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Old 03-31-06, 08:52 AM
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Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Controversial Treatments for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

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In the past decade there has been a tremendous upsurge of scientific and public interest in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The interest is reflected not only in the number of scientific articles but in the explosion of books for parents and teachers. Great strides have been made in understanding and managing this common childhood disorder. Children with AD/HD who would have gone unrecognized and untreated only a few short years ago are now being helped, often with dramatic, positive results.

It is critical for parents to seek the best in evaluation, as well as the best in treatment. Evaluations that consist of a single checklist or ten minute discussions, will likely run the risk of mis-diagnosis of the disorder or in fact a misunderstanding of co- occurring problems that often present for children with AD/HD. Symptoms of inattention, restlessness, impulsivity, social and academic difficulties, can reflect a variety of childhood disorders. It is essential to obtain a thorough understanding of problems before attempting to intervene, especially since many children with AD/HD also experience co-existing learning and behavior problems. A good treatment plan follows logically from a thorough evaluation.

Children with AD/HD who would have gone unrecognized and untreated only a few short years ago are now being helped, often with dramatic, positive results.

There continues to be many questions in need of answers concerning the developmental course, outcome, and treatment of AD/HD. Although there are a number of effective treatments, they may not be equally effective with all children experiencing AD/HD. In their efforts to seek effective help for their children, parents may become desperate. In their desperation, and confused by misinformation in the marketplace, parents may turn to treatments which claim to be useful but which have not been demonstrated to be truly effective in accordance with standards held by the scientific community. We refer to such treatments as controversial. That is, they are marketed beyond their proven worth.

Unfortunately, most parents, no matter how intelligent or well-educated, do not have the training nor expertise necessary to identify and evaluate relevant scientific findings concerning the effectiveness of various treatment which have not as yet met scientific standards for effectiveness. Some of these treatments merit continued research, others do not. We do not recommend these as proven treatments. We know that parents need to be informed about them because they may be offered as proven and accepted approaches to the treatment of AD/HD, which they are not.

How Are New Treatments Evaluated?

The road by which a particular treatment is shown to be effective can be long and arduous. The process begins with the formulation of a hypothesis or idea. This hypothesis is usually based upon an existing body of knowledge. The second step is the development of a protocol to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed treatment. The treatment itself and the way in which it will be implemented must be carefully defined. The researcher must also specify the way in which the effectiveness of the treatment will be evaluated. Care must be taken to be certain that the effects of the treatment are not simply due to placebo. It has been well documented in scientific research that people respond to all sorts of ineffective treatments as long as they believe that the treatment has the power to help them. Placebo effects can be more dramatic than most people realize.

The researcher must also take care that all who participate, researchers and research subjects alike, are blind or unaware, whether they receive the active treatment or the placebo. Otherwise the expectancies of either party could influence the findings. Appropriate measurement techniques and statistical tests must be built in so that the entire scientific community can evaluate the findings. Finally, the results must be subjected to the scrutiny of this group, published and substantiated by others attempting to replicate the findings.

Alternative Treatments: Another Path

There is also a second path which some practitioners follow, sometimes in an effort to shortcut the longer, more accepted process. This path, unfortunately, is fraught with many problems. On this path, proposed treatments stem from concepts which are outside of the mainstream of existing knowledge or just along its border. They may be instituted long before there is any research which supports their effectiveness - often after only brief, poorly designed trials involving a small number of subjects. Measurement techniques and means of evaluation are scanty at best and often single case studies are offered as proof of the effectiveness of a treatment. This treatment approach is usually publicized in books or journals which do not require independent review of the material by recognized experts in the field. Often, in fact, the advocate of a particular treatment publishes the work. This method of self- publication should raise a warning for consumer parents. Additionally, although parent support groups have an essential role the in treatment of childhood disorders, parent support groups advocating one and only one treatment for a disorder, unfortunately substitute enthusiasm for careful scientific research.

Although dietary interventions are popular, few studies have reported success and for most of these, statistical problems abound.

It is critical for parents to seek the best in evaluation, as well as the best in treatment. Evaluations that consist of a single checklist or ten-minute discussions, will likely run the risk of mis-diagnosis of the disorder or, in fact, a misunderstanding of co-occurring problems that often present for children with AD/HD. Symptoms of inattention, restlessness, impulsivity, and social and academic difficulties, can reflect a variety of childhood disorders. It is essential to obtain a thorough understanding of problems before attempting to intervene, especially since many children with AD/HD also experience co-existing learning and behavior problems. A good treatment plan follows logically from a thorough evaluation.

