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Archive for the tag “Alternatives to medicine”

ADDitude’s Guide to Alternative ADHD Treatment

“ADDitude magazine, the leading publication for families and adults living with attention deficit disorder (ADHD), released an expert report on the non-medical treatment of ADHD symptoms. Top ADHD doctors and treatment specialists contributed to the free ADDitude Guide to Alternative ADHD Treatment, which investigates and clearly explains the benefits and risks of natural ADHD therapies like fish oil.

Treating ADHD with Alternative Treatments: Fish Oil, Behavior Therapy, Nutrition, Exercise, Neurofeedback and More
 For the nearly 2 million parents of American children diagnosed ADHD, Adderall, Strattera and Ritalin are household names – familiar and well-documented treatments for ADHD symptoms. Natural ADHD treatments like neurofeedback, working-memory treatment and omega-3 fatty acids may be less recognizable, but are they any less effective in combating distractibility and impulsivity?

The ADDitude Guide to Alternative ADHD Treatment aims to answer this question with information from top industry experts on, for example, strategies for using behavior therapy with ADHD children. ADHD doctors also recommend omega-3 fatty acids to sharpen mental focus, and explain the ideal balance of EPA and DHA in fish oil supplements. And they present balanced descriptions of neurofeedback and working-memory treatment — the brain exercises that promise reduced impulsivity and increased attentiveness.

Finally, the ADDitude treatment report outlines ways that ADHD children and adults can change their diet and exercise to improve executive functions like sequencing, working memory, prioritizing, and sustaining attention.

In this age of As-Seen-on-TV miracle cures, trusted information like ADDitude’s is more important than ever for parents of children with ADHD and for adults with ADD trying to determine how alternative ADHD treatments can work in concert with traditional medications for the greatest treatment impact.”

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Treatment of ADHD Through Working Memory Training: Mitra Encyclopedia Web Resources

Mitra Encyclopedia. Encyclopedia Resources On The Net. GMT:2012-03-11 00:56:08.

Web IconThis page contains a list of web resources, latest news, images, videos, blog postings, and realtime conversation about treatment of adhd through working memory training. We also provide some recomendation so you can surf the internet faster and fun. Make sure to visit the pages that related to treatment of adhd through working memory training:

The Web Section below contains the search result of Google Custom Search Engine with emphasize resources that comes from Wikipedia, Britannica, Encarta, Encyclopedia, Infoplease, etc.

ADHD Executive Function and School Success

ADHD, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION AND SCHOOL SUCCESS

      Chris A. Zeigler Dendy, M.S.

                                                                                                                                                                                                       (updated in 2011)

The primary source for this article was my new Teaching Teens with ADD, ADHD, & Executive Function Deficits, 2nd ed (2011)

A Personal Comment: Our youngest son, Alex, struggled terribly throughout his high school and college years with ADHD and executive function issues. We’re proud that he beat the odds and graduated from college. So if your child is struggling in school, don’t give up. My family offers living proof that there is hope and help for ADHD and coexisting conditions.

Please visit our website www.chrisdendy.com to learn more about my family and how we have coped with ADHD.  Several helpful articles are also available for you to download and share with friends. Best wishes for school success to you, your children and students with attention deficits!!

Five years ago, most parents and teachers of students with ADHD didn’t have a clue that a child’s academic success was contingent upon strong executive skills. However, today’s savvy parents and educators realize that deficits in critical cognitive skills known as executive functions  (EF) are slower to mature in many children with ADHD. In 2007, researchers made a startling discovery: the brains of students with ADHD mature three years more slowly than their peers. This helps explain why their executive skills are delayed. Two years later, scientists found that the part of the brain that enables students to work on “boring tasks” such as school work has a reduced number of dopamine receptors and transporters. More simply stated the reduced levels of brain chemistry in this key area explains why students can play video games for hours but struggle to complete their homework in a timely manner.

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Psychology Today Article: Working Memory Training as an Alternative to Medication for ADHD

Keep It in Mind

Understanding and improving your working memory.

ADHD and Medication: What’s New?

To medicate or not? Research in children with ADHD.

