Neurofeedback For ADHD

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By Dr. Robert Reynolds

familywalkADHD is a hard to understand condition that many people face throughout their lives. Sometimes it comes on early, in childhood, sometimes it does not manifest until later in life. With the continually growing focus on healthy alternatives to prescription drugs, many of which include dangerous side-effects. Now we look to the ADHD medications and ask, “Is there a way to treat ADHD without the negative side-effects of prescription drugs?” Some medical professionals think so. Let’s take a look at one of most studied theories in the treatment of ADHD and the science behind it to find out if Neurofeedback can help those with ADHD combat its’ most negative side-effects. .

The Science

Neurofeedback works by sending electrical waves from an EEG machine to your brain. When the results are analyzed, scientists have been able to identify the variance of brain wave patterns recorded by the machine. There are several brain wave frequencies that can are observed, based on your state of mental arousal. This specific treatment works on the theory that with brain stimulation, ADHD symptoms tend to decline or become non-existent for a period of time. However, the biggest question surrounding this method is whether or not these treatments will have long lasting effects. Let’s look below at some of the studies and see what the results have been.

The Studies

Neurofeedback is all about training the brain to focus and usually takes place in an office, with a therapist present and ready to assist if necessary. The therapist gently guides your mind in activities and observes how well your brain stays trained on one specific task. Inability to focus is a side-effect of ADHD that is nearly universal in nature and with the study of Neurofeedback, doctors and researchers are hoping to reduce or remove this side-effect altogether. Neurofeedback works using a laptop, connected to electrodes, placed on your scalp. These electrodes measure the rhythmic patterns of the brain, as mentioned before, and can help therapists know when you are in a focused and attentive state vs a wondering state. It also helps therapists and researchers know what to do to stimulate the same activity repeatedly, using a rewards system.

Many believe that EBF [EEG biofeedback] meets the AACAP criteria of ‘Clinical Guidelines’ for treatment of ADHD; however, some believe there needs to be more conclusive evidence that this treatment works before it is an official treatment for ADHD.

The Results

This method of treating ADHD has been found to work exceptionally well. In fact; in one of the latest studies, second and fourth grade students were tested simultaneously to see if their recognition, memory, and attentiveness improved using this method under the supervision of a technician. This study ran for four months, after which it was determined that immediate brain stimulation was increased and the levels generally stayed higher than children who did not receive the full therapy or any neurofeedback therapy at all.

Even though these studies were found to be effective; researchers point out that they have been found to be even more effective when done in a clinical environment, instead of a classroom.
How Many Sessions?

Neurofeedback usually requires between 35-40 sessions to achieve your desired results. This many sessions are required to have a lasting effect.

Whether or not you choose Neurofeedback as treatment for you or your child’s ADHD symptoms, Reynolds Clinic has consistent success with neurofeedback to improve the focus and attention of those who suffer from ADHD for extended periods of time.

– Dr. Reynolds PHD became involved with EEG Neurofeedback training in 1978. He was a Research Assistant at UCLA in the laboratory of its originator, Dr. Barry Sterman. The Reynolds Clinic is a unique ADHD clinic based in Central Connecticut; dedicated to helping students, families, schools, and individuals cope with ADHD symptoms. As a medication free clinic, we utilize neurofeedback as our primary treatment.

Submitted by Daniel Godin, Community Coordinator | Reynolds Clinic LLC

Diagnosing ADHD In Children: When Is the Right Time?

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An interesting article courtesy of PRWeb, written by ADHD specialist Dr. Ashley Gorman. What are your thoughts, please share in the comments section below…..

groupkidswbgAccording to ADHD specialist Dr. Ashley Gorman, the keys to an accurate diagnosis are the extent of the symptoms and their duration. Are these behaviors interfering with your child’s ability to function at home and at school and how long have they been present?