These alternative treatments and interventions commonly claim effectiveness for a broad range of problems. When asked for proof to support these claims, however, proponents are unable to produce more than scanty documentation. Proponents may also claim to have access to knowledge and information not shared by the medical community at large and when their treatments are criticized they may explain this as reflecting a conspiracy against them in a scientific community.

Controversial Treatments for AD/HD

Dietary Intervention

Among the best known dietary interventions, the Feingold Diet has advocated that children sensitive to a variety of foods and food colorings, including preservatives, may develop symptoms of AD/HD as a toxic reaction to these substances. Over the years advocates of these dietary interventions have made dramatic claims. They have stated that additive free diets will improve most if not all children's learning and attention problems. They describe case studies in which children could be removed from drug therapy if their diet was maintained. They also report improvements in school for these children and subsequent deterioration in learning and behavior when the diet is not followed.

Although dietary interventions are popular, few studies have reported success and for most of these, statistical problems abound. The lack of well controlled studies is also true for those who propose a relationship between allergies and behavior or learning problems. Although proponents of these dietary approaches may acknowledge that careful scientific studies are necessary, such studies have not yet been conducted.

A large number of studies, however, have examined the relationship between sugar and AD/HD. However, most of them are difficult to interpret. A few well-designed studies have found some effects of sugar on behavior but these effects are very small and only a small percentage of children with AD/HD appear vulnerable.

After careful analysis of the existing evidence, numerous researchers have concluded that there is limited, if any, support for a link between diet and children's learning and behavior. Of course, like all children, we know that children with AD/HD require a healthy, well-balanced diet. At this time, however, it has not been shown that dietary interventions offer significant help for children with learning and attention problems.

Megavitamins and Mineral Supplements

The use of high doses of vitamins and minerals, including currently marketed anti- oxidants such as vitamins A and E, pycnogenol and ginkgo biloba are based on the precepts of orthomolecular psychiatry. According to this theory, some people have a genetic abnormality which results in increased requirements for vitamins and minerals. The anti-oxidants are marketed as substances that remove "free radicals" from the blood stream which are hypothesized to cause learning, attention and behavioral problems as well as accelerate aging.

In the early 1970's it was claimed that treating hyperactive and learning disabled children with high doses of vitamins could decrease these problems. Proponents of this theory also claim that learning and behavior difficulties are also due to deficiencies in minerals such as potassium and sodium as well as trace elements such as zinc and copper.

Although vitamins are synonymous with health leading to an intuitive appeal to this approach, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support that these additives exert a significant difference in the lives of children with AD/HD. Although these substances are natural which lends an aura of safety, excessive use of these substances can in fact cause health problems.

Anti-Motion Sickness Medicine

Advocates of this theory believe that AD/HD is caused by problems in the inner ear system. They believe that there is a relationship between AD/HD and problems with coordination and balance. This theoretical relationship is thought to reflect a dysfunction in the inner ear system since this system plays a major role in balance and coordination. To treat AD/HD, a mixed array of medications, including anti-motion sickness medications and several vitamin like substances are recommended. Using these medications, proponents of this approach have claimed a success rate in excess of 90%. Unfortunately, these results are unpublished and not subject to verification.

This theory is not consistent with what is currently known about AD/HD. There is no body of research that supports a link between the inner ear system and attentional processes. Anatomically and physiologically there is no reason to believe that the inner ear system is involved in attention and impulse control in other than marginal ways. In the single controlled study of this theory, researchers evaluated the use of anti-motion sickness medication to treat developmental reading disorders. The results failed to support the theory. This approach to treating AD/HD is inconsistent with current knowledge and is not supported by research findings.

Candida Yeast

Candida albicans is a type of yeast which lives in the human body. Normally yeast growth is kept in check by a strong immune system and by friendly bacteria in the body. When the immune system is weakened or when friendly bacteria are killed by antibiotics, candida can overgrow. This may lead to the vaginal yeast infection known as candidiasis and less commonly in infections of the skin, nails, and mouth.

Those who support this model believe that toxins produced by yeast overgrowth weaken the immune system. This makes the body susceptible to many illnesses, including AD/HD and other psychiatric disorders. The treatment program is designed to discourage the growth of candida in the body. This two-pronged approach includes the use of anti- fungal medication such as nystatin and a low sugar diet. Other aspects of the treatment approach include an elimination diet to rule out food allergies and the use of vitamin and mineral supplements.

