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Initial study finds promise and limitations in using virtual reality (VR) to treat ADHD

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Giv­en the lim­i­ta­tions of exist­ing evi­dence-based ADHD treat­ments, i.e., stim­u­lant med­ica­tion and behav­ior ther­a­py — research on nov­el inter­ven­tion approach­es con­tin­ues to be impor­tant.

Cog­ni­tive train­ing is one such approach that has been sug­gest­ed as a poten­tial adjunct or even replace­ment for med­ica­tion treat­ment. While cog­ni­tive train­ing takes dif­fer­ent forms, e.g., com­put­er­ized atten­tion train­ing, work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing, the basic idea is that by repeat­ed­ly prac­tic­ing cog­ni­tive tasks relat­ed to atten­tion, one’s abil­i­ty to focus and attend will improve. In oth­er words, Read the rest of this entry »

Consistent use of ADHD medication may stunt growth by 2 inches, large study finds

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The Mul­ti­modal Treat­ment Study of ADHD (MTA Study) is the largest ADHD treat­ment study ever con­duct­ed — near­ly 600 7–9-year-old chil­dren with ADHD were ran­dom­ly assigned to one of four inter­ven­tions:

1) Care­ful­ly mon­i­tored med­ica­tion treat­ment;

2) Inten­sive behav­ior ther­a­py;

3) Med­ica­tion Treat­ment com­bined with Behav­ior Ther­a­py; or

4) Com­mu­ni­ty Care (par­ents obtained what­ev­er treat­ment they desired).

After 14 months, results indi­cat­ed that Read the rest of this entry »

Studies reinforce the critical importance of ADHD treatment monitoring

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As the new school year approach­es, let me high­light the essen­tial val­ue of ADHD treat­ment mon­i­tor­ing. Even when a child’s treat­ment has been going well, response to treat­ment can change over time. This is true for med­ica­tion treat­ment, or any oth­er treat­ment a child is receiv­ing. By reg­u­lar­ly mon­i­tor­ing how a child is doing at school, par­ents and pro­fes­sion­als are alert­ed Read the rest of this entry »

Adding mindfulness to the PTSD therapist’s toolkit

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Sol­diers who return home in casts and cas­kets are not the only ones struck down by the trau­ma of war. Many young mil­i­tary men and women car­ry emo­tion­al wounds far beyond the bat­tle­field in the form of post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der (PTSD). This Read the rest of this entry »

To improve academic outcomes, children with ADHD need both medication and non-medication treatments

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Aca­d­e­m­ic prob­lems are extreme­ly com­mon in chil­dren with ADHD, and often the issue that leads to refer­ral for an ADHD eval­u­a­tion.

Aca­d­e­m­ic out­comes can be mea­sured in 2 dif­fer­ent ways — aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment and aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance — and both are com­pro­mised in chil­dren with ADHD. Aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment refers to the infor­ma­tion and skills that chil­dren acquire and is typ­i­cal­ly mea­sured by stan­dard­ized tests. Aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance focus­es on direct mea­sures of suc­cess at school such as grades, grade reten­tion, high school grad­u­a­tion, and col­lege enroll­ment.

An impor­tant ques­tion then, for mil­lions of kids diag­nosed with ADHD and for their par­ents and edu­ca­tors, is whether long-term aca­d­e­m­ic func­tion­ing can improve with appro­pri­ate treat­ment. Read the rest of this entry »

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