Is your child unable to sit still at the dinner table? Daydreaming in class? Having trouble following instructions? Interrupting others and blurting out inappropriate comments? These are all normal behaviors in children. They might also be signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). How do you know? If you have the nagging suspicion that it might be ADHD, when is the right time to have your child tested? “All children exhibit the behaviors that characterize ADHD some of the time,” says ADHD specialist Dr. Ashley Gorman of Morris Psychological Group. “The keys to an accurate diagnosis are the extent of the symptoms and their duration. Are these behaviors interfering with your child’s ability to function at home and at school? How long have they been present?”

ADHD, one of the most common childhood brain disorders, is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, which are also hallmarks of normal childhood behavior. Even when the behavior is severe, the diagnosis may be missed. Not all children exhibit all three behaviors and children who are primarily inattentive, for example, are sometimes not flagged for ADHD evaluation because they tend to sit quietly and not be disruptive. The prototypical “off the wall” behavior is more easily identified but the child may be thought to be lacking discipline or simply be “high-spirited.” Conversely, normal childhood behaviors – getting distracted, acting impulsively, or having trouble concentrating – can be mistaken for symptoms of ADHD.

“Signs of ADHD often show up between the ages of three and six,” says Dr. Gorman, “but diagnosis is difficult at that age. Children mature at different rates and delays in language development, for example, may cause frustration that looks like ADHD. Also, other medical and psychological conditions, learning disabilities or major life changes might cause behaviors that mimic ADHD. By around age seven, a qualified professional can generally confirm or rule out a diagnosis.” While there is no single test that definitely identifies ADHD, a clinical psychologist or other specialist will examine a combination of factors to formulate a diagnosis – a complete medical history and exam, interviews or questionnaires for parents, teachers and others who interact regularly with the child, and possibly an ADHD rating scale that helps collect and evaluate information.

Tips for parents: Signs and symptoms

The child who is inattentive…seems not to be paying attention even when spoken to directly, makes careless mistakes, loses things, has difficulty completing a task, is easily distracted, has trouble following instructions and staying organized, is forgetful.

The child who is hyperactive…runs around at inappropriate times, fidgets and squirms when forced to sit, seems to be in constant motion, talks nonstop, has trouble with quiet tasks, has a volatile temper.

The child who is impulsive…interrupts, blurts out answers without waiting to be called on, can’t wait his or her turn, acts without thinking, intrudes on others’ activities, overreacts emotionally.

Tips for parents: When to seek help

“All children will exhibit some of these behaviors once in a while or for short periods,” says Dr. Gorman. “And while most parents don’t want to be alarmist or subject their child to unnecessary examination and testing, it’s important to recognize that if the child does have ADHD, early intervention can forestall problems as he or she matures and is exposed to more complex social and educational situations.” Dr. Gorman suggests the following guidelines for parents considering seeking help:

* Are the symptoms consistent across all settings – home, school and play? If the behavior is exhibited in only one environment, chances are something other than ADHD is causing it.

* How long have the symptoms been present? A persistent pattern of behavior for six months or more is generally a criterion for a positive diagnosis.

* How severe are the symptoms? Are they negatively affecting the child at home, at play or at school? Is he or she falling behind academically? Isolated socially? The impact on a child’s life is the most important consideration in seeking an evaluation.

“There is no cure for ADHD,” says Dr. Gorman. “but it is treatable. The family pediatrician can usually recommend a qualified mental health professional who can perform a complete evaluation and recommend a course of treatment. Often a combination of medication and behavioral management is the most effective way to reduce symptoms and improve functioning. Some children grow out of ADHD and for some, it continues into adulthood. But at any age appropriate treatment and support can enable those with ADHD to reach their full potential.”

Ashley Gorman, PhD., A.B.P.P., specializes in comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations of a wide range of cognitive problems.

Morris Psychological Group, P.A. offers a wide range of therapy and evaluation services to adults, children and adolescents. http://www.morrispsych.com

Snoring And ADHD In Children

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By Murray Grossan, M.D.

vectorboysleepSnoring in children has been a concern for years. Snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep disorder, where the breathing passage is blocked and less air/oxygen gets to the body. Recent studies point to snoring being involved in ADHD.

