The ADHD Weekly Blog from ADHD Experts

  • 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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  • How Effective Are Meditation-Based Therapies for ADHD?

    An international team of researchers recently published a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials examining the efficacy of meditation-based therapies. Thirteen randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) were included: seven, with 270 participants, focused on children and adolescents; the other six, with 339 participants, on adults. Because only one of the RCTs was appropriately blinded, the results discussed below, although promising, must be considered preliminary. Among
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  • Are Shared Care Models Effective in Treating Childhood ADHD?

    A systematic review found five studies that evaluated shared care models involving children and adolescents, in which primary care providers (PCPs) collaborated with mental health care providers in treating ADHD. The 655 participants ranged in age from 5 to 17. Two of the studies were randomized. In one, the largest, with 321 participants, care managers acted as liaisons between PCPs and psychiatrists, and provided psychoeducation and skills training for families. Effect sizes on the
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  • Is There a Relationship Between ADHD and Internet Gaming Disorder?

    A Spanish team of researchers recently completed a comprehensive review of studies looking for links between compulsive video gaming (both online and offline) and a variety of psychological disorders, including anxiety, depression, social phobia, and ADHD. The focus was on behavior “of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.” The team identified 24 studies, of which eight with
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  • To What Extent Does ADHD Affect Sleep in Adults, and In What Ways?

    We are only beginning to explore how ADHD affects sleep in adults. A team of European researchers recently published the first meta-analysis on the subject, drawing on thirteen studies with 1,439 participants. They examined both subjective evaluations from sleep questionnaires and objective measurements from actigraphy and polysomnography. However, due to differences among the studies, only two to seven could be combined for any single topic, generally with considerably fewer participants
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  • Is Prenatal Antidepressant Exposure a Risk Factor for ADHD?

    A systematic review of the literature found seven studies examining this question. Significantly, six were large cohort studies with a combined total of almost three million individuals. The other was a large case-control study with 7,874 participants. The largest cohort study, with more than a million and a half children, found that prenatal antidepressant exposure increased the risk for ADHD. The adjusted odds ratio was 1.6 for any antidepressant and for selective serotonin reuptake
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  • High Dropout Rate in Six-Year Cohort Study of Medication Treatment for ADHD

    Few studies have examined the safety and tolerability of ADHD medications (stimulants and atomoxetine) extending beyond six months, and none beyond a few years. A pair of Swedish neuroscientists at Uppsala University Hospital set out to explore longer-term outcomes. They conducted a six-year prospective study of 112 adults diagnosed with ADHD who were being treated with ADHD medications (primarily MPH, but also dexamphetamine and atomoxetine). They found that at the end of that period,
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  • The State of the Art on Identifying and Treating Persons with Comorbid ADHD and Substance Use Disorders

    An international group of twelve experts recently published a consensus report examining the state of the evidence and offering recommendations to guide screening, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with ADHD-SUD comorbidity.[1] In a clear sign that we are still in the early stages of understanding this relationship, five of the thirteen recommendations received the lowest recommendation grade (D), eight received the next-lowest (C), and none received the highest (A and B). The
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