Although it is recognized that candida can cause infections of the vagina, mouth, and skin, there is little evidence to support the idea that it also causes the host of other illnesses listed by advocates of this approach. Little evidence is provided to support these theories. Instead, anecdotal data and testimonials are offered as proof that the approach is effective. The theory is not supported by evidence and is not suggested as a helpful treatment for AD/HD.

EEG Biofeedback

Proponents of this approach believe that children with AD/HD can be trained to increase the type of brainwave activity associated with sustained attention and to decrease the type of activity associated with daydreaming and distraction. They claim the result is improvement in attention and reductions in hyperactivity and impulsivity.

The technique of EEG biofeedback involves measuring levels of electrical activity in various regions of the brain. This information is fed into a computer which transforms it into a signal, such as a light, tone or video game. Using this signal as feedback, the child is taught to increase certain kinds of brainwave activity and decrease other kinds (increase beta, decrease theta). Training involves between forty and eighty treatment sessions according to the proponents of this program. Each session lasts up to forty minutes or more. Since sessions are held two to three times per week, treatment can extend over three to ten months or longer.

Although this treatment has become quite popular and is marketed throughout the country, there continues to be limited, published peer reviewed research to support its use. Although there is an increasing interest in research in this area, the extensive claims initially made by proponents of this treatment (e.g., dramatic improvements in intelligence scores, dramatic reductions in AD/HD symptoms) seem almost too good to believe. Many of the initial studies published were seriously flawed by the use of small numbers of children with ambiguous diagnoses. Furthermore, published studies thus far have not included appropriate control groups to rule out the effects of maturation or placebo.

Biofeedback technology is not new. Although some believe it holds great promise in the treatment of AD/HD, at this time it must be considered at the very most an ancillary treatment used to support other treatments. From a research prospective it must be considered unproven. Parents are advised to proceed with caution. It is an expensive approach whose effectiveness, until better studies have been completed, has been not consistently demonstrated.

Other Controversial Treatments

Among other treatments that parents may hear about on the radio, view on television, or read about are the use of applied kinesiology (the manipulation of bones in the body, particularly plates of the skull to improve body and brain functioning), optometric vision training (exercises to improve eye tracking) and auditory training (enhancing the capacity to listen to and process certain frequencies of sounds). All three of these approaches have been marketed as effective for AD/HD. However, there is limited if any scientific support that any of these three will exert a significant, positive impact on the functioning of children with AD/HD.

Summary

In this paper we have reviewed approaches which have been offered as effective for AD/HD which have not met scientific standards which would justify their inclusion as mainstream treatments for this childhood disorder. Some of these controversial treatments merit continued research while others likely do not. Although these treatments may be offered in the marketplace as proven and accepted approaches, they are not. Parents are cautioned when considering these treatments that time and money might be better spent on treatments with proven track records. Among the most effective means to date are the judicious use of medication and behavior management. Parent education and appropriate classroom settings, as well as helping children locate areas of success in their lives, are also effective for children with AD/HD.

How Can A Parent Be A Wise Consumer?

If you are the parent of a child with AD/HD you know how difficult your job an be. You want to obtain the very best treatment for your child. In the spirit of "how can it hurt to try" you might be tempted to throw caution to the wind when you hear about a new treatment that promises to help.

Promises are not enough. You also have the responsibility to invest your family's resources of time, money and energy wisely. This means that as with any large purchase, you must become an informed consumer.

In this paper we have provided general guidelines for evaluating new treatments. Listed below are additional tips to help you recognize treatments that are questionable.

* Overstatement and exaggerated claims are red flags. Be suspicious of any product or treatment that is described as astonishing, miraculous or an amazing breakthrough. Legitimate health professionals do not use words like these. Nor do they boast of their success in treating huge numbers of patients.


* Be suspicious too of any treatment that claims to treat a wide variety of ailments. Common sense tells us that the more grandiose the claim the less likely it is that there is any real merit behind it.


Quiz — Controversial Therapies for Kids with LD and/or AD/HD

http://www.schwablearning.org/quiz.asp?q=21


* Do not rely on testimonials from people who say they have been helped by the product or the treatment. Enthusiasm is not a substitute for evidence and legitimate health professionals do not solicit testimonials from their patients.


* Be skeptical about claims that a treatment is being suppressed or unfairly attacked by the medical establishment. Legitimate health professionals eagerly welcome new knowledge and better methods of treatment for their patients. They have no reason to oppose promising new approaches.

