Research

Children with ADHD sleep both poorly and less (May, 2016)

A new study from Aarhus University has now documented that there is some truth to the claim by parents of children with ADHD that their children have more difficulty falling asleep and that they sleep more poorly than other children.

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Multimodal Therapy Involving High-Intensity Interval Training Improves Fitness, Motor Skills, Social Behavior, and Quality of Life of Boys With ADHD (Mar, 2016)

A German study showed that multimodal therapy including high-intensity interval training (HIIT) outperformed multimodal therapy paired with moderate intensity exercise. The HIIT therapy lead to greater improvements in aspects of physical fitness, motor skills, certain aspects of quality of life, competence, and attention in boys with ADHD.

The study randomly assigned 28 boys (8-13 years of age, IQ = 83-136) to either multimodal with HIIT (three sessions/week, 4×4 minute intervals of high-intensity activity) or multimodal plus moderate-intensity exercise involving three weekly 60 minute sessions of ball and team games, court sports, and climbing. Both groups also got 3 weeks of psychotherapy, psychoeducation, counseling, behavioral management, ergotherapy, and music therapy.

Both interventions enhanced aspects of fitness. HIIT was more effective at improving the total score for motor skills (including manual dexterity and ball skills), self-esteem, social engagement, competence, and subjective ratings of attention.

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Link between ADHD, vision impairment in children (Feb, 2016)

A new study sheds light on a link between noncorrectable vision problems and ADHD in children. Results from a large survey of 75,000 children suggest an increased risk of ADHD among children with vision problems that are not correctable with glasses or contacts, such as color blindness or lazy eye, relative to other children. This finding suggests that children with vision impairment should be monitored for signs and symptoms of ADHD so that this dual impairment of vision and attention can best be addressed.

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Effect of Exercise on Concentration of Individuals with ADHD (Feb, 2016)

Physical activity has been used to prevent and improve ADHD and comorbidities; however, its effectiveness has not been quantified. In this study, the effect of physical activity on children’s attention was measured using a computer game. Intense physical activity was promoted by a relay race, which requires a 5-min run without a rest interval. The groups of volunteers with ADHD who performed exercise showed improved performance for the tasks that require attention with a difference of 30.52% compared with the volunteers with ADHD who did not perform the exercise. This study shows that intense exercise can improve the attention of children with ADHD and may help their school performance.  

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Generic vs. Individualised approaches to ADHD and Dyslexia (Jan, 2016)

Generic vs. individualised approaches to ADHD and Dyslexia Exploring the role of generic and more individualised approaches to ADHD and dyslexia was the focus of a recent mini review in Frontiers in Psychology. The paper, by University of Auckland’s Dr David Moreau and Associate Professor Karen Waldie, acknowledges the important point that ‘neurodevelopmental disorders cannot be explained by intellectual ability or inadequate learning environment, but instead appear to be differences in brain function’. Although the specific neural networks and brain regions that are changed in ADHD and dyslexia are becoming better understood, ‘normalising’ these networks may not necessarily improve performance, and should not always be the goal. Instead, sometimes strengthening compensatory pathways may be a good option.

The paper briefly touches on the broad benefits of ‘ecological remediation’ including physical activity/exercise, learning to play a musical instrument, and being active in nature. All of which have long-lasting effects on brain structure and function, as well as benefits beyond simply addressing neurological differences. Despite broad benefits, the paper authors note that these more generic approaches may fall short when it comes to addressing specific functions, e.g. short-term memory, which are likely to require a more targeted approach. The advice is to develop individualised training programmes that are based around a well established and research supported core with supplementary activities that are tailored to individual needs. The final component being regular assessment to see if the desired outcome is being achieved. Click the following link for more information…

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4709759/

 

Behavioural and Cardiovascular Responses to Frustration During Simulated Driving Tasks in Young Adults with 

This study examined the role of negative emotions on driving performance in relation to ADHD, by impairing young adults scoring high on measures of ADHD with a control group. Participants with high ADHD symptoms reported more frustration and exhibited more impairment at the tactical level of driving performance than the controls. This article proposes that remedial driver training for ADHD populations should focus more on the control of negative emotions rather than on attention or fundamental driving skills. 

