Archive for Attention and ADD/ ADHD

5 Must-Read Articles, and an Online Course, to Help Children with ADHD

Given the ongoing changes and controversies surrounding ADHD diagnosis and treatment, let me highlight 5 key articles written by Duke University’s Dr. David Rabiner to summarize recent scientific findings and their implications, plus a very relevant online course to help parents and professionals help children with ADHD.

1. Study finds large gaps between research and practice in ADHD diagnosis and treatment

  • Key insight: Evidence-based guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the evaluation and treatment of ADHD are frequently not followed. Many children are diagnosed with ADHD in the absence of clearly meeting DSM diagnostic criteria, and behavioral treatment is rarely recommended.
  • Key data point: Pediatricians prescribed ADHD medication to roughly 93% of youth diagnosed with ADHD. Documentation that behavioral treatment was recommended, however, was present in only 13% of the charts.

2. Study shows why children with ADHD should be reevaluated each year: Attention problems perceived by teachers are far less stable than we imagine

  • Key insight: Clinically-elevated attention problems as perceived by teachers are less stable than imagined, highlighting the importance of carefully reevaluating children each year so that children do not continue to carry a diagnosis that may no longer apply and to be treated for problems at school that are no longer evident.
  • Key data point: Data from 3 diverse samples indicates that more than 50% of elementary school children rated by their teacher as having clinically significant inattentive symptoms one year do not show similar problems the following year.

3. Don’t overlook sleep difficulties in children with ADHD; they may impair functioning as much as ADHD itself

  • Key insight: Although the link between ADHD and sleep difficulties is well-documented, evaluating sleep difficulties during an ADHD assessment may be routinely overlooked. In some cases, sleep problems may create significant difficulties for their daily functioning beyond what ADHD symptoms explain, so treating the child’s sleep difficulties should be an important treatment target.
  • Key data point: The most prevalent sleep problem – reported for 42% of the sample – was excessive daytime sleepiness, and it contributed to significantly lower life skills even after controlling for ADHD symptoms. The second most prevalent sleep problem was insomnia (for 30% of the sample), and it predicted greater social impairment–above and beyond impairment explained by ADHD symptoms.

4. Reducing the Need for High Medication Doses with Behavior Therapy

  • Key insight: The really interesting findings from this study concern the combination of medication and behavioral treatment. On virtually all ADHD measures, adding high intensity behavior management to the lowest medication dose of medication yielded comparable improvements to those produced by the high dose medication alone. For a number of measures, even low intensity behavior management combined with the lowest medication dose was as effective as high dose medication.
  • Key data point: Results suggested that a typical child with ADHD could be treated with the equivalent of 5 mg of methylphenidate 2X/day if he/she concurrently received moderate to high intensity behavior therapy. Without behavior therapy, the same child would require a 20 mg dose 2X/day to attain comparable benefits. Thus, the daily reduction in methylphenidate would be 30 mg/day.

5. Mindfulness training for children with ADHD and their parents

  • Key insight: Mindfulness training for children and parents can be a helpful intervention for ADHD. Parents can observe reductions in their child’s ADHD symptoms following training. In addition, they can observe declines in their own ADHD symptoms and parenting stress.
  • Key data point: From pre- to post test, children who received mindfulness training were rated by their parents as showing significant declines in inattentive and hyperactive impulsive symptoms; the magnitude of the decline was large for attention problems and moderate for hyperactivity. These declines remained evident and of similar magnitude at the 8-week follow-up.

We hope you enjoy those 5 must-read articles summarizing recent scientific findings and their implications.

To learn more, parents and allied professionals may also want to access the 6-hour, self-paced, online course How to Navigate Conventional and Complementary ADHD Treatments for Healthy Brain Development, featuring Dr. David Rabiner (and myself).

>> Learn More & Register Here (10%-off discount code: sharp2017)

Course description: In order to successfully promote children’s healthy brain development, every parent whose child has been diagnosed with ADHD should learn how to systematically navigate and monitor the range of potential ADHD treatments based on the latest scientific evidence. This course aims at providing the necessary information, frameworks and toolkits to make well-informed decisions, in conjunction with professional advice, about medication, behavioral therapy, exercise, neurofeedback, working memory training, meditation, diet and supplements.

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Brain Fitness survey

Today we would like to ask for your opinions on the emerging Brain Fitness field, your interests and needs. We would really appreciate if you can devote 5-minutes to complete this online survey. As a token of appreciation, we will give you a discount of 10% on all stress management and brain workout products offered in our main website, valid for a month after you complete the survey.

Thanks!

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Meditation may fine-tune control over attention

Meditation may fine-tune control over attention

  • “Everyday experience and psychology research both indicate that paying close attention to one thing can keep you from noticing something else… a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that attention does not have a fixed capacity – and that it can be improved by directed mental training, such as meditation.”

  • “Led by postdoctoral fellow Heleen Slagter, Davidson’s research group in the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior recruited subjects interested in meditation to study whether conscious mental training can affect attention. “Meditation is a family of methods designed to facilitate regulation of emotion and attention,” says Davidson.”

Related posts:

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All about Brain Fitness

Announcement:  

  • We have just launched a new website section titled Hot Topics for you to be informed on latest Brain Fitness developments. Topics include Memory, Brain Fitness, Brain Teasers, Mental Exercise, Stress Management, Physical Exercise, Nutrition, News, Products, Events, Students, Science, Resources, and more.

Some good posts:

Nintendo BrainAge, Lumosity, Happy Neuron, MyBrainTrainer…

Posit Science, Nintendo Brain Training, Dakim…WebMD on Brain Fitness.

We hope to hear from you!

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Brain knows when to really pay attention

Brain knows when to really pay attention
“WASHINGTON – Spot a bear in the woods, and a different part of your brain will yell “pay attention” than if you were studying bears at the zoo.

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We have moved

Hello dear readers: after a transition period, we have definitively moved to http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog

we-moved.jpg

Please visit us there if you want to keep reading our (close to) daily articles. Please update your feed, and any technorati/ stumbleupon/ del.ic.ious account you may have pointing at this old address. Our new location:
http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog

We won’t be posting more articles here.

We’ll see you there!
-Caroline & Alvaro

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Brain Training and SharpBrains in the news

Several recent stories on brain training and SharpBrains:

1) New brain games may improve mind fitness by Kevin Kosterman (U of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Advance-Titan)

“Anytime we learn, we are training, changing, our brain,” Fernandez said. “The three key core elements for effective brain exercise are novelty, variety and constant challenge, similar to increasing the level in machines we find in gyms.”

2) “Training the Brain as possible as Training the Body”, جريدة النهار by Hanadi El Diri (Annahar, one of the most prestigious papers in the Middle East. The text is in Arabic.)

3) “Train your brain” by Mark Muckenfuss (The Press-Enterprise in Riverside and San Bernardino)

“We cannot promise to people you will only keep getting better until you are 200 years old. But I think people still underestimate how flexible the brain really is.”

The SmartBrains [sic] program combines mental exercises with a stress reduction program. Too much stress, says Fernandez, has been shown to be damaging not only to performance, but to the brain itself.
With all of the available programs for stimulating the brain, he says, it is important to shop carefully. A critical element, he says, is how clients or participants are evaluated.

“Make sure they have a credible assessment that helps you find your strengths and weaknesses and that they have programs that address (those areas),” he says. “Assessments that give you 50 (as an age-equivalent grade) and a week later you’re 32, that’s not a valuable assessment.”

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