New Link to ADHD Misdiagnosis, Pesticide Exposure May Make Symptoms Worse, And More

A weekly roundup of news headlines from across the attention deficit and learning disabilities spectrum.
ADHD News Feed | posted by ADDitude Editors

One in Five Children Is Misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD

Could your child's age compared to his classmates' make him more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) and be prescribed stimulant medications such as Ritalin or Dexedrine? That's the conclusion of a new study from Todd Elder, an economist at Michigan State University whose research will be published in the September Journal of Health Economics. Elder found that nearly one million children may be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD simply because they are the youngest in their class and thus exhibit more intellectual and emotional immaturity relative to other students. [Source: Journal of Health Economics]

Adding CBT to Medication Improves Symptoms of Adults with ADD/ADHD

Adults with ADD/ADHD who do well on medication but suffer persistent symptoms may benefit from adding cognitive behavioral therapy to their treatment plan. In a randomized, controlled trial, a team of researchers led by Steven Safren, director of the behavioral medicine program at Massachusetts General Hospital, found that those who received therapy along with medication were twice as likely to have improved symptoms and a better quality of life than those receiving medication and education/relaxation therapy. [Source: The Journal of the American Medical Association]

Exposure to Pesticides May Intensify Symptoms

Moms exposed to high levels of pesticides (known as organophosphates) during pregnancy are more likely to have children who experience attention deficit at a young age, according to new findings. While this latest study doesn’t prove a direct causal link, it adds to the growing body of literature on the association between pesticide exposure and the development of ADD/ADHD. [Source: Environmental Health Perspectives]

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