How much of a treatment is mind over matter? It is well documented that people often feel better after taking a treatment without active ingredients simply because they believe it’s real — known as the placebo effect.
A team of researchers from Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Dartmouth College is the first to demonstrate that placebos reduce brain markers of emotional distress even when people know they are taking one. [Read more…] about Study: The placebo effect works even when people know they are taking a placebo
In the ETech panel a few days ago, we discussed some futuristic and some emerging ways in which we can “hack our minds”, mostly from a technology point of view.
Neither myself nor the other panelists thought of suggesting the most obvious and inexpensive method, proven in thousands of research studies.
The secret compound?: Belief. Also called “the placebo effect”. Let’s see what Wikipedia says:
Shelley launched a good discussion on The Neuroscience of ADHD in her blog, discussing the situation and providing a technical overview of drug-based interventions. Something I hadn’t heard is that “For example, babies born prematurely face a significantly greater risk of developing ADHD than full-term babies (socioeconomic status was controlled for).”
- “The Preschool ADHD Treatment Study, or PATS, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), is the first long-term study designed to evaluate the effectiveness of treating preschoolers with ADHD with behavioral therapy, and then, in some cases, methylphenidate. In the first stage, the children (303 preschoolers with severe ADHD, between the ages of three and five) and their parents participated in a 10-week behavioral therapy course. For one third of the children, ADHD symptoms improved so dramatically with behavior therapy alone that they did not progress to the ADHD medication phase of the study.”
As Shelley’s post and the article explain, drugs do help when used appropriately. Now, they are not the only answer. I am happy to see that behavioral therapy can be as useful when appropriate. Which is not a surprise, given the growing literature on different methods of cognitive training, including therapy and working memory training like the one discussed with Notre Dame’s Bradley Gibson and in our post Cognitive Neuroscience and ADD/ADHD Today.
Dr. David Rabiner’s Attention Research Update drew my attention to some recent research articles on the potential of fatty acid dietary supplementation to help treat ADD/ADHD.
Stimulant medication for children with ADD/ADHD has been the predominant treatment for years. Thus far, it has been quite successful, but we have yet to see the long term effects of chronic medication. Given that, it is worth at least investigating alternative therapies that can be used either in place of or in conjunction with traditional pharmaceutical and behavioral treatment.
As one of the four pillars of brain health, nutrition has a significant impact on both physical structures in the body and behavior. Studies suggest children with ADHD have lower levels of both omega‑3 and omega‑6 essential fatty acids.
[Read more…] about Potential Nutritional Treatment for ADD/ADHD