The ADHD Blog from ADHD Experts

  • New Insights into ADHD Brains

    The ENIGMA-ADHD Working Group published their second large study on the brains of people with ADHD in the American Journal of Psychiatry this month. In this second study, the focus was on the cerebral cortex, which is the outer layer of the brain. ADHD symptoms include inattention and/or hyperactivity and acting impulsively. The disorder affects more than one in 20 (5.3%) children, and two-thirds of those diagnosed continue to experience symptoms as adults. In this study, researchers
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  • Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation May be an Effective Non-Drug Treatment for ADHD

    A team at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) has just reported on the first-ever, double-blinded, sham-controlled study of trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) for treating ADHD. The trigeminal nerve is the largest cranial nerve. It enables facial sensation, as well as biting and chewing. Over a four-week period, researchers fitted 62 eight-to-twelve-year-old children with electrodes while they slept; 32 got an active low current, the rest none at all. The active and sham
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  • Can College Students Trying to Fake ADHD be Detected?

    Many college students truly have ADHD and deserve to be treated but some attempt to fake ADHD symptoms with the goal of getting stimulant medications for non-medical uses such as studying and getting high. Some students who fake ADHD also seek to gain accommodations that would give them additional time to complete exams. To address this issue, two psychologists examined data from 514 university students being assessed for ADHD to evaluate the ability of assessment tools to detect students
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  • Association Found Between ADHD Risk Genes Involved in Dopamine Signaling and Reduced Estimated Life Expectancy

    Behavioral disinhibition is a trait associated with both ADHD and several genes that affect dopamine signaling. A new study by three American medical researchers set out to examine how these ADHD risk genes – DRD4 (dopamine 4 receptor density), DAT1 (dopamine 1 transporter), and DBH (dopamine beta-hydroxylase) – affect estimated life expectancy in young adulthood. The method used was a longitudinal study of 131 hyperactive children and 71 matched controls through early adulthood. The
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  • How to Identify ADHD in Adults with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

    ADHD is far more prevalent among persons with AUD (roughly 20 percent) than it is in the general population. The most accurate way of identifying ADHD is through structured clinical interviews. Given that this is not feasible in routine clinical settings, ADHD self-report scales offer a less reliable but much less resource-intensive alternative. Could the latter be calibrated in a way that would yield diagnoses that better correspond with the former? A German team compared the outcomes
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  • How Effective Are Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Treating Attention Deficit Symptoms?

    Mindfulness has been defined as “intentionally directing attention to present moment experiences with an attitude of curiosity and acceptance.” Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) aim to improve mindfulness skills. A newly-published meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) by a team of British neurologists and psychiatrists explores the effectiveness of MBIs in treating a variety of mental health conditions in children and adolescents. Among those conditions is the
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  • What are the Barriers to Understanding ADHD in Primary Care?

    A newly-published systematic review by a British team identified 48 qualitative and quantitative studies that explored “ADHD in primary care, including beliefs, understanding, attitudes, and experiences.” The studies described primary care experiences in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Singapore, Iran, Pakistan, Brazil, and South Africa. More than three out of four studies identified deficits in education about ADHD. Of particular concern was the training of primary care providers
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  • The Relationship Between Executive Function Deficits and DSM-5-Defined ADHD Symptoms

    Michael J. Silverstein , Stephen V. Faraone, Terry L. Leon, Joseph Biederman, Thomas J. Spencer, and Lenard A. Adler Journal of Attention Disorders. 1–11: 2018. DOI: 10.1177/1087054718804347 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.) (DSM-5) still defines ADHD symptoms in terms nine inattentive (IA) and nine hyperactive-impulsive (H-I) symptoms, to form the core eighteen symptoms of the disorder; this is in spite of a large literature that indicates that
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  • Recent Trends in the Prescribing of ADHD Medications in Canadian Primary Care

    Rachael Morkem, Scott Patten, John Queenan, and David Barber Journal of Attention Disorders 1 –8 , 2017 DOI: 10.1177/1087054717720719 This study describes trends the incidence and prevalence of prescribing ADHD medication in a large Canadian Primary Care Physician (PCP) Network over a ten year period from 2005-2015. Canada has public funded health care, creating a system that the provision for chronic disorders (such as ADHD) is often provided by PCPs, who serve as gatekeepers to
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  • Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy and ADHD: Results From a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies

    Yan He, Jian Chen, Li-Hua Zhu, Ling-Ling Hua, and Fang-Fang Ke Journal of Attention Disorders 1 –11 , 2017 DOI: 10.1177/1087054717696766 This article describes a meta-analyses of studies which examined the potential effects of maternal smoking on the risk of childhood ADHD. A prior meta-analysis in 2005 (Langley, Rice, Van den Bree, & Thapar, 2005) found a strong association between maternal smoking and subsequent development of childhood ADHD in exposed offspring. Several recent
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