About the Contributor

Sam Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical neuropsychologist and member of the faculty of the University of Utah. He has authored over 100 scholarly publications, including eighteen texts, book chapters, peer reviewed research and informational articles for parents and professionals He can be reached through his website at: www.samgoldstein.com. Read more articles by Sam Goldstein.
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Old 03-31-06, 10:14 PM
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That should be a sticky!

Thank you, Scuro.
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Old 04-06-06, 09:58 PM
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EEG Biofeedback

has anyone tried this - what are your experiences. Is it expensive?
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Old 04-07-06, 01:48 AM
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Old 06-05-06, 08:34 AM
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Hi,

Write some article regarding this ..

There are many natural treatments now available for the treatment of ADHD. This doesn't mean they actually work, but they are available. Sticking to simple and common sense treatments will work far better than any fad diet claiming to cure ADD.

First of all, diet is extremely important to all of us but especially important for the individual with ADHD. They can have a powerful effect on your mindset, emotions and how you behave. This, of course, can be negative or positive. The right diet can actually decrease the amount of medication you need. There are four important things in an ADD friendly diet; lots of water, high protein intake, moderate carbohydrate intake and a low to moderate fat intake. Taking extra vitamins such as a daily multivitamin can be beneficial as well.


Another important aspect of natural treatments for ADHD is exercise. Exercise releases lots of endorphins, increases brain blood flow and has positive effects on how well all your systems work. This is especially important for individuals with ADD who have sensitive systems and areas of the brain that are chronically underactivated. People with ADD should exercise at least five times a week, and it is good for them to do intense cardio to get their heart, body and mind going. Exercise allows the extra restlessness and energy to be released from the body and mind of the individual with ADHD. It quiets everything down a bit, and it really is the best medicine for them.

Meditation is another natural form of treatment that is great for the individual with ADD. Just sitting and breathing on your own for twenty to thirty minutes can significantly slow down your mind and settle your restless thoughts. Meditation can have an extremely positive effect on your life if you do it regularly.


There are also supplements you can take that are natural and can be considerably helpful to the individual suffering from ADHD. One of these is an amino acid that works somewhat like a stimulant but is not as powerful or as harsh. It is called L-tyrosine, and people may take from 500mg-1500mg three times daily for positive effect. Some people will be more comfortable on the lower side, some on the higher side. You take this before you eat to increase affect. Another supplement that can help with depressive and anxiety symptoms that tend to accompany ADD is 5htp. This can be taken 50-100 mg three times daily. It produces serotonin and works somewhat like an SSRI antidepressant. This supplement can be quite helpful if you do not want to take synthetic drugs. Another helpful drug is St. John's Wort, which is taken for depression. This also works like an antidepressant, but it is natural.


The first choice for medication treatments are stimulant medications. In individuals with ADHD, they have a low amount of dopamine in the frontal part of their brains. Stimulant medications create dopamine which decreases the symptoms of the disorder.


Adderall is the first choice of stimulant used by mental health professionals. Adderall is an amphetamine salt, and it is the first choice because it is only necessary to take it once to twice a day. It is also less harsh to come down off of then other stimulant medications. There is also a time released version of Adderall called Adderall XR. Ritalin is the second choice of stimulant used by doctors. This has to be taken more often, and it has rebound effects that can be unpleasant for some people. Ritalin has a time released version that is called Concerta. Dexadrine is another stimulant medication that works similarly to Ritalin. And the last choice of doctors for stimulants is called Cyclert. This is very rarely used because there is a chance of liver toxicity in users.


Cyclert is only used if nothing else works and medication would be helpful.
Besides stimulants, there is a fairly new drug called Strattera that works differently than the others. When Strattera came out, it was supposed to be the wonder drug for ADHD. It's not as good as doctors had first hoped, but it is an effective drug for people who do not want to take stimulants. Strattera works like an antidepressant, increasing the level of norepinephrine in your brain over a few days of taking it.

It also has some antidepressant effects that may be helpful if you deal with depression and anxiety as well.
Because of the nature of ADHD, many individuals who suffer from it have issues with anxiety and depression as well. Some decide to take antidepressants along with their other medications to alleviate their symptoms.

Commonly prescribed medications for depression and anxiety are called SSRI antidepressants. Popular types of SSRIs are Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor and others. These drugs can really be a lifesaver for people who have to deal with mood problems as part of their lives.
It may take a few tries to find the right medication or the right combination of medications.

