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(Health) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 7:11 am    Post subject: (Health) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Reply with quote

Science News Online
Week of July 8, 2006; Vol. 170, No. 2

Feminine Side of ADHD: Attention disorder has lasting impact on girls

Bruce Bower

Although hyperactive behavior often abates during the teen years for girls with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, many struggle with serious academic, emotional, and social problems related to that condition, a 5-year study finds.

Compared with teenage girls who had no psychiatric disorder, those with ADHD had difficulties that included delinquency, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, poor mathematics and reading achievement, rejection by peers, and lack of planning skills, reports a team led by psychologist Stephen P. Hinshaw of the University of California, Berkeley.

"ADHD in girls is likely to yield continuing problems in adolescence, even though hyperactive symptoms may recede," Hinshaw says.

The new findings appear in the June Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

In 1997, Hinshaw's team organized the first of three yearly summer camps for 6- to 12-year-old girls, including individuals already diagnosed with ADHD. The project focused on 140 girls with ADHD and 88 girls with no psychiatric disorder, all of whom completed one of the 5-week programs. Staff monitored each girl's daily behavior and administered a battery of tests without knowing who had an ADHD diagnosis.

Girls with ADHD showed marked problems in academic subjects, in peer relationships, and in planning and time management. Girls' ADHD symptoms involved disorganized and unfocused behavior more than the disruptive, impulsive acts often observed in boys with this condition.

The latest findings, collected from those same girls 5 years later, come from interviews and questionnaires administered at home to 126 girls with ADHD and 81 girls with no disorder. The researchers also obtained reports on each girl's behavior from her parents and teachers.

Of girls diagnosed with ADHD as 6-to-12-year-olds, 39, or nearly a third, no longer displayed the condition as teens. The 87 adolescent girls who continued to deal with ADHD grappled with learning problems, psychiatric symptoms, and social difficulties far beyond any observed in teen girls never diagnosed with ADHD, the researchers say. Only about half of the girls who originally displayed symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness did so as teenagers.

The new data mirror earlier reports that hyperactivity in boys with ADHD often recedes during adolescence as problems with inattention grow worse, remarks psychiatrist Benedetto Vitiello of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md. "ADHD is a developmental condition that changes over time in similar ways in boys and girls," Vitiello says.

In the new study, no specific form of treatment was associated with shedding ADHD between childhood and adolescence.

Treatment effects are difficult to tease out in samples such as this, Hinshaw says. Girls with severe, hard-to-treat ADHD symptoms tend to seek treatment, as do those with mild symptoms who are highly motivated to get help or whose parents are treatment savvy.

As many as 7 million children and teenagers in the United States have been diagnosed at some time in their lives with ADHD. The condition occurs about three times as often in boys as in girls.

To subscribe to Science News (print), go to subServices.asp

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Hinshaw, S.P., et al. In press. Prospective follow-up of girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder into adolescence: Evidence for continuing cross-domain impairment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.


Stephen P. Hinshaw
Department of Psychology
Tolman Hall #1650
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-1650

Benedetto Vitiello
Child and Adolescent Treatment and Preventive Interventions Research Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard
Room 7147, MSC 9633
Bethesda, MD 20892-9633
From Science News, Vol. 170, No. 2, July 8, 2006, p. 21.
Copyright (c) 2006 Science Service. All rights reserved.


Questions to explore further this topic:

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Videos and articles on ADHD

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

How Can ADHD Be Treated?

Myths about ADHD

What are the impacts of ADHD?

How does one deal with ADHD behavior?

What are learning disabilities?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:00 am    Post subject: Paying Attention to Not Paying Attention Reply with quote

Paying Attention to Not Paying Attention

By Malcolm Ritter
Associated Press
posted: 19 March 2007
05:51 pm ET

NEW YORK (AP) — Researchers are studying a pervasive psychological phenomenon in which oh man we've got to finish doing the taxes this weekend ... C'mon, admit it. Your train of thought has derailed like that many times. It's just mind-wandering. We all do it, and surprisingly often, whether we're struggling to avoid it or not.

Mainstream psychology hasn't paid much attention to this common mental habit. But a spate of new studies is chipping away at its mysteries and scientists say the topic is beginning to gain visibility.

