The ADHD Weekly Blog from ADHD Experts

  • What Do We Know About the Relationship Between Omega-3 PUFAs and ADHD?

    There has been much interest in omega-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as treatments for ADHD. Humans are unable to synthesize omega-3 PUFA alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and the omega-6 PUFA linoleic acid (LA), and must therefore obtain these through food, which is why they are known as essential fatty acids. Because cells in the brain need omega-3 PUFAs, they have been studied as a treatment for ADHD by many researchers. In fact, several meta-analyses are available. A 2014
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  • Guidelines for Screening, Diagnosing, and Managing ADHD in Children with Epilepsy

    A working group of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), consisting of twenty experts spanning the globe (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Japan, India, South Africa, Kenya, Brazil), recently published a “consensus paper” summarizing and evaluating what is currently known about comorbid epilepsy with ADHD, and best practices. ADHD is two to five times more prevalent among children with epilepsy. The authors suggest that ADHD is underdiagnosed in children with epilepsy because its
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  • How Can Women Best Manage ADHD During Pregnancy to Minimize Risk to their Babies?

    Roughly one in thirty adult women have ADHD. Research results indicate that psychostimulants (methylphenidate and amphetamines) offer the most effective course of treatment in most instances. But during pregnancy, such treatment also exposes the fetus to these drugs. Several studies have set out to determine whether such exposure is harmful. The largest compared 5,571 infants exposed to amphetamines and 2,072 exposed to methylphenidate with unexposed infants. It found no increased risks
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  • Immediate and Longer-Term Effects of Exercise on ADHD Symptoms and Cognition

    A team of Spanish researchers has published a systematic review of 16 studies with a total of 728 participants exploring the effects of physical exercise on children and adolescents with ADHD. Fourteen studies were judged to be of high quality, and two of medium quality. Seven studies looked at the acute effects of exercise on eight to twelve-year-old youths with ADHD. Acute means that the effects were measured immediately after periods of exercise lasting up to 30 minutes. Five studies
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  • How Reliable are Subjective Estimates of ADHD Medication Adherence?

    A study conducted at Auburn University in Alabama recruited 54 college students to address this question. All had previously been diagnosed with ADHD. All lived independently, and all were taking a prescribed ADHD medication. Students with severe comorbid psychiatric conditions were excluded. Three students dropped out, leaving a final sample size of 51. Each student completed a total of four half-hour assessments, scheduled at monthly intervals. At each first assessment, researchers
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  • Associations Between ADHD and Autoimmune Diseases

    A Norwegian team based at the University of Bergen recently performed a population study using the country’s detailed national health registries. With records from more than two and a half million Norwegians, the team examined what, if any, associations could be found between ADHD and nine autoimmune diseases: ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, iridocyclitis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, and ulcerative
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  • Is There an Association Between Asthma and ADHD?

    An international team of researchers has carefully examined the best current evidence and found strong evidence for an association between asthma and ADHD by combining a meta-analysis of prior data with a new analysis of the Swedish population. The meta-analysis identified 46 datasets with a total of more than 3.3 million persons. It computed an unadjusted odds ratio (OR) of 1.7, which indicates that ADHD patients have about twice the risk of developing asthma compared with people
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  • Digital Media Use and ADHD

    This two-year study examined the effect of digital media use on ADHD symptoms in over 2500 adolescents. An earlier meta-analysis found that traditional media use (TV and video console games) was modestly associated with ADHD-like behaviors (Nikkelen et al 2014). The current study extends the examination to a large sample, with modern digital media delivery of high-intensity stimuli, including mobile platforms. The authors used the Current Symptom Self-Report Scale (Barkley R 1998) to
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  • Review of Cardiovascular Effects of ADHD Medications

    This article provides a review of the cardiovascular effects of ADHD medications including potential effects on blood pressure, heart rate and risk of cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, sudden death and stroke). The article notes that meta-analyses have generally found that the effects of stimulant medications and atomoxetine were generally similar on systolic blood pressure (1-3 mm Hg) and heart rate (2-5 beats/minute); these were felt to be of limited clinical significance,
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  • Emotional Dysregulation in Adult ADHD

    This article reviews the phenomenology of emotional dysregulation in adult ADHD. The article discusses whether symptoms of emotional dysregulation (ED) are co-traveling symptoms that travel with symptoms of adult ADHD or whether they are part of the core symptoms of the condition. Symptoms of ED include rapidly shifting affect, changeable mood, mood lability, impulsivity and emotional overactivity. Barkley et al. (7 from article) have posited that ED symptoms are part of a set of
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