The number of children aged 4 to 17 years being prescribed ADHD medications in the USA has been steadily rising since 1996, researchers from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) have reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The authors wrote that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which often persists right into adulthood, is one of the most common disorders among children. An individual with ADHD finds it hard to maintain concentration and pay attention and may have difficulties in controlling behavior and over-activity (hyperactivity). Stimulants, such as methylphenidate ( Ritalin ) or amphetamines ( Adderall ) are commonly used to treat ADHD. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as some other behavioral approaches have been shown to have some beneficial effects.
The prescribed use of stimulant medications to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) rose slowly but steadily from 1996 to 2008, according to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The study was published online ahead of prin in the American Journal of Psychiatry. ADHD is one of the most common childhood disorders, and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity). The condition is frequently treated with stimulants such as methylphenidate (e.g., Ritalin ), amphetamines (e.g., Adderall ) or other types of medications. Behavioral therapies can also be effective.
A study of more than 400 children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has found a link between the children's routine play settings and the severity of their symptoms, researchers report. Those who regularly play in outdoor settings with lots of green (grass and trees, for example) have milder ADHD symptoms than those who play indoors or in built outdoor environments, the researchers found. The association holds even when the researchers controlled for income and other variables. The study appears in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9.5 percent of children aged 4-17 had been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2007. Symptoms include severe difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity and poor impulse control.
A new study from McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School and the University of Colorado concludes that genetic research drawing correlations between specific genes, environmental variables and the combined impact they have on the development of some psychiatric illnesses needs additional scrutiny and replication before being accepted as true. McLean Hospital investigator Laramie Duncan, PhD, and co-author Matthew Keller, PhD, at the University of Colorado conducted a comprehensive review of the first decade of research looking at how specific genes and environmental variables interact to influence psychiatric disorders including depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ), alcohol abuse and suicidal behaviors. The study, "A Critical Review of the First 10 Years of Candidate Gene-by-Environment Interaction Research in Psychiatry, " is now available online ahead of print publication in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Injury kills more 11-year-olds in the United States than all other causes combined, and a new study from University of Alabama at Birmingham reveals ADHD almost doubles the risk of serious injury among this age group. "We found that children with more ADHD symptoms, those in the 90th percentile, are nearly twice as likely to get hurt as those with symptoms in the 10th percentile, " says David Schwebel, Ph.D., director of the UAB Youth Safety Laboratory and lead author. Boys, he said, are nearly twice as likely to be injured as girls. The research, published in the September/October Academic Pediatrics, studied 4, 745 fifth-graders from Houston, Los Angeles and Birmingham. Serious injury is defined as one that requires medical attention; more than half of the injuries included broken bones.