Someday, such research may turn up ways to help students keep their focus on textbooks and lectures, and drivers to keep their minds on the road. It may reveal ways to reap payoffs from the habit.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:02 am    Post subject: Study Reveals Why We Get Distracted So Easily Reply with quote

Study Reveals Why We Get Distracted So Easily

By Heather Whipps
Special to LiveScience
posted: 29 March 2007
02:01 pm ET

Distractions turn on different part of our brains and do so more quickly than the daily grind of paying attention, neuroscientists have discovered.

Separate regions are responsible for the different ways our brain focuses on the world around us, according to the study by MIT researchers, and our brain waves even pulsate at different frequencies depending on the type of outside stimulus.

"Neural activity goes up and down in a regular periodic way, with everything vibrating together," said study co-leader and neuroscientist Earl K. Miller. "It is faster for automatic stimulus and slower for things we choose to pay attention to."

The findings, detailed in the March 30 issue of the journal Science, could help scientists develop treatments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). About 4.4 million youth ages 4-17 in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:08 am    Post subject: Improvement following ADHD treatment sustained in most child Reply with quote

NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
20 July 2007

Improvement following ADHD treatment sustained in most children

But linked problems persist into adolescence -- Major follow-up study
Most children treated in a variety of ways for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) showed sustained improvement after three years in a major follow-up study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Yet increased risk for behavioral problems, including delinquency and substance use, remained higher than normal.

The study followed-up children who had participated in the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA).

Initial advantages of medication management alone or in combination with behavioral treatment over purely behavioral or routine community care waned in the years after 14 months of controlled treatment ended. However, Peter Jensen, M.D., Columbia University, and colleagues emphasized that “it would be incorrect to conclude from these results that treatment makes no difference or is not worth pursuing.”

Their report is among four on the outcome of the MTA study published in the August, 2007 Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).

“We were struck by the remarkable improvement in symptoms and functioning across all treatment groups,” explained Jensen.

After three years, 45-71 percent of the youth in the original treatment groups were taking medication. However, continuing medication treatment was no longer associated with better outcomes by the third year.

“Our results suggest that medication can make a long-term difference for some children if it’s continued with optimal intensity, and not started or added too late in a child’s clinical course,” added Jensen.

For the followup study, a multi-site research team evaluated, at ages 10-13, 485 children from the original MTA study, the first major randomized trial comparing different treatments for ADHD, published in l999. That study found that intensive medication management alone or in combination with behavioral therapy produced better outcomes than just behavioral therapy or usual community care.

Ratings from families and teachers favored the combination treatment, which allowed for somewhat lower medication doses. Also, the careful management of medication by MTA physicians produced better outcomes than medication provided through usual community care sources.

After the 14 months of assigned treatments ended, families were free to choose from treatments available in their communities.

To understand why the initial advantage of medication wore off, the researchers examined medication use patterns that emerged after formal treatment in the study ended. They found that children who had been assigned to intensive behavioral treatment were more likely to begin taking medication, while those who had been taking medication were more likely to stop. For example, among children originally in the behavioral treatment group, the incidence of high medication use increased from 14 to 45 percent.

In a secondary analysis of the data that searched for possible explanations for the findings, in the same issue of the JAACAP, researchers led by James Swanson, Ph.D., University of California at Irvine, reported finding substantial individual variability in responses to medication. They identified three groups of children with different patterns of response. One group, about a third of the children, showed a gradual, moderate improvement; a second group, about half of the children, showed larger initial improvement, which was sustained through the third year; a third group, about 14 percent of the children, responded well initially, but then deteriorated as symptoms returned during the second and third years. Swanson and colleagues suggested “trial withdrawals” for some children to determine if they still need to take medications.

Another report by Swanson and colleagues in the same issue of the JAACAP confirmed an earlier finding from the MTA study that taking medication slowed growth. A group of 65 children with ADHD who had never taken medication grew somewhat larger – about three-fourths of an inch and 6 pounds more, on average – than a group of 88 peers who stayed on medication over the three years. Growth rates normalized for the children on medication by the third year, but they had not made up for the earlier slowing in growth.