Occasional snoring due to a cold is not a problem. Of concern is the constant loud snoring, the child that gasps for breath in sleep, or the periods when the breathing actually stops in sleep.

Common causes of snoring include:

* Allergy
* Sinus infection
* Enlarged adenoids
* Enlarged tonsils
* Acid reflux

The snoring child who doesn’t get good sleep often shows:

* Irritability
* Unpleasant breath
* Poor attention
* School difficulty
* Poor growth
* Inattention

I hear this scenario all the time: “Before she snored, she was sweet, laughing, with nice breath. Now she doesn’t smile, she is cranky, inattentive, tired and sleepy. She is not thriving. Teachers complain of her poor work.”

Dr Judith Owens, head of the Children’s National Medical Center Sleep Clinic reports in the Journal of Pediatrics that loud snoring in toddlers could signal serious underlying health problems like hyper activity and attention deficit disorders.

Recent studies have pointed to behavior problems, inattention, and crankiness in children as part of the ADDH syndrome. In one study, after tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy done for snoring and mouth breathing, 50% of the children who were diagnosed ADHD before surgery, no longer had symptoms. Here the diagnosis of ADHD was made by careful behavioral, cognitive and psychiatric tests. Thus, a child with loud snoring that exhibits ADHD behavior may be simply sleep deprived and may recover when the sleep problem is corrected.

Some children with snoring show poor growth. This can occur because the nose and throat are obstructed so that eating is tasteless and uncomfortable.

Some children with snoring show poor growth. This can occur because the nose and throat are obstructed so that eating is tasteless and uncomfortable. Recall when your nose is plugged; the savory hamburger has no real taste because you can’t smell it with a plugged up nose. Worse, continued snoring can change the physiology and make snoring worse. For example, obstructive snoring can develop into acid reflux.

Note that when a child snores from age 4 to 5, that is about 20% of her entire life span; the important part in growing and learning. Constant mouth breathing can effect the jaw/face development and may necessitate the need for orthodonture.

For the snoring child, therapy consists of reducing nasal blockage and reducing blockage from enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Typically:

Judy S. age 6 was seen because of snoring, and poor appetite. Mother described her being cranky and falling asleep in class. On examination she showed sinus infection and enlarged adenoids. She was placed on Hydro Pulse™ Sinus irrigation and Clear.ease lozenges. Her nasal blockage cleared and her adenoids shrank.

William age five was seen for snoring and occasional wheezing. He showed nasal blockage and enlarged adenoids. Nasal tissue showed allergy. He was positive to dust and pollen on skin tests; he was given allergy desensitization. His allergy cleared and so did his snoring. His behavior problems also cleared.

I can assure you that the happiest and most satisfied persons I have had in my practice are the parents of the children who no longer snore. As parents, they appreciate the sleeping quietly through the night, the pleasant breath, and the change from cranky and irritable to regular happy child.

Often parents are told not to worry about the child who snores, since they will outgrow this. I feel it is best to clear that condition in order to give the child the best health.

– Dr Murray Grossan is a board certified Otolaryngologist who practices in Los Angeles.

More information at www.grossaninstitute.com and my book, Free Yourself from Sinus and Allergy Problems –Permanently.

Disclaimer: Hydro Med Inc www.hydromedonline.com is my company that markets my sinus products.

