The ADHD Weekly Blog from ADHD Experts

  • alcohol addiction substance use disorder

    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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  • Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Adults with ADHD

    A Dutch study compared the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) combined with treatment as usual (TAU), with TAU-only as the control group. MBCT consisted of an eight-week group therapy consisting of mindfulness exercises (bodyscan, sitting meditation, mindful movement), psychoeducation about ADHD, and group exercises. TAU consisted of usual treatment in the Netherlands, including medications and other psychological treatment. Sixty individuals were randomly assigned to
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  • Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy Effective for Older Adults with ADHD?

    Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effective for Older Adults with ADHD?

    Though there have been numerous studies of the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for ADHD symptoms in children, adolescents, and adults, few have examined efficacy among adults over 50. A new study begins to fill that void. Psychiatric researchers from the New York University School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Pfizer randomly assigned 88 adults diagnosed with elevated levels of ADHD to one of two groups. The first group received 12 weeks of CBT targeting
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  • ADHD and Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy

    A recent CNN report, http://tinyurl.com/yannlfd6, highlighted a paper published in Pediatrics, which reported that pregnant women who use acetaminophen during pregnancy put their unborn child at two-fold increased risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).   In that study, acetaminophen use during pregnancy was common; nearly half of women surveyed used the painkiller during a pregnancy.   Other studies have reported similar associations of acetaminophen,
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  • The Familial Relationship Between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Substance Use Disorders

       While it has been well documented that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance use disorders (SUD) commonly co-occur, little is known about the reasons for this association.  Since both disorders are highly heritable one hypothesis is the high co-occurrence may be due to common genes.  One way to assess for a genetic relationship between ADHD and SUD is through a familial risk analysis.  Familial risk analysis compares the prevalence of an
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  • Is ADHD a Serious Condition?

    In the popular media, ADHD is sometimes portrayed as a minor condition or not a disorder at all.   In fact, it is easy to find web sites claiming that ADHD is an invention of the medical profession and that the symptoms used to diagnose the disorder are simply normal behaviors that have been “medicalized”.   These claims are wrong.  They miss the main point of any psychiatric diagnostic process which is to identify people who experience distress or
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  • ADHD Treatment Decision Tree

    If you’ve ever wondered how experts make treatment recommendations for patients with ADHD, take a look at this ADHD treatment decision tree that my colleagues and I constructed for our “Primer” about ADHD, http://rdcu.be/gYyV. Although a picture is worth a thousand words, keep in mind that this infographic only gives the bare bones of a complex process.   That said, it is telling that one of the first questions an expert asks is if the patient has a comorbid condition that is more
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  • 062617 ADHD Treatment Decision Tree

    If you’ve ever wondered how experts make treatment recommendations for patients with ADHD, take a look at this ADHD treatment decision tree that my colleagues and I constructed for our “Primer” about ADHD, http://rdcu.be/gYyV. Although a picture is worth a thousand words, keep in mind that this infographic only gives the bare bones of a complex process.   That said, it is telling that one of the first questions an expert asks is if the patient has a comorbid
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  • The Goal of ADHD Diagnosis? Safe and Effective Treatment

    The diagnosis of ADHD should only be done by a licensed clinician and that clinician should have one goal in mind: to plan a safe and effective course of evidenced-based treatment.  The infographic below gives a summary of this diagnostic approach over time, which my colleagues and I prepared for our “Primer” about ADHD, referenced below. .   A key point that parents of ADHD youth and adults with ADHD should keep in mind is that there is only one way to diagnose ADHD.  An expert
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  • ADHD from Childhood to Adulthood

    Although ADHD was conceived as a childhood disorder, we now know that many cases persist into adulthood.  My colleagues and I charted the progression of ADHD through childhood, adolescence and adulthood in our “Primer” about ADHD, http://rdcu.be/gYyV.   Although the lifetime course of ADHD varies among adults with the disorder, there are many consistent themes, which we described in the accompanying infographic.   Most cases of ADHD start in utero,
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