In a fourth article, Brooke Molina, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues reported that, despite treatment, the children with ADHD showed significantly higher-than-normal rates of delinquency (27.1 percent vs. 7.4 percent) and substance use (17.4 percent vs. 7.8 percent) after three years. Earlier evidence of lower substance use rates among children who had received intensive behavioral therapy had lessened by the third year. “These findings underscore the point that ADHD treatment for one year does not prevent serious problems from emerging later,” noted Molina.

The follow-up of the MTA sample will continue as the participating children go through adolescence and enter adulthood.

The following researchers participated in the studies:

Three-year Follow-up of the NIMH MTA Study. Peter S. Jensen, L. Eugene Arnold, James M. Swanson, Benedetto Vitiello, Howard B. Abikoff, Laurence L. Greenhill, Lily Hechtman, Stephen P. Hinshaw, William E. Pelham, Karen C. Wells, C. Keith Conners, Glen R. Elliott, Jeffery N. Epstein, Betsy Hoza, John S. March, Brooke S.G. Molina, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Joanne B. Severe, Timothy Wigal, Robert D. Gibbons, Kwan Hur

Secondary Evaluations of MTA 36-Month Outcomes: Propensity Score and Growth Mixture Model Analyses. James M. Swanson, Stephen P. Hinshaw, L. Eugene Arnold, Robert D. Gibbons, Sue Marcus, Kwan Hur, Peter S. Jensen, Benedetto Vitiello, Howard B. Abikoff, Laurence L. Greenhill, Lily Hechtman, William E. Pelham, Karen C. Wells, C. Keith Conners, John S. March, Glen R. Elliott, Jeffery N. Epstein, Kimberly Hoagwood, Betsy Hoza, Brooke S.G. Molina, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Joanne B. Severe, Timothy Wigal, and the MTA Cooperative Group

Effects of Stimulant Medication on Growth Rates Across 3 Years in the MTA Follow-up. James M. Swanson, Glen R. Elliott, Laurence L. Greenhill, Timothy Wigal, L. Eugene Arnold, Benedetto Vitiello, Lily Hechtman, Jeffery Epstein, William E. Pelham, Howard B. Abikoff, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Brooke S.G. Molina, Stephen P. Hinshaw, Karen C.Wells, Betsy Hoza, Peter S. Jensen, Robert D. Gibbons, Kwan Hur, Annamarie Stehli, Mark Davies, John S. March, C. Keith Conners, Mark Caron, Nora D. Volkow, for the MTA Collaborative Group

Delinquent Behavior and Emerging Substance Use in the MTA at 36-Months: Prevalence, Course, and Treatment Effects. Brooke S. G. Molina, Kate Flory, Stephen P. Hinshaw, Andrew R. Greiner, L. Eugene Arnold, James M. Swanson, Lily Hechtman, Peter S. Jensen, Benedetto Vitiello, Betsy Hoza, William E. Pelham, Glen R. Elliott, Karen C. Wells, Howard B. Abikoff, Robert D. Gibbons, Sue Marcus, C. Keith Conners, Jeffery N. Epstein, Laurence L. Greenhill, John S. March, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Joanne B. Severe, Timothy Wigal, and the MTA Cooperative Group. The Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the Justice Department, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also participated in funding this study.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) mission is to reduce the burden of mental and behavioral disorders through research on mind, brain, and behavior. More information is available at the NIMH website,
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) - The Nation's Medical Research Agency - includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:14 pm    Post subject: 9% of U.S. Kids Have ADHD Reply with quote

9% of U.S. Kids Have ADHD
By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

posted: 04 September 2007 09:33 am ET

(HealthDay News) -- Nearly 9 percent of American children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but only 32 percent of them are getting the medication they need.

That's the sobering conclusion of a landmark new study, the first of its kind based on what doctors consider the "gold standard" of diagnostic criteria -- the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition.

"There is a perception that ADHD is overdiagnosed and overtreated," said lead researcher Dr. Tanya E. Froehlich, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center. "But our study shows that for those who meet the criteria for ADHD, the opposite problem -- underdiagnosis and undertreatment -- seems to be occurring."