Do not despair if you do not find the right medication the first time. It can be very frustrating, but luckily there are quite a few psychotropic drugs out there that can really help. Just be patient and make sure you are working with an educated and qualified professional.


There are a million and one herbal and natural remedies out there, and some of them can be helpful. The key to finding helpful remedies for whatever ails you is to research, investigate and be smart about what you buy and put into your body. With ADHD, you want to be extra careful what you put into your body because it is more sensitive than the average folk. There are some natural products that can be helpful in easing symptoms of the disorder, but be cautious in going out and purchasing products that have not been approved by the FDA.


One product that can be particularly helpful in treating the symptoms of ADHD is called l-tyrosine. L-tyrosine is an amino acid that makes up the building blocks of dopamine. If taken before meals, l-tyrosine can act somewhat like a stimulant. There are really no side effects with this supplement, and an individual can take doses between 500 mg-1500 mg up to three times a day. L-tyrosine is a nice alternative to a stimulant because it has softer effects than drugs like Ritalin and Adderall. Also, it wears off much easier and is much less harsh on the body. It can also be taken with prescription stimulants to enhance the effect of them.


Besides L-tyrosine, there are a couple other supplements that can have stimulant like effects. One is called DLPA, and it is the amino acid precursor for norepinephrine. This neurotransmitter has been shown to low in people with ADD. Another effective supplement is called SAME, and this can help with low grade depression often present in people with ADD. SAME can be somewhat stimulating as well. And it has been shown to be helpful with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia and ADD often come together, for unknown reasons.


Other supplements that are helpful for the anxiety and depression that so often accompanies ADHD are 5htp and St. John's Wart. 5htp is an amino acid precursor for the neurotransmitter serotonin. It actually increases the amount of serotonin in your brain, and it can really be quite helpful. SSRI antidepressants only recycle the serotonin that already exists in your brain, so 5htp in some ways is more effective. Also, St. John's Wart is a natural antidepressant that has been shown to be somewhat effective in the treatment of depression.

In regards to many of the online products advertised for the treatment of ADHD, such as Attend, I would stay far away from these products. Who knows what is actually in them or who is selling them. I just don't trust herbal remedies that are sold online. Too many people are trying to make a buck.
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Old 06-05-06, 06:58 PM
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Caveat: while I can claim some expertise in the field, I am not a licensed medical practioner and the following information is opinion. It should not be taken as medical advice.

I will provide citations where convenient, but will be happy to provide a more comprehensive list if asked.



Quote:
Originally Posted by livingwithadhd
There are many natural treatments now available for the treatment of ADHD. This doesn't mean they actually work, but they are available.
I'd say that one could do just about anything and call it an available treatment. If I soak my left foot in lemonade & call it a natural treatment, it's pretty much the same as any other "natural" treatment on the market.

Most of these "treatments" are expensive and many of them are quite harmful.

While I agree that diet and exercise are important for overall health, there are no strategies that target cognitive symptoms of any kind.

The research on vitamin supplements isn't very optimistic. Not only are benefits not apparent, but there are a number of risks. Besides eosinophilia, hepatotoxicity, and neurotoxicity, behavioral problems can occur.


Quote:
Meditation is another natural form of treatment that is great for the individual with ADD.
I practice meditation myself and find it pleasant and soothing, however, there have been numerous studies in the past 20 years that provide conclusive evidence that there are no benefits for ADHD.


Quote:
There are also supplements you can take that are natural and can be considerably helpful to the individual suffering from ADHD.
Please see my post:
http://www.addforums.com/forums/show...3&postcount=17

For some info on the dangers of this practice and citations.


Quote:
The first choice for medication treatments are stimulant medications. In individuals with ADHD, they have a low amount of dopamine in the frontal part of their brains. Stimulant medications create dopamine which decreases the symptoms of the disorder.
The most likely proximal cause of ADHD is not a deficiency of dopamine, but an excess of dopamine transporter, a substance the leads dopamine to be taken back up into the presynaptic cell. With less dopamine in the synapse, it may appear to be a dopamine deficiency when in fact it's a functional problem.

Stimulant medications work by either reversing the action of the transporter or blocking the reuptake of dopamine (depending on the class of stimulant), thus dopamine remains in the synapse longer, allowing it to do its job. They do not stimulate the production of dopamine.

I'd provide citations, but a search of the ADDF would turn up much more eloquent explanations of this process by Hyperion.