Link to researchgate.net publication


Kids with ADHD must Squirm to Learn, study says (April, 2015)
New research shows that if you want ADHD kids to learn, you have to let them squirm. The foot-tapping, leg-swinging and chair-scooting movements of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are actually vital to how they remember information and work out complex cognitive tasks, according to a study…

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150417190003.htm

 

ADHD may have different effects on brains of boys and girls (Oct, 2015)

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) manifests itself differently in the brains of girls than in the brains of boys, new research suggests.  The results may help scientists better understand how ADHD affects boys and girls in unique ways, the researchers said.

“The findings showed differences in the white matter microstructure between boys and girls,” said study co-author Lisa Jacobson, a pediatric neuropsychologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, in Baltimore. White matter helps different regions of the brain communicate with each other…

http://www.ktbs.com/story/30327692/adhd-may-have-different-effects-on-brains-of-boys-and-girls

Research Abstract: http://www.jaacap.com/article/S0890-8567(15)00571-7/abstract

 

Inside the adult ADHD brain: Differences between adults who have recovered, and those who have not (June, 2014)

Brain scans differentiate adults who have recovered from childhood ADHD and those whose difficulties linger, research shows. In the first study to compare patterns of brain activity in adults who recovered from childhood ADHD and those who did not, neuroscientists have discovered key differences in a brain communication network that is active when the brain is at wakeful rest and not focused on a particular task. The findings offer evidence of a biological basis for adult ADHD and should help to validate the criteria used to diagnose the disorder. Click the following link for more information…

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140610112812.htm

 

Adult ADHD undertreated despite effective interventions (Oct, 2013)

Up to two-thirds of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) find their disorder persists into adulthood yet only a small proportion of adults ever receive a formal diagnosis and treatment, research suggests…

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007094008.htm

 

Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for treatment of children with ADHD  (Oct, 2011)

Bloch MH, Qawasmi A.
Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

michael.bloch@yale.edu

Several studies have demonstrated differences in omega-3 fatty acid composition in plasma and in erythrocyte membranes in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared with unaffected controls.Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can alter central nervous system cell membrane fluidity and phospholipid composition. Cell membrane fluidity can alter serotonin and dopamine neurotransmission. The goal of this meta-analysis was to examine the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in children with ADHD…

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21961774

 

The Diet Factor in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Feb, 2012)

J.Gordon Millichap, MD and MIchell M. Yee, CPNP

This article is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the role of dietary methods for treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when pharmacotherapy has proven unsatisfactory or unacceptable. Results of recent research and controlled studies, based on a PubMed search, are emphasized and compared with earlier reports. The recent increase of interest in this form of therapy for ADHD, and especially in the use of omega supplements, significance of iron deficiency, and the avoidance of the “Western pattern” diet, make the discussion timely…

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/01/04/peds.2011-2199

 

Understanding the Effects of Stimulant Medications on Cognition in Individuals with ADHD: A Decade of Progress (Jan, 2011)

James Swanson, Ruben D Baier, and Nora D Volkow

Neuropsychopharmacology

The use of stimulant drugs for the treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most widespread pharmacological interventions in child psychiatry and behavioural paediatrics. This treatment is well grounded on controlled studies showing efficacy of low oral doses of methylphenidate and amphetamine in reducing the behavioural symptoms of the disorder as reported by parents and teachers both for the cognitive (inattention and impulsivity) and non-cognitive (hyperactivity) domains…

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20881946

 

Executive Functions and ADHD: Implications of two conflicting views. (Mar, 2006)

Dr Thomas E Brown

Increasingly ADD/ADHD is being seen as a disorder involving impairment of the brain’s management system, its executive functions. However, among researchers there are two very different viewpoints about how executive functions are involved. Some see executive functions as impaired in only about 30% of those with ADHD.

The alternative view, advocated by Dr Brown and Dr. Russell Barkley, claims that ADHD is essentially a name for developmentally impaired executive functions, that all those with ADHD have such impairments…

http://www.drthomasebrown.com/pdfs/ef-conflict.pdf