The year 2013 was an exciting one in the field of Attention Deficit Disorder Research. I subscribe to ScienceDaily's notification system for stories about Attention Deficit Disorder. When a new study is published, they tell me. Rather than few lonely studies being published, in the latter part of the year, my mailbox was filled with stories about new studies related to Attention Deficit Disorder. As always, I am limited on the time that I have to write, so I must pick and choose what I put into an article. This means that many interesting studies are not reviewed in my column. Here are snapshots of a few studies that I found fascinating. I have included the citation for the original ScienceDaily story in the resources section at the end of the article.
Methylphenidate 'Normalizes' Activation in Key Brain Areas in Kids With ADHD, Study Suggests May 9, 2013
This study looked at nine previous studies where methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, was provided to adolescent boys with Attention Deficit Disorder. They were compared to a matched control group. While the boys with ADD/ADHD were taking the drug, their brains were being studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess the effect of the drug. The boys were assessed using "inhibitory control" tasks and selective memory tasks. The studies found that parts of the brain that were used for selective attention and time perception were normalized by the methylphenidate used with the boys with ADD/ADHD when compared to the typically developing peers.
Brain Activity in Sleep May Impact Emotional Disturbances in Children With ADHD May 29, 2013
If you know a child with ADD/ADHD, the chances are good that you know a child who has trouble sleeping. Sleep provides many benefits for all of us. One of these benefits is consolidation of emotional memories. A small study comparing children with Attention Deficit Disorder and typically developing children implies that some of the emotional problems that kids with ADD/ADHD may have lie in the fact that they do not process emotional stimuli as actively when they are sleeping as their peers who do not have ADD/ADHD.
Nearly One-Third of Children With Autism Also Have ADHD June 5, 2013
The latest iteration of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) removed the exclusion of a dual diagnosis of Autism and Attention Deficit Disorder. Practitioners have long known that these disorders can exist alongside each other. In this study, 29% of the children with ASD also had the core symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. Now, research on young children is occurring to see what the implications are for having both ASD and ADD/ADHD together. Areas that are affected are working in everyday situations, cognitive, and social functions.
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (2013, May 9). Methylphenidate 'normalizes' activation in key brain areas in kids with ADHD, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 26, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.comŽ/releases/2013/05/130509123329.htm
Public Library of Science (2013, May 29). Brain activity in sleep may impact emotional disturbances in children with ADHD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 26, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com-/releases/2013/05/130529190938.htm
Kennedy Krieger Institute (2013, June 5). Nearly one-third of children with autism also have ADHD.ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 26, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com-/releases/2013/06/130605103952.htm
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