Archive for the ‘ADD/ADHD’ Category

Diet and Brainjogging will manage and minimize ADHD symptoms

Monday, June 27th, 2011 by admin

Children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often characterized as being

hyperactive, fidgety, impulsive, distracted and anxious.  These individuals, particularly children, can be considered difficult to handle.  Approximately ten percent of children in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD.  Traditionally, these children are treated with medication, but a new study in The Lancet suggests that a restrictive diet may yield a significant decrease in the manifestation of symptoms.

Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands, the study’s lead author, suggests that many ADHD diagnoses result from external factors, which can be treated by changing the environment in which the affected individual exists (NPR).

Pelsser suggests that there needs to be a shift in the way in which ADHD is treated.  ADHD needs to be approached as a collection of symptoms rather than a disease.  Pelsser goes so far as to draw a comparison between ADHD and eczema, saying, “The skin is affected, but a lot of people get eczema because of a latex allergy or because they are eating a pineapple or strawberries.”

Pelsser’s research indicates that approximately 64 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD are actually experiencing a hypersensitivity to food. By starting children on very elaborate diets and then restricting that diet over a period of five weeks, researchers were able to minimize symptoms of individuals with ADHD.  Over this five-week period, researchers are able to study which foods cause problems with different children.

Astonishingly, teachers and doctors who worked with study participants reported observable changes in behavior.  The children were more attentive and less reactive.

Despite Pelsser’s research team’s promising results, a restrictive diet is not the answer for all children with ADHD.  As with medication, a diet program should be modified or abandoned in the event that it does not translate directly into results for the child being treated.  Regardless, beginning treatment with a diet, rather than medication, may lead to successful management of symptoms without resorting to medication.

Additionally, Camp Academia, Inc.’s patented cognitive processing software, Brainjogging, successfully manages ADHD and its traditional symptoms.  Brainjogging can be used in conjunction with a diet that treats ADHD.

Listen to this story on NPR here.

ADHD, depression and suicidal thoughts

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 by admin

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a highly prevalentdisorder, affecting approximately 4.4 million children in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).  ADHD is often characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity.  A study from the University of Chicago and the University of Pittsburgh suggests these traits may make children with ADHD more susceptible to depression and suicidal thoughts as young adults. This study was also reported by CNN.A long-term study published in the October issue of Archives of General Psychiatry indicates that children diagnosed with ADHD between ages 4 and 6 “are more likely to suffer from depression as adolescents than those who did not have ADHD at that age” (Science Daily).  The inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity so commonly identified in children with ADHD may “cause poor performance in school, difficulties in social situations and a loss of confidence and self esteem.”

The study followed 123 children diagnosed with ADHD at age 4 to 6 for up to 14 years, until they reached ages 18 to 20.  It compared them with 119 children from similar neighborhoods and schools, matched for age, sex and ethnicity.  The children were assessed annually in study years 1 through 4, 6 through 9 and 12 through 14. (Science Daily)

Eighteen percent of the children diagnosed with ADHD at a young age suffered depression as adolescents.  This figure is approximately 10 times the rate of that found in adolescents without ADHD.  Kids with ADHD were also five times more likely to have considered suicide at least one time, and twice as likely to have made an attempt (Science Daily).

Benjamin Lahey, Ph.D., a professor of health sciences and psychiatry at the University of Chicago, cautioned, “Suicide attempts were relatively rare, even in the study group.  Parents should keep in mind that more than 80 percent of the children with ADHD did not attempt suicide and not one in this study committed suicide.”

Nonetheless, the study indicates that parents of children that are diagnosed with ADHD at a young age should be keenly aware of their child’s emotional state.  Additionally, “children with inattention or combined subtype were at greater risk for depression.  Those with combined type or hyperactivity were at greater risk for suicidal thoughts.” Children with more complicated ADHD were more likely to be depressed and/or have suicidal thoughts than were children with less complicated ADHD.  Complication refers to the extensiveness of ADHD’s prevalence, whether or not children suffered from anxiety, displayed oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder symptoms. Although more boys than girls have ADHD, “being female increased the risk for depression.”  So, too, did having a mother who had suffered from depression.

