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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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

While the study below was pub­lished a few years ago, it makes an impor­tant point that I think is worth revis­it­ing.

In the study, pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Devel­op­men­tal and Behav­ioral Pedi­atrics, my col­leagues and I looked at how fre­quent­ly teacher rat­ings of inat­ten­tive symp­toms per­sist in chil­dren from one grade to the next. We felt this was an impor­tant issue to exam­ine because recog­ni­tion that ADHD is often a chron­ic con­di­tion can obscure the fact that atten­tion prob­lems do not always reflect an endur­ing child char­ac­ter­is­tic, and that impor­tant changes are pos­si­ble when chil­dren move to a new class­room.

As you will see below, clin­i­cal­ly-ele­vat­ed atten­tion prob­lems as per­ceived by teach­ers are less sta­ble than you may have imag­ined. Read the rest of this entry »

Discouraging new findings about pediatric care for children with ADHD: Often, best-practice guidelines are not followed

Most chil­dren with ADHD receive their care from com­mu­ni­ty-based pedi­a­tri­cians. Giv­en the large num­ber of school-age chil­dren who require eval­u­a­tion and treat­ment ser­vices for ADHD, and the adverse impact that poor qual­i­ty care can have on children’s devel­op­ment, it is impor­tant for chil­dren to rou­tine­ly receive care in the com­mu­ni­ty that is con­sis­tent with best-prac­tice guide­lines. Read the rest of this entry »

Resource: Free brain games for children (kid tested, teacher approved)

exquisiteminds.

Exquis­ite Minds (a web­site for gift­ed and cre­ative chil­dren) has curat­ed a fan­tas­tic list of Free Brain Games, promis­ing that “These free brain games have been kid test­ed and teacher approved.”

We are proud our brain teasers for teens and adults top the list, and agree with their assess­ment that “This site is more intel­lec­tu­al in nature, it’s bet­ter for adult-child dis­cus­sion or for use with old­er kids and adults.”

I hope you (and your kids) enjoy them all!

Non-invasive brain stimulation in children creates opportunities and risks

TMSvtDCSBrain Stim­u­la­tion in Chil­dren Spurs Hope—and Con­cern (Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can):

The idea of using mag­nets or elec­tric cur­rents to treat psy­chi­atric or learn­ing dis­or­ders — or just to enhance cog­ni­tion — has gen­er­at­ed a flur­ry of excite­ment over the past ten years. The tech­nique is thought to work by acti­vat­ing neur­al cir­cuits or by mak­ing it eas­i­er for neu­rons to fire. The research is still in its infan­cy, but at least 10,000 adults have under­gone Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Structural brain differences due to childhood poverty may account for 20% of the academic achievement gap

Brain_MRI_children

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Brain scans reveal how pover­ty hurts children’s brains (Bloomberg):

Grow­ing up poor has long been linked to low­er aca­d­e­m­ic test scores. And there’s now mount­ing evi­dence that it’s part­ly because kids can suf­fer real phys­i­cal con­se­quences from low fam­i­ly incomes, includ­ing brains that are less equipped to learn. Read the rest of this entry »

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