Quote:
Adderall is the first choice of stimulant used by mental health professionals.
Some. For some, it's Ritalin or Concerta or one of the others.

While a longer-lasting medication is an advantage in some ways, it's a disadvantage in others. Long-lasting medication means any side effects (such as sleeplessness) also stick around.
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Old 06-05-06, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
One product that can be particularly helpful in treating the symptoms of ADHD is called l-tyrosine. L-tyrosine is an amino acid that makes up the building blocks of dopamine. If taken before meals, l-tyrosine can act somewhat like a stimulant. There are really no side effects with this supplement, and an individual can take doses between 500 mg-1500 mg up to three times a day. L-tyrosine is a nice alternative to a stimulant because it has softer effects than drugs like Ritalin and Adderall. Also, it wears off much easier and is much less harsh on the body. It can also be taken with prescription stimulants to enhance the effect of them.
In studies done on tyrosine, patients developed tolerance to it in two weeks. Stimulent medication doesn't create more dopamine -- it prevents the reuptake of dopamine and/or (depending on the stimulent) releases more dopamine into the synaptic gap. Hyperion has a very eloquent explanation of this process and how the brain tries to compensate for this, but since too much dopamine is still taken up in the synaptic gap it doesn't correct the problem and tends to increase overall hyperactivity. If I can find his original post on this I'll link to it.

Quote:
ther supplements that are helpful for the anxiety and depression that so often accompanies ADHD are 5htp and St. John's Wart. 5htp is an amino acid precursor for the neurotransmitter serotonin. It actually increases the amount of serotonin in your brain, and it can really be quite helpful. SSRI antidepressants only recycle the serotonin that already exists in your brain, so 5htp in some ways is more effective. Also, St. John's Wart is a natural antidepressant that has been shown to be somewhat effective in the treatment of depression.
Serotonin enhancing supplements like St John's Wort and 5-HTP do have some research supporting their use for depression. However, when used with other SSRI medications (ie: Prozac, Zoloft, etc) or any other medication that increases serotonin levels can lead to serotonin syndrome, so it is a good idea to run these by a doctor first. Also serotonin can trigger bipolar mania in some individuals who are vulernable to this. These supplements probably have a place but should be treated with the same respect and caution as any other medication. Also avoiding sun exposure is critical when taking St John's Wort since it makes the skin more vulerable to damage by the sun.

Quote:
The first choice for medication treatments are stimulant medications. In individuals with ADHD, they have a low amount of dopamine in the frontal part of their brains. Stimulant medications create dopamine which decreases the symptoms of the disorder.

Adderall is the first choice of stimulant used by mental health professionals. Adderall is an amphetamine salt, and it is the first choice because it is only necessary to take it once to twice a day. It is also less harsh to come down off of then other stimulant medications. There is also a time released version of Adderall called Adderall XR. Ritalin is the second choice of stimulant used by doctors. This has to be taken more often, and it has rebound effects that can be unpleasant for some people. Ritalin has a time released version that is called Concerta. Dexadrine is another stimulant medication that works similarly to Ritalin. And the last choice of doctors for stimulants is called Cyclert. This is very rarely used because there is a chance of liver toxicity in users.
Adderall may be the first choice medication for some doctors, but certainly not all. My doctor unfortunately won't even prescribe it and feels the research supports the safety of Concerta better. Other doctor feel much more comfortable starting with Strattera. It's probably best to let the individual ADDers doctor consider all the factors for a particular patient and prescribe the medication they feel best fits that person's needs.

Quote:
First of all, diet is extremely important to all of us but especially important for the individual with ADHD. They can have a powerful effect on your mindset, emotions and how you behave. This, of course, can be negative or positive. The right diet can actually decrease the amount of medication you need. There are four important things in an ADD friendly diet; lots of water, high protein intake, moderate carbohydrate intake and a low to moderate fat intake. Taking extra vitamins such as a daily multivitamin can be beneficial as well.

Another important aspect of natural treatments for ADHD is exercise. Exercise releases lots of endorphins, increases brain blood flow and has positive effects on how well all your systems work. This is especially important for individuals with ADD who have sensitive systems and areas of the brain that are chronically underactivated. People with ADD should exercise at least five times a week, and it is good for them to do intense cardio to get their heart, body and mind going. Exercise allows the extra restlessness and energy to be released from the body and mind of the individual with ADHD. It quiets everything down a bit, and it really is the best medicine for them.
Exercise, a healthy diet, plenty of sleep, fresh air, and water are always a good bet to improve your health, mind, and emotional well being -- ADD or not.