Unfortunately, Brainjogging has witnessed the tolls of ADHD and depression on some of its own students.  Brainjogging, however, counteracts depression and enhances impulse control in individuals with ADHD.  Brainjogging is a viable solution to ADHD and related depression.

Hand movements in children with ADHD may predict severity of disorder

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 by admin

Researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center recently conducted two studies, both of which were published in the February issue of Neurobiology, on the ability of children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to control impulsive movements.In the first study, “children with ADHD performed a finger-tapping task” (Science Daily).  Unintentional “overflow,” or movements occurring on the opposite hand, were noted using video and a device that records finger position.  Mirror overflow is “defined as unintentional and unnecessary movements occurring in the same muscles on the opposite side of the body.” The study included fifty participants, 25 with ADHD and 25 typically developing children, ages 8-12 years.  All subjects completed five sequential finger-tapping tests on each hand.  Children tapped each finger to their thumb of the same hand.  Children alternated tapping hands between the left and the right.  When children with ADHD completed left-handed finger-tapping tasks, they demonstrated twice as much mirror overflow as typically developing children.    Boys with ADHD showed almost four times as much mirror overflow as typically developing peers.

Dr. Stewart Mostofsky, the study’s senior author and Director of the Laboratory for Neurocognitive and Imaging Research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, stated, “This study used quantitative measures to support past qualitative findings that motor overflow persists to a greater degree in children with ADHD then in typically developing peers.  The findings reveal that even at an unconscious level, these children are struggling with controlling and inhibiting unwanted actions and behavior.”

In the second study, researchers further examined ADHD “be measuring activity within the motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls voluntary movement.” Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), researchers applied “mild magnetic pulses for brief durations to trigger muscle activity in the hand, causing hand twitches.”  Researchers applied single or double pulses in 60 trials and measured the corresponding brain activity, called short interval cortical inhibition (SICI).  Children with ADHD demonstrated “a substantial decrease in SICI, with significantly less inhibition of motor activity during the paired pulse stimulation compared to typically developing children.”  Children with ADHD showed 40 percent less inhibition control than their typically developing peers.  Additionally, children with ADHD with “less motor inhibition (decreased SICI) correlated with more severe symptoms.”  Measures of SICI predicted motor impairment in children with ADHD and predicted behavioral symptoms as substantiated by parents.  Researchers believe SICI “may be a critical biomarker for ADHD.”

*WebMD also posted an article about this study.

Alienation makes children more likely to act aggressively

Friday, December 10th, 2010 by admin

Netherlands researchers at Utrecht University recently “found that some children are more likely than others to lash out in response to acute peer rejection: children who already feel like outcasts” (Science Daily).   The results of the study are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Perhaps saying that alienated youth are more likely to lash out than are youth that are generally accepted by their peers is stating the obvious, but it is important to face aggression and bullying directly.  Utrecht University’s researchers believed there might be “something to alienation that increases aggression” and created an Internet contest called “Survivor” to test children’s degrees of alienation and corresponding aggression.The contest was fake; it never went live on the web.  The study included 121 children between the ages of 10 and 13.  Each child created an online profile that would allegedly be uploaded onto the “Survivor” website alongside the child’s picture.  Eight children from other schools acted as judges and wrote feedback for students.  While some children received mostly positive feedback, some had mostly negative feedback, including statements like, “This person does not seem fun to hang out with.”

After reviewing the feedback they received from judges, the children were able “to choose how much money each judge would get, and to write comments about the judges.”  Students who received negative feedback and were rejected by their peers “were more likely to act aggressively toward judges – taking away money from them and/or writing comments like ‘this person is fat and mean.’”  Students “were even more aggressive if they’d scored high on a measure of alienation – agreeing with statements like, ‘Hardly anyone I know is interested in how I really feel inside.’”

