Musical Training Linked to Enhanced Brain Maturation

Patients who come to see child psychiatrists like Dr. Jim Hudziak at the Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families may leave with a prescription, but it often is not for a medication.  As part of a model he developed called The Vermont Family Based Approach (VFBA), there is increased emphasis on incorporating wellness and […]

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ADHD as a Brain Maturation Delay

Despite a wealth of evidence, the diagnosis of ADHD remains controversial, particularly outside of the medical community.  Some research has suggested that ADHD might be better conceptualized as a delay in brain maturation rather than a “disease state” per se.   However, more research is needed to support this hypothesis. The brain imaging literature has increasingly […]

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How Well are ADHD Medications (or any Drug) Tested Prior to FDA Approval?

ADHD medications are some of the most common drugs given to children and adolescents. Most clinicians prescribe them within approved FDA indications.  Moreover, the existence of an FDA approval often provides some comfort to the prescribing clinician that the medication has received rigorous testing for efficacy and safety.  But has it?  A recent study in […]

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Trauma or ADHD? You May Not Need to Decide

It is easy to get stuck into territorial disputes, and one of the most common ones I hear in relation to child mental health is the question of whether a child with a trauma history should be thought of as having “real” ADHD or whether it is better to conceptualize the difficulties as being more […]

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Vermont Youth Prescribed Fewer Antipsychotic Medications

Newly analyzed data from the Department of Vermont Health Access is revealing important trends regarding psychiatric medication use in Vermont children and adolescents.  The data examines Medicaid insured youth who took at least one medication in various classes (antidepressants, ADHD medications, antipsychotics, etc.) over the course of the year, comparing rates between 2009, 2011, and […]

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Study Finds Link Between In-Utero Acetaminophen Use and Child ADHD

A recent study in JAMA Pediatrics caused quite a bit of a stir in finding a possible link between acetaminophen taken during pregnancy and later childhood ADHD.   Acetaminophen has been one of the few medications that has been thought to be pretty safe to use during pregnancy and thus has been the “go to” […]

ADHD Diagnosis Rising Nationally, but not in Vermont

The diagnosis of ADHD  has been getting a lot of media attention lately over concerns about possible overdiagnosis and overtreatment.  A recent study from the CDC’s National Survey of Children’s Health now provides important national statistics regarding the prevalence of ADHD, as reported by parents, and the trends over time.  Reports from this survey previously […]

Does Atomoxetine Actually Work? Results from a Recent Meta-Analysis

Atomoxetine was FDA approved for ADHD in 2002 and touted as a true alternative to stimulants.  While it remains popular today, many clinicians report less than stellar results in treating the core symptoms of ADHD.  This recent review and meta-analysis by Schwartz and Correll examines all randomized controlled studies of atomoxetine versus placebo. While meta-analyses […]

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Vermont 34th in Rate of Stimulant Treatment

The popular press has been abuzz with articles on ADHD, with many suggesting that the diagnosis is much overused and that medication treatment is basically a way that affluent parents give their children an academic advantage.   In the midst of all this controversy comes a recent and interesting study in the journal Psychiatric Methods, […]

Parent Training Rated as First Line Treatment for Preschool ADHD

Recent practice guideline from the American Academy of Pediatrics now include a recommendation for assessment and intervention for ADHD before they begin elementary school, but many clinicians are unsure about exactly what treatment to recommend.  A recent paper sponsored by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and published in the the journal JAMA […]