Are Placebos the New ADHD Supplement?, U.S. to Ban Food Dyes, and More Headlines

This Week Across the ADD/ADHD Spectrum is a new ongoing feature, covering -- you guessed it -- news that relates to ADDers, people with LD, and the whole range of alphabet soup diagnoses.
ADHD News Feed | posted by Hilary Tuttle

Study Finds Placebos Paired with Lower Dosage of Meds Produce Same Results as Regular Stimulants for ADHD Kids

A new study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics reports that using half a dose of prescription medication, supplemented with a placebo, to treat patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) produced the same results as the full dosage. It is unclear what effect the study will have on treatment, but it does suggest the incorporation of placebos in medicating ADD/ADHD patients could be an effective use of "mind-body medicine," according to the study's author, Dr. Adrian Sandler. Additionally, a decreased dose of stimulant medication in such a regimen, may lower the risk of side effects.

Governments Considering a Ban on Food Dyes Because of Link to Childhood Hyperactivity and Cancer

A study from the Center for Science in the Public Interest linking food dyes to an increased risk of childhood cancers and hyperactivity has prompted several governments -- including the United States and Australia -- to consider banning these chemicals from being used in processed foods. The dyes are most prevalent in brightly-colored food, including cereals and candies, which are commonly marketed to children. Food manufacturers use an estimated 15 million pounds of eight kinds of dyes annually, a rate that has increased five-fold in the last fifteen years. [Source: Medical News Today]

Social Difficulties Linked to Family Discord

Researchers at Rochester University conducted a three-year study that examined family dynamics in more than 200 families. In it, they identified three distinct family profiles: one happy, termed cohesive, and two unhappy, termed disengaged and enmeshed. Published in Child Development, their findings indicate that "disengaged" or cold and controlling families can cause children to have aggression issues and cause disruptions in the classroom. Children raised in these homes also struggle with depression and alienation during the first years of school. Melissa Sturge-Apple, chief researcher on a three-year-long study of relationship patterns, reported that, further, households deemed "enmeshed," which are feature a lot of conflict and meddling, tend to result in children who struggle with anxiety and social withdrawal. [Source: Science Daily]

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