Category Archives: AD/HD Research

Scientists Find Learning Is Not ‘Hard-Wired’

Article in Education Week, June 6, 2012

by Sarah D Sparks

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Neuroscience exploded into the education conversation more than 20 years ago, in step with the evolution of personal computers and the rise of the Internet, and policymakers hoped medical discoveries could likewise help doctors and teachers understand the “hard wiring” of the brain. . . .

That conception of how the brain works, exacerbated by the difficulty in translating research from lab to classroom, spawned a generation of neuro-myths and snake-oil pitches—from programs to improve cross-hemisphere brain communication to teaching practices aimed at “auditory” or “visual” learners.

“What we find is people really do change their brain functions in response to experience,” said Kurt W. Fischer, the director of Harvard University’s Mind, Brain, and Education Program. “It’s just amazing how flexible the brain is. That plasticity has been a huge surprise to a whole lot of people.”

In contrast to the popular conception of the brain as a computer hard-wired with programs that run different types of tasks, said Dr. Jay N. Giedd, a neuroscientist at the National Institute of Mental Health, brain activity has turned out to operate more like a languageRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

In 1997, the cognitive scientist and philosopher John T. Bruer of the James S. McDonnell Foundation, in St. Louis, declared in a landmark essayRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader in the American Educational Research Association’s journalEducational Researcher that directly connecting neuroscience to classroom instruction was “a bridge too far.” He urged collaboration among cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, and educators.

ADHD and Adoption – What is the Latest?

What are the latest studies on ADHD and Adoption?  Here are a few web sites that caught my short-termed attention as an adult with ADHD.

ADHD Genetic Research –  There are mulitple references to scientific studies on genetics and ADHD, such as  ”Molecular genetics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder” and “Genetic influences on the stability of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms from early to middle childhood.”

 BioInfoBank Library:, Many studies in countries other than US on genetics, such as “Genetics and child psychiatry: I Advances in quantitative and molecular genetics”

ADD 101 :, multiple references.

 Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research (CIBSR) at the Stanford University School of Medicine 

Pychiatric Times, August 2005:   The Molecular Genetics of ADHD: A View From the IMAGE Project.


Do Stimulants Protect Against Psychiatric Disorders in Youth With ADHD? A 10-Year Follow-up Study

CONTRIBUTORS: Joseph Biederman, MD,a Michael C. Monuteaux, ScD,a Thomas Spencer, MD,a Timothy E. Wilens, MD,a and Stephen V. Faraone, PhDb c

WHAT’S KNOWN ON THIS SUBJECT: Treatment with stimulants has been shown to improve the core symptoms of ADHD and remain the mainstay of its treatment. However, a recent study found that stimulant therapy protected youth with ADHD against the subsequent development of MD.
WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS: This study provides novel evidence that stimulant treatment may be protective against the subsequent development of adverse psychopathological and educational outcomes. These findings could assist clinicians in treatment planning and forecasting prognosis for youth with ADHD.

OBJECTIVE: Little is known about the effect of stimulant treatment in youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on the subsequent development of comorbid psychiatric disorders. We tested the association between stimulant treatment and the subsequent development of psychiatric comorbidity in a longitudinal sample of patients
with ADHD.
METHODS: We conducted a case-control, 10-year prospective follow-up study into young-adult years of youth with ADHD. At baseline, we assessed consecutively referred white male children with (n140) and without (n  120) ADHD, aged 6 to 18 years. At the 10-year follow-up, 112 (80%) and 105 (88%) of the children in the ADHD and control groups, respectively, were reassessed (mean age: 22 years). We examined the association between stimulant treatment in childhood and adolescence and subsequent comorbid disorders and grade retention by using proportional hazards survival models.
RESULTS: Of the 112 participants with ADHD, 82 (73%) were previously treated with stimulants. Participants with ADHD who were treated with stimulants were significantly less likely to subsequently develop depressive and anxiety disorders and disruptive behavior and less likely to repeat a grade compared with participants with ADHD who were not treated.
CONCLUSIONS: We found evidence that stimulant treatment decreases the risk for subsequent comorbid psychiatric disorders and academic failure in youth with ADHD. Pediatrics 2009;124:71–78

Methylphenidate and Amphetamine Do Not Induce Cytogenetic Damage in Lymphocytes of Children With ADHD

A new study from Duke University Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health found that two popular medications for treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — methylphenidate (Ritalin LA and Concerta) and amphetamine (Adderall and Adderall XR) — do not lead to an increased risk for developing cancer.

The study counters a previous one that reported an increase in genetic damage in children taking methylphenidate. The genetic damage is associated with an increased risk of cancer.

The new study used a larger sample of children, and did not find increased genetic abnormalities.

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Adopted Children at Risk for ADHD, Other Mental Disorders

Publisher: Psych Central News

May 6, 2008

American teens who were adopted as babies are at greater risk for emotional and behavioral problems than those who were not adopted, according to new research.

The researchers are quick to note that most adoptees in the study were psychologically healthy and doing well, but that adoption doubles the risk in children for two mental disorders — attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder.

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