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:54 pm    Post subject: Getting Fathers Involved in Children's ADHD Treatment Progra Reply with quote

Getting Fathers Involved in Children's ADHD Treatment Programs
Sports element in COACHES program improves dads' participation, relationships with children

Release Date


University at Buffalo

Buffalo, N.Y. -- While working with parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at the University at Buffalo, Gregory A. Fabiano noticed something was missing: the fathers.

Fabiano, an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education, made the discovery while still a graduate assistant at the UB Center for Children and Families, which runs a summer treatment program that has helped more than 2,500 children with behavioral, emotional and learning problems. The program uses sports as a way to teach children peer-relationship skills, Fabiano said.

"I knew a lot of the dads in that program, because they would show up early to watch their kids on the soccer fields or the softball fields and we'd chat it up when we were out there," recalled Fabiano, who teaches in the counseling, school and educational psychology department.

"But then they would take their child and go home in the one car, and then the mom would drive up in another car and go to the parenting group," he added. "I thought 'There is something wrong with this picture.'"

To find out why fathers of children with ADHD weren't participating in treatment programs, or why some initially participate, but then drop out soon after, Fabiano turned to research literature on the subject and found…nothing.

"I was surprised to find there were no studies on dads with kids with ADHD and so I thought this would be a good area in which we could try to do something. My dissertation was trying out a parenting program specifically for fathers, using sports as a kind of hook to get the dads interested and the kids too," Fabiano said.

His new research program, designed for children 6-12 years of age, includes two formats: a control group of fathers and children who receive traditional, evidence-based treatments for ADHD families and another group that receives the same, plus a sports element, in this case, soccer games. This second group is dubbed COACHES, or Coaching Our Acting-Out Children: Heightening Essential Skills.

Traditional treatments include teaching parents strategies to deal with the disruptive behaviors that are hallmarks of the disorder. Adding the COACHES element, Fabiano hoped, would result in increased participation for the fathers and improved relationships with their children.

"We thought for a chronic disorder like ADHD where these fathers aren't going to be dealing with these problems for a couple weeks or a couple months, but for the child's entire life, the treatment has to be well-liked, palatable and engaging," Fabiano explained.

The results, he said, have been remarkable.

"We had huge differences on things like drop-out rates for both the dad and the child. The dads in the COACHES group were more likely to try out the homework, which was a pretty big accomplishment," Fabiano said. "They also rated the treatment as better."

Another surprise was the lack of tension between fathers and players, and between the fathers themselves, when it came to controversies on the playing field.

"We were a little nervous about the dads, because you read the newspaper and you see fathers getting into fights with the referee. But we have not had that. The dads seem to be genuinely enjoying the activities, perhaps because the children have struggled in other settings and are successful in this one," Fabiano said.

Also, the children themselves seemed to be tension-free while playing, a sharp contrast to their previous experiences with sports, he said.

"Families with children with ADHD tell us lots of horror stories about their children failing at team sports because they weren't paying attention when the ball is coming toward them or they have a low frustration threshold, so they stomped off the field if they made an error," Fabiano said.

The best result by far was the sense of community that the program offered the fathers.

"In groups, the dads said things like 'I didn't realize other dads had kids like this,' so there is sense of isolation among these parents. Maybe putting fathers together who have children challenged in sports takes things in a positive direction as opposed to a negative direction that makes a father defensive because he sees his child struggling when other kids aren't," Fabiano said.

At each meeting, while the children practice soccer skills, the fathers meet to learn parenting skills, such as "how to pay attention to the child's good behaviors, give clear commands, use time outs well," Fabiano said.

Now recruiting families for another session of COACHES funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, Fabiano said the program will stick with soccer for now because "it spreads the kids out so the dads can get right out on the field and monitor their kids very well. There's also lots of action, unlike baseball, where you might be standing by yourself for 20 minutes and not have anything come your way."

Success on the field means a greater chance of success at home and school.

"Soccer engages the kids, who we want to be behaving well when the parents are trying out new skills. We don't want parents trying out a skill during a child's most difficult-to-manage behavior," he said. "If they succeed, they are more likely to try it out at home, when the kids are doing homework or are supposed to clean their rooms."

For more information about the COACHES and other treatment programs available to families of children with ADHD, contact 829-2244 ext. 124, or visit the Center for Children and Families Web site at

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.
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