (IMpACT) will present the latest findings in the identification of risk genes for ADHD. She will explain how the findings of IMpACT may help to define targets for the development of new and more effective treatments for ADHD, and also contribute to early disease prevention. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is one of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders of childhood. Worldwide, 3 - 12% of children are affected with the disorder, whose symptoms include age-inappropriate hyperactive and impulsive behaviour and/or a reduced ability to focus attention. ADHD has classically been viewed as a disorder of children, but the majority of patients carries ADHD symptoms, or even the full ADHD-diagnosis, into adulthood. This leads to social and professional problems and is associated with considerable costs.

Aiming For Early Diagnosis For ADHD And Parkinson's Disease

Eye movement tests developed by Queen's University researchers to aid in understanding childhood brain development and healthy aging may also help in the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and detecting the early onset of Parkinson's disease. The project has received close to $1 million in recent funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). "An important aspect of what makes us human is the ability to control our behaviour, " says Physiology professor Douglas Munoz, who leads the study. "Our project investigates how the brain provides this control by observing eye movements. Our experiments have been designed to combine high speed eye movement recording with modern brain imaging techniques to identify brain regions that control our behaviour." To test this, the team designed a simple yet ingenious experiment. Participants from a wide range of age groups were placed in a magnetic resonance imaging unit that measured their brain activity. While in the unit, they were shown a series of lights and asked to move their eyes toward or away from the lights.

New Research Shows: Neurofeedback Is An 'Evidence-Based' Treatment For ADHD

Neurofeedback - also called EEG Biofeedback - is a method used to train brain activity in order to normalize Brain function and treat psychiatric disorders. This treatment method has gained interest over the last 10 years, however the question whether this treatment should be regarded as an Evidence-Based treatment was unanswered until now. Tomorrow a study will be published in the scientific journal 'EEG and Clinical Neuroscience' demonstrating that Neurofeedback can indeed be regarded as an evidence-based treatment for Attention Deficit- / Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD ). Neurofeedback is a treatment where real-time feedback is provided for specific brain activity (most often EEG) in order to learn the brain to suppress or produce specific brain activity. This method was initially discovered for the treatment of Epilepsy and from 1976 investigated further for the treatment of ADHD. This technique has become more popular by clinicians worldwide, and is currently provided for the treatment of several disorders.

Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Have More Severe Behavioral Problems Than Those With ADHD

Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) have a high risk of psychiatric problems, particularly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ), conduct disorder, or both. Often children with FASD are initially diagnosed with ADHD. A new study is the first to examine a range of cognitive factors and social behavior in children with FASD and ADHD, finding that those with FASD have significantly weaker social cognition and facial emotion-processing abilities. Results will be published in the October issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View. "Behaviorally, FASD and ADHD can look quite similar, particularly with respect to problems with very limited attention, physical restlessness, and extreme impulsivity, " explained Rachel Greenbaum, a clinical psychologist with the Children's Mental Health Team at Surrey Place Centre in Toronto, who conducted the study as part of her doctoral dissertation. "However, social deficits in children with neurodevelopmental disorders may have different underlying mechanisms, " noted Piyadasa W.

New Research Evaluates The Impact Of Working Memory Training And Stimulant Medication On Kids With ADHD

A study to be published in the August 2009 edition of Applied Cognitive Psychology sheds new light on how Cogmed Working Memory Training and stimulant medication address working memory impairments in children with ADHD. Working memory, acknowledged as one of the core deficits in ADHD, represents the brain's ability to hold and process critical information related to the present moment. This study represents the latest findings from a team of independent UK researchers whose ongoing work examines the impact of Cogmed's software-based training program on individuals with disorders of memory and attention. Conducted at the University of York, the research was led by Joni Holmes, Ph.D., and Susan Gathercole, Ph.D. The study evaluated the effects of both working memory training and medication on 25 children with ADHD. Each child performed a battery of tests to assess different aspects of working memory twice before training, once when the children were taking their medication for ADHD and once when they were not.

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