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 […]

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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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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No Link Between Assisted Reproduction Techniques and Autism Related Genetic Events

(Editor’s note:  I’m very pleased to be able to present this guest post by one of our new child psychiatry fellows, Sean Ackerman, who recently published this important study – DR). These days autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and assisted reproduction are both medical issues that frequently wind up in the media and are becoming ever […]

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Patches of Brain Disorganization Identified in Autism

Characterizing the precise pathology in autistic spectrum disorders, let alone other psychiatric disorders, has remained challenging. Postmortem studies of actual brain tissue are rare but have the potential to provide important clues regarding specific abnormalities in neurodevelopment that are not detectable through other means such as neuroimaging. This major study published in the New England […]

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Autism Linked to Maternal Antibodies Reacting to Specific Antigens

While there is quite strong support to view autism as a neurodevelopmental disorder, the precise mechanisms that underlie this spectrum remain elusive.  A research group from the University of California at Davis previously found evidence for autism specific antibodies that were able to recognize fetal proteins.  They now turn to the specific targets or antigens […]

Increaed Brain Connectivity Found in Childhood Autism

While there have been many findings in the literature demonstrating that the brains of those with autism differ from non-autistic individuals, the results often do not agree.  This study used neuroimaging techniques to examine the degree to which the level of brain connectivity was a distinguishing feature of autism. The study compared 20 rigorously diagnosed […]

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FDA approves EEG Diagnostic Aid for ADHD

One of the holy grails in mental health assessment is the search for some kind of objective test that can accurately diagnose psychiatric disorders.  While the literature is full of genetic, imaging, neuropsychological, and other factors that show statistically significant links with many psychiatric conditions, none has proven robust enough for clinical use. However, the […]

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Same Genes, Different Disorders

The phenomenon of comorbidity is extremely common in psychiatry.  While the term is used to denote the occurrence of two or more independent psychiatric disorders in the same individual, there is increasing evidence to suggest that different types of psychopathology share common etiologic factors.  This molecular genetic study, recently published in The Lancet, was done […]

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