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Article Date: 14 Feb 2011 – 2:00 PST


Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are two to three times more likely than children without the disorder to develop serious substance abuse problems in adolescence and adulthood, according to a study by UCLA psychologists and colleagues at the University of South Carolina.


“This greater risk for children with ADHD applies to boys and girls, it applies across race and ethnicity – the findings were very consistent,” said Steve S. Lee, a UCLA assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study. “The greater risk for developing significant substance problems in adolescence and adulthood applies across substances, including nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and other drugs.”


Lee and his colleagues analyzed 27 long-term studies that followed approximately 4,100 children with ADHD and 6,800 children without the disorder into adolescence and young adulthood – in some cases for more than 10 years. These carefully designed, rigorous and lengthy studies, Lee said, are the “gold standard” in the field.


The research by Lee and his colleagues, the first large-scale comprehensive analysis on this issue, is published online this week in the journal Clinical Psychology Review and will appear in a print edition later this year.


The researchers combined all the published studies that met rigorous criteria and analyzed them together. They found that children with ADHD were at greater risk for serious problems such as addiction, abuse and trying to quit but being unable to, Lee said.


“Any single study can be spurious,” he said, “but our review of more than two dozen carefully designed studies provides a compelling analysis.”


ADHD is common, occurring in approximately 5 percent to 10 percent of children in the U.S., and figures in many other industrialized countries with compulsory education are comparable, according to Lee.


Symptoms of the disorder are common in children and include being easily distracted, fidgeting, being unable to complete a single task and being easily bored. However, to receive a diagnosis of ADHD, a child must have at least six of nine symptoms of either hyperactivity or inattention, and the child’s behavior must be causing problems in his or her life. The vast majority of children with ADHD have at least six symptoms in both categories, Lee said.


Read in Full: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/216380.php

Child's Handwriting

Abnormal Control of Hand Movements May Hint at ADHD Severity in Children


ScienceDaily (Feb. 14, 2011) — Two research studies published February 14 in Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found markers for measuring the ability of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to control impulsive movements, which may reveal insights into the neurobiology of ADHD, inform prognosis and guide treatments.


In one of two studies conducted by researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, children with ADHD performed a finger-tapping task. Any unintentional “overflow” movements occurring on the opposite hand were noted. Children with ADHD showed more than twice the amount of overflow than typically developing children. This is the first time that scientists have been able to quantify the degree to which ADHD is associated with a failure in motor control.


The single most common child behavioral diagnosis, ADHD is a highly prevalent developmental disorder characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The approximately 2 million affected children often fall behind their peers in development of motor control, motor overflow (unintentional movement) and balance. The inability to control or inhibit voluntary actions is suspected to contribute to the core diagnostic features of excessive hyperactivity, impulsivity and off-task (distractible) behavior.


“Despite its prevalence, there is a lack of understanding about the neurobiological basis of ADHD,” said Dr. Stewart Mostofsky, the study’s senior author and Director of the Laboratory for Neurocognitive and Imaging Research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. “A critical obstacle in ADHD is the lack of quantitative measures of brain function that would provide a basis for more accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.”


Read in Full: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214162941.htm



Related Article

ADHD Is A Genetic Neurodevelopmental Disorder, Scientists Reveal:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/202997.php



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