Scattered
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Last edited by Scattered; 06-05-06 at 07:48 PM..
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Old 06-05-06, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livingwithadhd
There are many natural treatments now available for the treatment of ADHD. This doesn't mean they actually work, but they are available.
Okay and I would want to use some thing that doesn’t actually work why??? I mean I was doing that for free before I was diagnosed and to spend money for not actually working----would be a diagnosis of some thing worse than ADHD!



Quote:
I'd say that one could do just about anything and call it an available treatment. If I soak my left foot in lemonade & call it a natural treatment, it's pretty much the same as any other "natural" treatment on the market.
ROFL-----well said!



Quote:
While I agree that diet and exercise are important for overall health,
Excellent I only need to add that:

Not getting enough sleep can cause many of the same symptoms often associated with ADD

Not seeing a doctor for proper diagnosis is rather like trying to shoot the invisible man blind folded……there are a zillion and one things that can produce ADD like symptoms….speedo has a list of 50 here


50 thinks that are ADD like post....


Quote:
There are really no side effects with this supplement, and an individual can take doses between 500 mg-1500 mg up to three times a day. L-tyrosine is a nice alternative to a stimulant because it has softer effects than drugs like Ritalin and Adderall
You gotta any scientific evidence to back this claim? Should I drop dead who can my surviving loved ones sue???? IE If ya aint responsible legally for your recommendation then no one will mind if I consult some one who is????

Diet changes or the addition of supplements especially in higher doses should be “run by” a professional as well….

This goes triple if any one is considering this approach with their child!

All natural can be harmful

***Quote
Commercially available beta-carotene is produced synthetically or from palm oil, algae, or fungi. Beta-carotene is converted to retinol, which is essential for vision and is subsequently converted to retinoic acid, which is used for processes involving growth and cell differentiation.

Beta-carotene in doses of 20mg daily for 5-8 years has been associated with an increased risk of lung and prostate cancer and increased total mortality in people who smoke cigarettes, and in people with a history of high-level asbestos exposure. Beta-carotene 20-30mg daily in smokers may also increase cardiovascular mortality by 12% to 26%. Therefore, smokers and people with a history of asbestos exposure should not use beta-carotene supplements. These adverse effects do not appear to occur in people who eat foods high in beta-carotene content.
End Quote***


Do you know what else is needed for the L-tyrosine to convert into a possibly useful substance???

Vitamin B6, folic acid, and copper are necessary for conversion of L-tyrosine into neurotransmitters.

A diet with enough protein will provide the necessary ingredients since most people will become hungry any way a health diet is so much bang for the buck….you can fill up on healthy foods (you won’t be hungry, neither will your children), worry less about side effects, nor will it be necessary to try and make sure you also take the other stuff your body will need to make use of the original supplement,

L-tyrosine this being recommended to ADD people who some times forget where they put their car keys (yikes)

Plus we are in the children's sections make that a triple YIKES!

The amount of attention to your child's diet will increase the focus on the child period that is always a plus these busy parental days. Any benefits are most likely to come more for the increase parental awareness to proper nutritional balance, exercise, and sleep habits of the child not necessarily the supplements or special diet......

If you don't consult a nutritional professional with a license and legal responsibilities then one shall be asking for trouble children’s needs due to growth are so much more complex than adults.....


In all honesty I did try this for over a year (how I knew about the “other ingredence”) it did nadda zip nothing for my ADD!

Speaking of honesty here is a little more………..

Touting “all natural” isn’t a guarantee of safety unless one forgets that tobacco, digoxin, peyote, and strychnine (obtained from Stychnos nux-vomica)which was used as a rat poison , poison ivy are all natural ! The only thing they will do for your ADD is make it the least of your problems!

Personal note……to the adult ADDer reading this………… if one can do the research on the amounts and insure that the other minerals needed are also taken and in their proper amounts and do this with out taking your Adderall (or other prescribed medication) then news flash you probably aint got no ADD to begin with!!!!


I rest my case………………….
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  #9  
Old 06-06-06, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meadd823
Not getting enough sleep can cause many of the same symptoms often associated with ADD
AH HA! Thank you! I'd completely forgotten lack of sleep!

Quote:
The amount of attention to your child's diet will increase the focus on the child period that is always a plus these busy parental days. Any benefits are most likely to come more for the increase parental awareness to proper nutritional balance, exercise, and sleep habits of the child not necessarily the supplements or special diet......
Good point. BTW, parental attention to anything seems to be very effective.

