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

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Prob­lems with sleep are com­mon in chil­dren with ADHD; in fact, past stud­ies indi­cate that sleep prob­lems occur in between 70 and 85%. Because of this, the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Pedi­atrics rec­om­mends that sleep dif­fi­cul­ties should be assessed as part of a com­pre­hen­sive ADHD eval­u­a­tion. In some chil­dren, sig­nif­i­cant sleep dif­fi­cul­ties may be an impor­tant con­trib­u­tor to appar­ent ADHD symp­toms, and could con­tribute to a child being incor­rect­ly diag­nosed. For exam­ple, Read the rest of this entry »

How children’s ADHD symptoms affect parents’ feelings & parenting behavior

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ADHD in chil­dren puts stress on par­ents. In fact, par­ents of chil­dren with ADHD report greater par­ent­ing stress, less sat­is­fac­tion in their par­ent­ing role, and more depres­sive symp­toms than oth­er par­ents. They also report more neg­a­tive inter­ac­tions with their child. This is cer­tain­ly not true in all fam­i­lies where a child has ADHD but instead reflects aver­age dif­fer­ences that have been found.

How do ADHD symp­toms in chil­dren affect par­ents’ feel­ings about par­ent­ing and their behav­ior toward their child? Read the rest of this entry »

Study: EEG-augmented brain training shows promise as first-line treatment for ADHD

Atentiv_System_PrototypeNov­el Brain Train­ing Game May Reduce Kids’ ADHD Symp­toms (Med­space):

A nov­el cog­ni­tive train­ing com­put­er game that uses a child’s own brain waves to improve con­cen­tra­tion may reduce symp­toms of atten­tion-deficit/hy­per­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der (ADHD), say US researchers.

Inves­ti­ga­tors used a nov­el feed-for­ward mod­el­ing (FFM) sys­tem, which…is based on a com­put­er cog­ni­tive train­ing game in which atten­tion is required to move an avatar through the game. The game was cal­i­brat­ed using an elec­troen­cephalo­gram (EEG) head­band with three frontal sen­sors to cre­ate a mod­el of atten­tion and inat­ten­tion states. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Does Mindfulness Meditation training help adults with ADHD?

MeditationAs aware­ness of ADHD in adults increas­es, so do efforts to devel­op effec­tive treat­ments for adults that can com­ple­ment, or sub­sti­tute for, med­ica­tion. One promis­ing treat­ment is mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion train­ing. Read the rest of this entry »

New Study Supports Neurofeedback Treatment for ADHD

Neu­ro­feed­back — also known as EEG Biofeed­back — is an approach for treat­ing ADHD in which indi­vid­u­als are pro­vid­ed real-time feed­back on their brain­wave pat­terns and taught to alter their typ­i­cal EEG pat­tern to one that is con­sis­tent with a focused, atten­tive state. This is typ­i­cal­ly done by col­lect­ing EEG data from indi­vid­u­als as they focus on stim­uli pre­sent­ed on a com­put­er screen. Their abil­i­ty to con­trol the stim­uli, for exam­ple, keep­ing the smile on a smi­ley face, is con­tin­gent on main­tain­ing the par­tic­u­lar EEG state being trained. Accord­ing to neu­ro­feed­back pro­po­nents, learn­ing how to do this dur­ing train­ing gen­er­al­izes to real world sit­u­a­tions and this results in improved atten­tion and reduced hyperactive/impulsive behav­ior.

Neu­ro­feed­back treat­ment for ADHD has been con­tro­ver­sial in the field for many years and remains so today. Although a num­ber of pub­lished stud­ies have report­ed pos­i­tive results many promi­nent ADHD researchers believe that prob­lems with the design of these stud­ies pre­clude con­clud­ing that neu­ro­feed­back is an effec­tive treat­ment. These lim­i­ta­tions have includ­ed the absence of ran­dom assign­ment, the lack of appro­pri­ate con­trol groups, raters who are not ‘blind’ to children’s treat­ment sta­tus, and small sam­ples. For addi­tion­al back­ground, you can find a recent review I wrote on exist­ing research sup­port for neu­ro­feed­back treat­ment of ADHD — along with links to exten­sive reviews of sev­er­al recent­ly pub­lished stud­ies -: How Strong is the Research Sup­port for Neu­ro­feed­back in Atten­tion Deficits?

- Results from a New Study of Neu­ro­feed­back -

Recent­ly, a study of neu­ro­feed­back treat­ment for ADHD was pub­lished that address­es sev­er­al lim­i­ta­tions that have under­mined pri­or research [Gevensleben, et al., (2009). Is neu­ro­feed­back an effi­ca­cious treat­ment for ADHD? A ran­dom­ized con­trolled clin­i­cal tri­al. Jour­nal of Child Psy­chol­o­gy and Psy­chi­a­try.]

The study was con­duct­ed in Ger­many and began with 102 chil­dren aged 8 to 12. All had been care­ful­ly diag­nosed with ADHD and approx­i­mate­ly over 90% had nev­er received med­ica­tion treat­ment. About 80% were boys. Chil­dren were ran­dom­ly assigned to Read the rest of this entry »

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