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November 7, 2010 | By Katherine Ellison
Like many parents of a challenging child, I was quietly thrilled the other day to read that a study in the prestigious medical journal the Lancet reported new evidence that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, my son's main diagnosis, may have something to do with genes. "I'm off the hook!" it's so tempting to think, when hearing this kind of news. Yes, my chromosomes may be to blame, but at least I wouldn't have to keep kicking myself over the possible ramifications of that fall from the swing set when my child was a toddler, or how much pesticide residue he's accumulated in his short time on Earth, or whether my own distractedness has deprived him of the consistency and structure he so obviously needs.
September 6, 2004 | Hilary E. MacGregor, Times Staff Writer
Kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder who have a few hours on their hands might want to consider heading to the nearest grassy park or tree-lined street. In a study of several hundred children with the disorder, researchers found that those who spent time in green, natural settings reported fewer symptoms than kids who worked on activities indoors or who took part in activities in more urban areas.
September 11, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Forget that stereotype about the dumb jock. A new study reveals that kids who are more physically fit score higher on geography tests, too. Previous research has found that out-of-shape kids get lower grades in school and perform worse on tasks involving memory and other types of cognitive function. In addition, mice that exercise have better spatial learning and memory than sedentary mice. For the new study, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wondered whether there was a correlation between physical fitness and learning.
May 20, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Having childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could lead to a life of obesity, even if ADHD symptoms disappear in adulthood, a new study shows. The study, which followed up on 207 middle-class men who had been diagnosed with ADHD as children, found that some 33 years after their diagnosis, their body mass index was significantly higher than those without ADHD. Their propensity to become obese was twice that of adults who were never diagnosed with ADHD, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
August 19, 2010
A growing body of evidence is suggesting that exposure to organophosphate pesticides is a prime cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD. The findings are considered plausible to many experts because the pesticides are designed to attack the nervous systems of insects. It is not surprising, then, that they should also impinge on the nervous systems of humans who are exposed to them. Forty organophosphate pesticides are registered in the United States, with at least 73 million pounds used each year in agricultural and residential settings.
October 1, 2010
About 3% to 7% of children 5 to 17 years old in the United States have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder , or ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC labels it "one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. " It also breaks down ADHD into three different categories: predominantly inattentive (which was once called attention deficit disorder, or ADD), predominantly hyperactive-impulsive and combined. The Orlando Sentinel's health blog Vital Signs reports on a recent study that measured the effect of background noise on inattentive students called "A little white noise may help ADD students.
April 5, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Children and teens exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to develop symptoms for a variety of mental health problems, including major depressive disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and others, according to a study published in Tuesday’s edition of the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. At this point, it should come as no surprise to anyone that exposure to tobacco smoke is unhealthy. Plenty of studies have linked secondhand smoke to respiratory problems, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome, middle ear infections and other physical health problems.
June 19, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Efforts by doctors and public health experts to rein in the use of antibiotics in children appear to be working, according to a new study that shows a 14% decline in pediatric prescriptions for those drugs between 2002 and 2010. As many as half of the antibiotics taken in this country are taken inappropriately - to treat infections caused by viruses instead of bacteria, for example. In these cases, the drugs don't help patients, but they do help bacteria build resistance to the drugs.
July 26, 2010
The effects of methylphenidate -- a stimulant used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder -- are interesting. The drug clearly helps many people with ADHD with mental focus and concentration. And although many parents fear giving the medication to children diagnosed with ADHD because it is a drug (and drugs can be abused), studies show that those children and teens who benefit from the medication are less likely to abuse drugs. Kids with ADHD who are untreated are at higher risk for substance abuse issues.
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