News Reports

New Link to ADHD Misdiagnosis, Pesticide Exposure, And More

A weekly roundup of news headlines from across the attention deficit and learning disabilities spectrum.

One in Five Children Is Misdiagnosed with ADHD

Could your child’s age compared to his classmates’ make him more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (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 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 ADHD

Adults with 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]

In Utero Exposure to Pesticides Associated with Attention Problems

In utero exposure to (organophosphate) pesticides is associated adversely with attention problems.  These associations were somewhat stronger at 5 years of age that at 3-5 years and were stronger in boys, according to a new study.  The study adds to the growing body of literature on the association between pesticide exposure and the development of ADHD. [Source: Environmental Health Perspectives]

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