Anxiety Risk with Stimulants Overstated

There is a widely held concern that psychostimulants when used to treat ADHD can induce or exacerbate anxiety.  This belief has led many clinicians to hesitate about using stimulants in patients who already suffer from high level of anxiety, prompting some prescribers to try, as first-line agents, nonstimulant medications that supposedly have less risk but […]

Autism Diagnosis Made Later For Children with ADHD

Autism and ADHD can share many common features, and both disorders are being diagnosed more frequently compared to previous decades.  Making matters more complicated is the accumulating evidence that the two disorders may share some underlying genetics and neurobiology.  While autism is optimally diagnosed when children are around two years of age, many are not […]

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Exercise Linked to Reduced ADHD Behaviors

To many, ADHD treatment means using medications.  Yet while medications can play an important role, a number of other types of interventions have also been shown to be effective.  One area that has received some investigation is the role of physical activity and exercise in alleviating symptoms.  Parents and clinicians alike have naturally been drawn […]

Energy Drinks, Sugary Beverages, and ADHD Behaviors

As the Vermont legislature debates the possibility of a tax on sweetened beverages, a recent study from the journal Academic Pediatrics adds a new wrinkle to the discussion.  This paper looks not only at traditional sugary beverages like soda but also energy drinks, which are becoming increasingly popular among youth and contain high amounts of […]

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Effects of ADHD Medications on the Brain

A common and legitimate concern that is often voiced by parents when considering medication treatment for their child’s ADHD symptoms relates to the effects of these agents on the developing brain.  Raising some alarm have been findings from some animal studies that have suggested detrimental long-term changes; however, these studies often use very high doses […]

Fewer Emergency Department Visits When Children Taking ADHD Medication

Children who meet criteria for ADHD are known to be prone to all types of injuries ranging from traffic accidents to colliding with objects at home.  While most of the studies on ADHD treatment concentrate on symptom reduction and school achievement, the small literature on accidents has been inconclusive.  A recent paper published in the […]

Postconcussive Symptoms and Cortical Thickness in Hockey Players

There has been a lot of concern lately about concussions suffered all levels of sports competition. Some research exists that repetitive blows to the head can result in accelerated thinning of the cortex: a marker of possible compromised cytoarchitectonic integrity. This recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics by the University of Vermont’s Dr. […]

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What Happened to Concerta?

There is quite a bit of confusion out there about the supply and availability of one of the staple ADHD medications, Concerta, which is the brand name of a long acting preparation of methylphenidate that uses a novel delivery system called OROS (Osmotic [Controlled] Release Oral [Delivery] System) to deliver the medication gradually throughout the […]

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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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