Preschool ADHD: The Picture Six Years Later

It is commonly believed inattentive and hyperactive preschool children will likely “grow out” of these problems later in life.  Good data to support this claim, however, are lacking.  The Preschool Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment Study  (PATS) was one of the most comprehensive studies to date on very young children with ADHD.  This recent report on the […]

Stimulants for Cognitive Enhancement – Social Justice or Cosmetic Psychopharmacology?

A thought provoking article in the NY times raises questions about the practice of giving stimulant medications to children who don’t meet criteria for ADHD but who nonetheless might benefit from their effects.   While the issue of stimulants being taken by competitive students trying to gain an edge in college has been well documented, this […]

ADHD Treatment Linked to Reduced Criminal Acts

by John Koutas, MD The beneficial short-term effects of ADHD medication on symptoms of ADHD and associated problems have been demonstrated in numerous studies.  Although ADHD symptoms often persist from childhood into adulthood, discontinuation of ADHD medication is common, especially in adolescence and early adulthood.  In the present study, the authors used Swedish population-based data […]

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Liquid Long-Acting Methylphenidate Preparation Now FDA Approved for ADHD

Beginning in January, physicians will have the new option of a liquid long-acting methylphenidate treatment that requires only once-daily dosing.  The medication, made by NextWave Pharmaceuticals (which will be sold to Pfizer), is called Quillivant XR and will be available at a 25mg/5ml (5mg/ml) concentration. The recommended starting dose for children 6 years old and […]

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Finger Length Ratios Related to Child Aggression and Attention Problems

A proxy for the level of exposure to prenatal androgens is the length of the second finger digit relative to the length of the forth finger (although not all studies support this link). Lower ratios are generally associated with more male typical behaviors. A new study published in the journal Development and Psychopathology examines a […]

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Trends in Antipsychotic Medication Use 1993-2009

A new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry reports on the increasing use of antipsychotic medications in youth.  The study analyzed nearly half a million medical visits over a 17 year span (1993 through 2009).  Results showed that the number of medical visits that included an antipsychotic medication per 100 persons rose in children […]

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Why “Just” is Such a Dangerous Word in Mental Health

How many times have you heard a psychiatric diagnosis questioned based on the possibility that the behaviors are JUST something else.  You know the drill: “C’mon doc, are you sure this ADHD thing isn’t a fancy label for kids who are JUST (insert lazy, bad, spoiled, etc.)?” Another common one is “Can’t a kid JUST be […]

Drug Holidays During ADHD Treatment

With school ending and summer vacation starting, many parents of children with ADHD wonder whether or not it makes sense to do a “drug holiday” until school resumes in the Fall.  The Child Mind Institute recently provided some commentary on this issue for both parents and clinicians.  The bottom line answer, as it is for […]

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Rising Rates of Autism and ADHD: What are We to Make of This?

Several recent studies have reported continued increases in the rates of both ADHD and autistic spectrum disorders. For Autism, a new study from the CDC found an overall rate of 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls).  This rate is much higher than the 1 in 155 reported in […]

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Questions and Answers – Clonidine

Question: So – does anyone use clonidine any more (in conjunction with stimulants for aggression or conduct problems)?  I’ve seen a number of my patients ending up on Intuniv – is that better?  Is it something I can prescribe?  I have 2-3 boys, middle school aged, on stimulants who fit the criteria I used to […]