Researchers closed the study with a session during which they explained to the children that the judges and their mean comments were fake.  They discussed with the children positive social experiences they recently had and then gave them a present.

Curbing bullying is as simple – or as difficult – as helping children not to feel like outcasts.  Children, particularly those with learning disabilities, are likely to feel different from and/or excluded by others. A child in your life with a learning disability is a child for whom you should strive to facilitate positive, validating social experiences, perhaps even more so than for a child without a learning disability. Children with learning disabilities are also at risk to experience depression.  As demonstrated by Utrecht University’s research, bad peer experiences can lead children to lash out aggressively, likely causing further alienation.  Help the child in your life with a learning disability feel accepted and valuable to reduce the chance that he or she may develop unhealthy tendencies to act aggressively toward others.

Controlling the brain’s control center

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 by admin

A new Queen’s University study suggests that “impulsive behaviour can be improved with training and the improvement is marked by specific brain changes” (Science Daily).  PhD student Scott Hayton believes he has “pinpointed the area of the brain that controls impulsive behaviour and the mechanisms that affect how impulsive behaviour is learned” (Science Daily).

Mr. Hayton’s research was prompted by a desire to understand how students learn to hold their tongues and wait until being called on by teachers instead of blurting out answers.  Mr. Hayton explained, “We wanted to know how this type of learning occurs in the brain.  Our research basically told us where the memory for this type of inhibition is in the brain, and how it is encoded.”

Mr. Hayton and his team “trained rats to control impulsive responses until a signal was presented” (Science Daily).  As the rats learned to control their impulses, the electrical signals between cells in their brains’ frontal lobes grew stronger.  The significance of this experiment lies in the fact that as cells communicate more effectively, the brain grows more able to control impulses, indicating that humans’ brains, too, can be trained to better communicate and thereby more successfully control impulsiveness.

ADD/ADHD, in addition to addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder and gambling, is marked by impulsiveness.  The study’s principal investigator, Professor Cella Olmstead, explained that “children who have difficulty learning to control a response often have behavioral problems which continue into adulthood.”  Ideally, early intervention would train individuals’ brains to communicate more efficiently.  This increase in processing speed and efficiency would simultaneously decrease the chance of not being able to control impulsivity.

Brainjogging trains individuals’ brains by building new neurons and strengthening communication between existing neurons by continuously calling on brain circuits to communicate information.  The repetitive nature of Brainjogging’s exercises actually “work out” the brain’s neurons, making them more efficient in the same way that “working out” by lifting weights strengthens muscle groups.  By increasing students’ brains’ communication and strengthening the neurons in their frontal lobes, Brainjogging teaches students to control impulsiveness, which is particularly important for students with ADD/ADHD or the obsessive compulsive qualities sometimes associated with ASD.

Brainjogging serves military families

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 by admin

Fort Benning is a thriving military base in the southeast – and one of the busiest Army installations in the United States. Over 130,000 Soldiers and civilians live, work, train or use services at Fort Benning.  Brainjogging is proud to serve military families!  Our offices in LaGrange, Georgia and in Columbus, Georgia are accessible to Fort Benning’s Soldiers and their families.  Our convenient Columbus location, at 1022 2nd Avenue, provides expedient access to services for military families of children with learning disabilities.

Brainjogging specializes in learning disabilities and behavior disorders.  Living with a child with a learning disability or behavior disorder can be difficult even when two parents are involved; it can be even more difficult when one partner is deployed.  Brainjogging has been proven to increase attention levels, increase memory retention, build perceptual and processing abilities and improve motor skills!  We have enormous success with students with learning disabilities and behavior disorders.  We hope to be able to use our talents to serve Fort Benning military families and their children with learning disabilities.  Brainjogging is excited to extend a 10% discount on therapy sessions to military families! Please call our main office at 706.884.4492 for more information.