Scientific American on Alternative Therapies for ADHD


Training the Brain

Cognitive therapy as an alternative to ADHD drugs

To medicate or not? Millions of parents must decide when their child is diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)–a decision made tougher by controversy. Studies increasingly show that while medication may calm a child’s behavior, it does not improve grades, peer relationships or defiant behavior over the long term.

Consequently, researchers have focused attention on the disorder’s neurobiology. Recent studies support the notion that many children with ADHD have cognitive deficits, specifically in working memory–the ability to hold in mind information that guides behavior. The cognitive problem manifests behaviorally as inattention and contributes to poor academic performance. Such research not only questions the value of medicating ADHD children, it also is redefining the disorder and leading to more meaningful treatment that includes cognitive training.

“This is really a shift in our understanding of this disorder from behavioral to biological,” states Rosemary Tannock, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Tannock has shown that although stimulant medication improves working memory, the effect is small, she says, “suggesting that medication isn’t going to be sufficient.” So she and others, such as Susan Gathercole of the University of Durham in England, now work with schools to introduce teaching methods that train working memory. In fact, working-memory deficits may underlie several disabilities, not just ADHD, highlighting the heterogeneity of the disorder.

“Working memory is a bottleneck for everyday functioning independent of what category you fit into,” comments Torkel Klingberg, a neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Based on Klingberg’s research, Karolinska founded Cogmed–a biotech company that has developed a software program to train working memory. In a recent paper in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Klingberg reported that 60 percent of 20 unmedicated ADHD children no longer met the clinical criteria for ADHD after five weeks of training. The company has already rolled out its training service in Sweden and Germany, and Karolinska is collaborating with New York University to launch a clinical trial with ADHD kids later this year.

“It’s intriguing data,” Tannock remarks. “The emphasis is on visual-spatial memory, which is where we find the strongest link to inattention and ADHD. But they have to go further. You want to show that training improves ability on a range of tasks, not just holding information.”

That ADHD children would respond to cognitive training does not surprise experts such as Lawrence H. Diller, a child psychiatrist and author of Running on Ritalin. “Hyperactivity and inattention are bell-shaped spectrum disorders,” he says. “The majority of kids who are getting medication are borderline normal versus abnormal.” In Diller’s experience, the former benefit the most from nonpharmaceutical training approaches. Medication has been overemphasized by a pharmaceutical and medical industry “that has changed people’s view of themselves,” he continues. “Personal responsibility has taken a backseat to lifelong disorders.”

Moreover, because there is no industry to back it, behavioral therapy has been grossly underrated, Diller and others opine. Unpublished data from the Multimodal Treatment Study–the largest U.S. long-term study of ADHD treatment in children–show that after two years, kids treated with behavioral therapy only (parent training, school intervention and a special summer camp program) functioned just as well as kids on high-dose medication, says lead researcher William Pelham of the University at Buffalo. Also, only an additional 8 percent of the children in the behavioral arm were medicated at the end of the second year, indicating that most parents in this group were satisfied with behavioral therapy.

Cognitive ability may decrease at higher levels of ADHD medication. Is this another reason to consider working memory training as an alternative?

http://www.news.wisc.edu/

Study pinpoints effects of different doses of an ADHD drug; finds higher doses may harm learning

March 8, 2012

New research with monkeys sheds light on how the drug methylphenidate may affect learning and memory in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The results parallel a 1977 finding that a low dose of the drug boosted cognitive performance of children with ADHD, but a higher dose that reduced their hyperactivity also impaired their performance on a memory test.

“Many people were intrigued by that result, but their attempts to repeat the study did not yield clear-cut results,” says Luis Populin, an associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-MadisonSchool of Medicine and Public Health.

Populin was senior author of the new study exploring the same topic, now available in the early access section of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, published last week. In the study, three monkeys were taught to focus on a central dot on a screen, while a “target” dot flashed nearby. The monkeys were taught that they could earn a sip of water by waiting until the central dot switched off, and then looking at the location of the now-vanished target dot.

The system tests working (short-term) memory, impulsiveness and willingness to stick with the task, as the monkeys could quit “working” at any time, says Populin. The study used different doses of methylphenidate — the generic name for Ritalin — that were comparable to the range of clinical prescriptions for ADHD.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost 5 percent of American children are taking medications for ADHD.

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