In a study that examined moderating factors for effective treatments using the MTA data, the best predictor of excellent response is whether or not the treatment included medication. The next-best predictor is the mother's level of depressive symptoms.
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Old 06-17-06, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbyma
Caveat: while I can claim some expertise in the field, I am not a licensed medical practioner and the following information is opinion. It should not be taken as medical advice.

I will provide citations where convenient, but will be happy to provide a more comprehensive list if asked.




I'd say that one could do just about anything and call it an available treatment. If I soak my left foot in lemonade & call it a natural treatment, it's pretty much the same as any other "natural" treatment on the market.

Most of these "treatments" are expensive and many of them are quite harmful.

While I agree that diet and exercise are important for overall health, there are no strategies that target cognitive symptoms of any kind.

The research on vitamin supplements isn't very optimistic. Not only are benefits not apparent, but there are a number of risks. Besides eosinophilia, hepatotoxicity, and neurotoxicity, behavioral problems can occur.



I practice meditation myself and find it pleasant and soothing, however, there have been numerous studies in the past 20 years that provide conclusive evidence that there are no benefits for ADHD.


Please see my post:
http://www.addforums.com/forums/show...3&postcount=17

For some info on the dangers of this practice and citations.



The most likely proximal cause of ADHD is not a deficiency of dopamine, but an excess of dopamine transporter, a substance the leads dopamine to be taken back up into the presynaptic cell. With less dopamine in the synapse, it may appear to be a dopamine deficiency when in fact it's a functional problem.

Stimulant medications work by either reversing the action of the transporter or blocking the reuptake of dopamine (depending on the class of stimulant), thus dopamine remains in the synapse longer, allowing it to do its job. They do not stimulate the production of dopamine.

I'd provide citations, but a search of the ADDF would turn up much more eloquent explanations of this process by Hyperion.




Some. For some, it's Ritalin or Concerta or one of the others.

While a longer-lasting medication is an advantage in some ways, it's a disadvantage in others. Long-lasting medication means any side effects (such as sleeplessness) also stick around.
I am new to this board. I have a son who is ll years old and was diagnosed with ADD in second grade. He was put on Adderall and at first it was great. He started making all A's..from C's, D's, and F's. I thought it was a miracle drug. By fourth grade, he had lost a lot of weight and was considered a very sad child...I took him off of meds in December and started doing my own research on alternatives that were natural. Long story short....we changed his diet..no artificial colors, flavors, no preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup. It was a major eating change for all of us. We put him on a high dosage of supplemental vitamins and flaxseed oil daily. We put him through cranial therapy, also. He improved within two weeks...mind you... we spent 4 months trying everything else that didn't work at all. A month or so after that, we put him on 500 mg of DMAE and THAT is where we feel the real miracle lies. He was making l00's across the board in school. I don't read much about this supplement...I just wanted you to know what worked for us. I will never believe, again, that the only treatment for ADD are stimulants. He has absolutely NO side effects from this, either. He is our happy, outgoing little boy again. I just wish more people were open minded to the alternatives out there. We tried so many different things all at once it was hard to tell what was really working...bottom line, it was the diet and DMAE that we feel was the most instrumental in helping him. He was doing good in school before the DMAE, but that was the last thing we tried and the difference was amazing. I had never heard of it before. I just was searching the web for natural alternatives and that came up, therefore, I did my own research and decided it was worth a try.
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  #11  
Old 06-17-06, 11:40 PM
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cranial therapy....I'm afraid to ask.
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Old 06-18-06, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scuro
cranial therapy....I'm afraid to ask.
*sigh*

I'm so tired.

I think the second I finish my dissertation I'll write book. It seems a lot easier to do that than to battle these individually. The problem is: how do I get people to read it? It's a little like preaching to the choir.
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Old 06-18-06, 08:15 PM
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Since you are tired, just borrow a page from Stephen Barrett's book (internet site):
http://www.quackwatch.org/01Quackery...s/cranial.html
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Old 06-18-06, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickie
Since you are tired, just borrow a page from Stephen Barrett's book (internet site):
http://www.quackwatch.org/01Quackery...s/cranial.html
Thank you so much for the respite, Vickie!
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Old 06-18-06, 10:23 PM
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Love quack watch. Tons of great articles.
http://www.quackwatch.org/

Dr. Peter Breggin is one anti-adhd motha. Check him out.
http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/breggin.html
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