Cognitive therapy’s benefits for adult ADHD

Monday, September 27th, 2010 by admin

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers recently suggested that the impulsive behavior and inattentiveness that characterize attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) “often [last] into adulthood.”  MGH’s report reveals that “adding cognitive behavioral therapy – an approach that teaches skills for handling life challenges and revising negative thought patterns – to [medication] for ADHD significantly improved symptom control in … adult patients” (Science Daily).

Steven Safren, PhD, ABPP, director of Behavioral Medicine in the MGH Department of Psychiatry, stated that, “Medications are very effective in ‘turning down the volume’ on ADHD symptoms, but they do not teach people skills” (Science Daily).Michigan State University researchers divided adults with ADHD into two groups.  The control group “received training in muscle relaxation and other relaxation techniques, education on how to apply relaxation to ADHD symptoms, and supportive psychotherapy” while the experimental group partook in cognitive behavioral therapy sessions including “skills training in areas such as organization and planning, setting priorities and problem solving, coping with distractions and developing adaptive thought responses to stressful situations” (Science Daily).  After the 12-week study, “participants receiving cognitive behavioral therapy had significantly better symptom control than did those receiving relaxation training” (Science Daily).  Cognitive behavioral therapy generated sustaining benefits three and even nine months after the study ended.

Brainjogging, Camp Academia, INC.’s cognitive therapy
computer software, stimulates the brain.  Brainjogging instructors teach students life skills, to which their brains are more receptive after  receiving stimulation from the Brainjogging computer program!Approximately 4.5 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD; if these children’s ADHD symptoms go untreated, their symptoms will continue to manifest into adulthood.  Early intervention reduces adults’ ADHD symptoms.  Even with medication, many adults “are still troubled by continuing symptoms” (Science Daily).  Brainjogging teaches individuals with ADHD and other learning disabilities to narrow their focus and apply life skills, thereby instructing these individuals in coping strategies and productive habits.

Approximately 4% of adults in the United States have ADHD – that is roughly 9 million individuals!  Imagine how Brainjogging can affect the lives of individuals with ADHD!  Nearly 9 million people could lead less stressful, more productive lives – and that’s without considering the 4.5 million children that have also been diagnosed with ADHD.  Brainjogging is an extraordinary tool for individuals with learning disabilities!  Review some of Brainjogging’s students’ success stories, in the form of parent testimonials, for feedback on just how greatly Brainjogging can affect change in individuals’ lives.

Minorities have minimal access to effective ADHD treatments

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 by admin

Camp Academia, INC.’s recent obtainment of SES Provider status is of significant importance to under-served populations.  The majority of students students eligible for Camp Academia, INC.’s SES belong to minority groups. Michigan State University research suggests that “several barriers prevent minority children with ADHD from receiving the most effective treatments,” primarily because there is a lack of “culturally competent health-care providers, financial hurdles and little dissemination of information about treatments that work.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD, “making it one of the most common childhood disorders” (Science Daily).  ADHD is “characterized by impulsive behavior and inattentiveness, [and] often lasts into adulthood” (Science Daily).  For this reason, it is important to provide early intervention to students struggling with ADHD or other learning disabilities.

Camp Academia, INC.’s services to under-served populations are an incredible resource, particularly to those children that might have ADHD or any other type of learning disability.  Research by Michigan State University suggests that medication alone does not do enough to lessen ADHD symptoms; medication works to an extent, but cognitive therapy teaches children skills to cope with their symptoms.  Brainjogging, by toning students’ brains and helping them learn to narrow their focus, targets several areas that medication alone will not relieve for students with learning disabilities.  Brainjogging is the answer!  Through Camp Academia, INC.’s Brainjogging program, students on free and reduced lunch at Brewer, Forrest Road and Fox elementary schools; and Baker, Eddy and Marshall middle schools, have access to FREE cognitive therapy treatment that has been proven to reduce the manifestation of ADHD and other learning disability symptoms.