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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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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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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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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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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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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ADHD Medications and School Performance

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article casting doubt about the ability of ADHD medications to improve school grades and achievement.  Actually, casting doubt might be a little soft as the title was “ADHD Drugs Don’t Boost Grades.”  In the article, the author runs through a number of studies (some not published) that find […]

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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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