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Oxygen deprivation in utero linked to ADHD
New research shows a potential link between ADHD and decreased oxygen in utero or at the time of birth.
December 10th, 2012
04:29 PM ET

Oxygen deprivation in utero linked to ADHD

A study published in this week’s Pediatrics finds that infants who experienced oxygen deprivation in utero are at an increased risk of developing attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder in childhood.

Prenatal exposure to oxygen deprivation conditions, known as ischemic-hypoxic conditions, can result from birth asphyxia, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and preeclampsia.

Researchers went through the medical records of nearly 82,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 and found that children who had experienced those conditions were 16% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD later in childhood. FULL POST


Study: ADHD medication may help curb crime
November 21st, 2012
05:01 PM ET

Study: ADHD medication may help curb crime

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is often associated with the wandering minds and erratic behavior of schoolchildren, but it can have serious consequences for adults as well. A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that people with ADHD who are on medications for the condition are less likely to commit crimes.

"We found the same pattern regardless of which type of crime," said Paul Lichtenstein of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, lead author of the study.

ADHD is associated with conduct problems in children and adults, the study said. People with ADHD commonly stop taking their prescribed medications, particularly adolescents and young adults, according to the study.

ADHD medications control patients' symptoms of impulsiveness, irritability and restlessness. By helping tame impulsive urges, the drugs may be also preventing patients from engaging in illegal acts including violent behaviors, Lichtenstein said. FULL POST


Anesthesia in young kids may carry developmental risks
Children who have anesthesia before the age of 3 may be at higher risk of developmental delay issues later in life.
August 20th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Anesthesia in young kids may carry developmental risks

While surgery carries risks for anyone, “going under” can have some particular risks for the very young.

A study coming out in the September issue of Pediatrics finds that children who have anesthesia before the age of 3, are at a higher risk for developmental delay issues later in life.

The study looked at more than 2,600 children in Australia who were tracked as part of the Raine Study. Authors found that by the age of 10, children who’d been exposed to anesthesia at a young age were more than twice as likely to have developmental issues with listening and speaking comprehension.
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Kids taking fewer antibiotics, more ADHD meds
June 18th, 2012
07:45 AM ET

Kids taking fewer antibiotics, more ADHD meds

American children are taking fewer antibiotics now than 10 years ago, but prescriptions to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, have increased, according to a new report by the Food and Drug Administration.

FDA researchers analyzed large prescription drug databases, looking at more than 2,000 drugs, to identify the top 30 medications most prescribed to children up to age 17. 

They found 263.6 million prescriptions were filled for infant through adolescent patients in 2010 - down 7% compared to 2002.

However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that while prescriptions for some drugs went down, others were prescribed more often between 2002 and 2010. The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.
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Kids as young as 4 can have ADHD
October 16th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Kids as young as 4 can have ADHD

The American Academy of Pediatrics has broadened its guidelines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, expanding the age range for diagnosis and treatment to ages 4 through 18.

While the previous guidelines, from 2000 and 2001, targeted children ages 6 to 12, the new report covers children from preschool to the end of high school. This is based on recent evidence that supports including preschool children and adolescents in ADHD diagnosis and treatment management.

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Calming your child's ADHD symptoms
October 5th, 2011
07:37 AM ET

Calming your child's ADHD symptoms

Dr. Claudia M. Gold is a pediatrician and author of "Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums and Other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World Through Your Child's Eyes."

Five-year-old Max came to see me in my pediatrics practice because his kindergarten teachers were convinced that he had ADHD. They knew little about his life, yet they were pressuring his mother, Alice, to come to me in the hopes that I would prescribe medication, because his behavior in class was increasingly disruptive. Alice came to the first visit armed with the standard forms, indicating that he had scored in the high range for ADHD.

My approach to the diagnosis of ADHD, up a startling 29% according to a recent CDC report, has grown out of over 20 years practicing general and behavioral pediatrics, while simultaneously studying contemporary developmental science at the interface of genetics, psychology and neuroscience. I have come to recognize the essential role of understanding the meaning of behavior, rather than responding simply to the behavior itself, in promoting healthy emotional development.

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Filed under: ADHD • Brain • Children's Health • Psychology

Spotting autism's unique shape in the brain
September 2nd, 2011
06:15 PM ET

Spotting autism's unique shape in the brain

Diagnosing autism is not easy.  Doctors currently diagnose autism in children by observing behavior.  But researchers at Standford University believe they have developed a way to use brains scans that may help identify autism in children in the future.

Using MRI scans, researchers were able to determine that autistic brains have a unique shape when compared to typically developing brains.

They found that there are significant differences in areas of the brain called the Default Mode Network, a set of brain structures associated with social communication and self-awareness.

A study published Friday in Biological Psychiatry finds that the greater the difference in brain structure, the more severe the case of autism.

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Filed under: ADHD • Autism

ADHD diagnoses on the rise, CDC says
August 19th, 2011
12:06 PM ET

ADHD diagnoses on the rise, CDC says

More and more children are getting a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percentage of children with the condition rose from 7% in 1998-2000 to 9% in 2007-2009, for both boys and girls. In some areas of the United States those figures are even higher. From 1998 to 2009, ADHD prevalence increased 10% in the Midwest and South.

FULL POST


ADHD kids face greater pedestrian risks
July 25th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

ADHD kids face greater pedestrian risks

Teaching your child to safely cross the street is hard enough, but when your child has ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, you may need to worry more about his or her safety. A new study finds children with ADHD are at greater risk when crossing the street. Experts suggest these children have more problems remembering visual tasks and managing their time as they do them.

Accidents are the leading cause of death in children and those with ADHD are much more likely than their peers to be involved. Crossing the street is no exception so researchers decided to create a virtual reality simulation of an intersection and asked children ages 7 – 10 to cross the street.

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June 21st, 2011
10:23 AM ET

Can depression cause inability to focus?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Asked by Rachel from Southern California

I am a college student, recently diagnosed with depression, and am taking steps to figure out if I have ADHD because of a tremendous inability to focus and retain information. It is almost like, when I'm trying to focus on something someone says, it slips right through me like water.

I am curious to know what prospects I have of gaining my cognitive abilities back if I start taking Lexapro or other antidepressants. If these are going to impair my ability to concentrate and focus even more, then I am not sure how to weigh the cost-benefits of taking them, because I am in school.

In short, are antidepressants more helpful or hurtful to my cognitive functions? Can I look forward to reversing the concentration and memory retention problems I am currently undergoing?
FULL POST


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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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