ADHD Current Research
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, is a behavioral condition that typically appears before the age of seven and remains throughout adolescence and adulthood. Although experts are still unsure why, ADHD affects three times more boys than girls. ADHD is typically characterized one or more of the factors; inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Kids affected by the disorder often have a difficult time paying attention, following directions or sitting still. In the past, kids with ADHD were seen simply as badly behaved and few allowances were made or treatments offered to help manage the negative symptoms. These days, although awareness about the true nature of the disorder remains fairly low, researchers are taking ADHD seriously and have made some fairly significant inroads into understanding it. As a result, children in this generation have the option of partaking therapies meant to help alleviate the symptoms as well as helpful medication.
Because serious research into ADHD is only occurred within the last decade or so, experts feel that they have only scratched the surface of understanding it. For instance, they know that there is a strong genetic link, rather than being the result of poor parenting or other external factors, however, they do not understand where the link originates. New studies are consistently being conducted and released regarding this most common disorder.
· Project to Learn About ADHD in Youth (PLAY) – Recently, CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities funded a collaborative research project between the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and The University of South Carolina called Project to Learn about ADHD in Youth (PLAY). This study is one of the largest conducted in the United States to date.
The study involved comparison between six school districts with diverse populations within the two states. Based on information collected from both parents and teachers, they found that the prevalence of ADHD was in the upper end of the range compared to other studies. Although there were a high number of children taking ADHD medication who did not report enough symptoms at the time of the assessment to fit the diagnosis for ADHD, the findings suggest two things. Either the children were showing evidence of being appropriately treated for their previous symptoms or they did not need the medication in the first place. Despite this, many children had enough teacher/parent reported symptoms to fit the diagnosis for ADHD, but were not receiving treatment or medication. This finding suggests that overall, ADHD remains largely undiagnosed.
· Prenatal Nicotine Exposure Could Lead to ADHD – Evidence from a Florida State research study published in the Journal of Neuroscience indicates that there is a strong link between a fetus' exposure to nicotine and a later diagnosis of ADHD. Concerningly, the study also suggests that exposure to nicotine could be passed on through subsequent generations or received from previous generations, meaning that environmentally induced alterations within the genes could be permanent. Although researchers admit that this study is in the early stages, knowing how the gene is inherited from previous generations could be helpful in determining whether or not appropriate treatment will stop the transmission of it to future ones.
· Long Term Impact of ADHD – A study published in 2012 by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation showed that men who had been diagnosed with ADHD as children were at risk for worse outcomes in areas such as career, marriage, education and income than their peer group without the disorder. This belies the myth that a person can outgrow ADHD with no help. Boys who have been diagnosed can go on to live a normal and healthy life, as long as they participate in early intervention that teaches them how to recognize triggers and bad behavior.
If your son has been diagnosed with ADHD, we can help. Contact us through our website at Liahona Academy to gain access to our many resources, or call us for a free consultation to discuss treatment options available to you.