Link Between Childhood Obesity And ADHD

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exerciseFrom Your Health Journal…..”I love the Science Daily web site, and always promote their educational articles. Recently, I found a story there entitled Is There a Link Between Childhood Obesity and ADHD, Learning Disabilities? We know about all the downfalls pertaining to childhood obesity – heart disease, cancer, weak joints, type 2 diabetes, low self esteem, being bullied, and a host of other illnesses. Now, a new study points to a a possible link between high-fat diets and such childhood brain-based conditions as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and memory-dependent learning disabilities. The study discovered that a high-fat diet rapidly affected dopamine metabolism in the brains of juvenile mice, triggering anxious behaviors and learning deficiencies. Interestingly, when methylphenidate (Ritalin) was administered, the learning and memory problems went away. Switching mice from a high-fat to a low-fat diet restored memory in one week, while mice that continued on the high-fat diet, impaired object recognition remained three weeks after the onset of symptoms. Although the mice grow out of these anxious behaviors and learning deficiencies, the study suggests that a high-fat diet could trigger anxiety and memory disorders in a child who is genetically or environmentally susceptible to them. This is very interesting research, but more work is needed to see the validity of the study. Please visit the Science Daily web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

A University of Illinois study has established a possible link between high-fat diets and such childhood brain-based conditions as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and memory-dependent learning disabilities.

“We found that a high-fat diet rapidly affected dopamine metabolism in the brains of juvenile mice, triggering anxious behaviors and learning deficiencies. Interestingly, when methylphenidate (Ritalin) was administered, the learning and memory problems went away,” said Gregory Freund, a professor in the U of I College of Medicine and a member of the university’s Division of Nutritional Sciences.

The research was published in Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Freund said that altered dopamine signaling in the brain is common to both ADHD and the overweight or obese state. “And an increase in the number of dopamine metabolites is associated with anxiety behaviors in children,” he added.

Intrigued by the recent upsurge in both child obesity and adverse childhood psychological conditions, including impulsivity, depression, and ADHD, Freund’s team examined the short-term effects of a high-fat (60% calories from fat) versus a low-fat (10% calories from fat) diet on the behavior of two groups of four-week-old mice. A typical Western diet contains from 35 to 45 percent fat, he said.

“After only one week of the high-fat diet, even before we were able to see any weight gain, the behavior of the mice in the first group began to change,” he said.

Evidence of anxiety included increased burrowing and wheel running as well a reluctance to explore open spaces. The mice also developed learning and memory deficits, including decreased ability to negotiate a maze and impaired object recognition.

Switching mice from a high-fat to a low-fat diet restored memory in one week, he noted.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Is ADHD Overdiagnosed?

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From Your Health Journal…..”This is an excellent article, as it really discusses in great length ADHD in children. The main focus is to find a middle ground for these types of children, so they can lead a normal life. The article questions whether these kids a medicated too early, as well as diagnosed too early. Some are even questioning if this is a disorder. To me, I feel that many need to recognize there are many different levels of ADHD. Not every child who has ADHD is going to be the ‘textbook’ case. Just as there are many different levels of peanut allergies (mild to severe – all with different implications), the same can apply to ADHD. Each case is different, and deserves the utmost attention and respect to help each individual child.”

From the article…..

Is ADHD over-diagnosed? Are we medicating children too quickly and frequently? Or are we simply doing a better job of recognizing and treating a pervasive disorder that afflicts almost one in ten children, and nearly as many adults?

That seems to be the current debate. Is there a middle ground between these two views, one in which parents and educators can find some consensus? I think there is.

Critics question whether ADHD should be seen as a disorder or just a natural human variation. They cite the limitations of a framework for diagnosis based on subjective impressions of symptoms rather than biological criteria used for many other medical problems.

Otherwise normal children are singled out because they don’t fit into regimented school environments, these critics say, and they worry about the side-effects of the stimulant medications used to treat ADHD and the cozy alliance between the psychiatric profession and the pharmaceutical industry.

Critics of the status quo also argue that ADHD is a social construction based on societal needs to enforce compliance and passivity in school-age children.

The diagnostic manual of the psychiatric profession relies on a list of symptoms without reference to underlying causal factors. If you have the symptoms, you have ADHD. The focus on medication as a primary treatment depends mainly on a body of research that some argue is far from robust. The long-term effects and unintended consequences of such medications are still open questions.

To read the full article…..Click here