I try to keep current on the ADHD research and to keep you current.
1. Some of the latest research just confirms previous findings. ADHD diagnosed in childhood persists in up to 65% of adolescents and up to 50% of adults. Hyperactivity and impulsivity become less with time, but inattention symptoms remain stable. Still, we do jiggle our foot or tap our pencil.
Many factors increase the risk that symptoms will continue into adolescence but only a few of those predict continuation into adulthood: symptom severity, psychiatric comorbidity and parental mental health.
Some adults no longer meet criteria for the diagnosis and yet have continuing problems related to ADHD.
Those of us who still have diagnosable ADHD do worse than those who no longer meet criteria but still have symptoms, and we all do worse than adults who never had the diagnosis.
We have poorer educational and occupational success, more depression and anxiety, and use more marijuana and more public assistance. However, this study, in contrast to previous ones, found no significant difference in other substance use disorders or legal outcomes. I’m doubtful about this. For example, I know that a high percentage of people in prison have ADHD.
Finally, this study raised some interesting questions. How much were the poor outcomes directly caused by ADHD symptoms, versus by the effects of the consequences of the symptoms, such as doing poorly in school, early substance abuse or legal problems, getting involved with the wrong crowd? Interesting, but maybe not highly relevant.
Note that replication is the way research works. One study is not very important until its findings are replicated by other studies done by other people.
2. A disturbing article suggests that high levels of prenatal fluoride can contribute to children developing ADHD. They emphasize that this is only one study and it would have to be replicated and that genetics still play a large role.
I’m still a fan of fluoridation but if you’re pregnant or going to be, you need to be aware of the levels of fluoride in your drinking water. These vary widely among communities. And be careful about your toothpaste.
3. In 8% of children, elimination of certain foods, additives, and coloring improved ADHD symptoms. However, results were not confirmed by teachers and outside observers and applying these measures can be difficult and expensive.
A meta-study, a study of studies, showed that an elimination diet, taking away almost all foods and then restarting them one by one, can give over 40% symptom reduction in about 1/3 of children with ADHD. However, it was noted that these studies were not well done and should be viewed with caution.
Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acid, with EPA percent greater than DHEA percent) and micronutrients have been found to be slightly helpful in general.
Overall, the studies suggest that difficult major dietary interventions can have moderate benefit in a small minority of children with ADHD. I suspect that these findings would apply to adults, but I’ve found no studies of this yet, just a lot of suggestions.
- Micronutrients: boron (B), chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), and zinc (Zn).
4. There is increasing misuse of stimulants among college students, primarily for improving cognition. Again, studies show that this does not actually work for people without ADHD, although it gives them the impression that they’re doing better than they are. Stimulant misuse is correlated with poor academic functioning.
Well, that’s the update.
Question O the Day: Does anyone know of studies of these things applying to adults? I haven’t researched it thoroughly. Your help would be appreciated.
@addstrategies #adhd #add @dougmkpdp