Monthly Archives: November 2008

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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ADHD tied to more severe nicotine dependence

Monday, November 10, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Young people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be particularly vulnerable to serious nicotine addiction if they start smoking, a new study suggests.Past research has shown that kids with ADHD are more likely than their peers without the disorder to start smoking. These latest findings suggest that once they do take up the habit, they also tend to become more severely nicotine-dependent, researchers report in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Brain region linked to obsessive disorder risk

Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:34pm EDT

By Michael Kahn

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have located an area in the brain that fails to “kick-in” for people with obsessive compulsive disorder and those at risk of developing the condition.

The discovery could allow researchers to diagnose the debilitating disorder much earlier and better track how drug treatments are working, they reported in the journal Science.

“The main finding is that in people with obsessive compulsive disorder and their unaffected relatives, part of their orbitofrontal cortex didn’t kick in on line as it should have,” said Samuel Chamberlain, a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge, who led the study.

“This is the first study to identify underactive brains in people at risk of OCD.”

OCD is a psychiatric anxiety disorder that tends to run in families and is marked by recurrent and persistent thoughts and impulses, such as uncontrollable and repeated hand washing.

It affects about 2 to 3 percent of people worldwide at some point in life.

The study included 14 people with OCD and 12 immediate relatives without the disorder who were asked to complete a task requiring them to be flexible in making certain decisions — something people with the condition have difficulty doing.

Brain scans measuring activity in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex showed that this region involved in decision-making and behavior did not activate completely in both people with the disorder or their relatives.

Brain activity was normal in volunteers without the disorder.

“If this part of the brain isn’t acting as it should it predisposes you to OCD,” Chamberlain said. “Previous studies had only shown this in patients, not the unaffected relatives.”

The findings could help identify people at risk to provide treatment before symptoms emerge, and lead to a biological marker to determine who is at greatest risk, he added.

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When Kids With LD Network Online: The Benefits and Risks

Discovered this interesting article on the GreatSchools web page regarding social networking.

Kids with learning and attention problems may blossom in a social networking environment. Learn more about the benefits, as well as the unique risks these kids face.

Social networking on the Internet has become increasingly popular, especially among children and teenagers. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 87 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds, or about 21 million teens, use the Internet. Half of them say they go online every day. Networking online offers kids many benefits but also carries a degree of risk. Reports of those dangers — and incidents that illustrate them — have been a hot topic in the media.

Parents are understandably concerned. Scott Moore, an online community manager, says, “Based on discussions on our message board, it’s clear that parents are surprised and worried about the communication on and other social networking services. They are worried about their kids’ safety and how this new medium can affect their social development, especially since their kids have learning and/or attention problems.”

In this article, we will address the risks and benefits of social networking online for kids in general and, more specifically, for kids with learning disabilities (LD) and/or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). We will also explain how you can enhance your child’s online interactions.

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