Saffron as effective as stimulant medicines in treating ADHD

Saffron as effective as stimulant medicines in treating ADHD

Saffron as effective as stimulant medicines in treating ADHD

A new short-term pilot study in children and teens 6-17 years old with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has shown saffron to be as effective at controlling symptoms as methylphenidate, the commonly prescribed drug Ritalin.

Sara Baziar et al, Crocus sativus L. Versus Methylphenidate in Treatment of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized, Double-Blind Pilot Study, Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology (2019). DOI: 10.1089/cap.2018.0146

Common plastics chemicals linked to ADHD symptoms – phthalate

Reposted at request:

Public release date: 19-Nov-2009 –

They found a significant positive association between phthalate exposure and ADHD, meaning that the higher the concentration of phthalate metabolites in the urine, the worse the ADHD symptoms and/or test scores.

Disney school supplies loaded with toxic phtha...
Disney school supplies loaded with toxic phthalates, next to petitions signed by 65,000 parents across the country (Photo credit: CHEJ)

 

Are phthalates really safe for children?

Philadelphia, PA, 19 November 2009 – Phthalates are important components of many consumer products, including toys, cleaning materials, plastics, and personal care items. Studies to date on phthalates have been inconsistent, with some linking exposure to these chemicals to hormone disruptions, birth defects, asthma, and reproductive problems, while others have found no significant association between exposure and adverse effects.

A new report by Korean scientists, published by Elsevier in the November 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry, adds to the potentially alarming findings about phthalates. They measured urine phthalate concentrations and evaluated symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using teacher-reported symptoms and computerized tests that measured attention and impulsivity. Continue reading “Common plastics chemicals linked to ADHD symptoms – phthalate”

Children’s medicines contain banned additives linked to hyperactivity

 

Charlie Cooper

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Some of the most popular children’s medicines contain E numbers that have been withdrawn from food and drink products because of links to hyperactivity in children.

Products from leading brands such as Calpol and Boots are among 52 children’s medicines that have at least one of the “Southampton Seven” – a group of additives that were proven to increase hyperactive behaviours in a landmark study five years ago.

In 2008, the Food Standards Agency imposed a “voluntary ban” on the six E number colourings included in the Southampton study, a move which led most supermarkets and food manufacturers to withdraw them. Synthetic colourings in food and drink targeted at children under 36 months old are subject to a European ban.

However, medicines fall under a different regulatory regime, and the substances are still commonly found in products for children. An investigation by the campaign group Action on Additives found that four of the six colourings – quinoline yell (E104), sunset yellow (E110), carmoisine (E122) and Ponceau 4R (E124) – are used in children’s medicines, including products for infants as young as two months.  It called on the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (Mhra) to ban the additives from food and medicines altogether.

“We’re not advising parents not to buy these medicines,” the group’s spokesman, Lizzie Vann Thrasher, told The Independent. “But if these additives have been taken out of food and drink for all children under 36 months, and there’s been a recommended withdrawal in food and drink for older children, why do we still have them in children’s medicines that can be given to children as young as two months old?”

The agency said it was aware some additives could cause “an unwanted reaction”, and urged parents to report concerns about medicine safety.

A three-year study carried out at the University of Southampton found that children who were given fruit drinks containing a mixture of the seven additives showed higher signs of hyperactivity – including fiddling with objects, changing their activity, and interrupting, than children who were given a placebo. On average, the children displayed 10 per cent of the level of symptoms of a child diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Manufacturers and the regulatory body pointed out that the quantities of the additives ingested via medicines would be comparatively small compared to food. But Ms Vann Thrasher said a normal dose of Calpol taken over several days amounted to a third of the level of additives used in the Southampton study.

Johnson & Johnson, makers of Calpol, said: “Carmoisine (E122) and sodium benzoate are contained in many medicines which have been approved for use by the Mhra in the UK.”

Boots said: “The colourants and other additives that have been mentioned are commonly present in medicines which have been approved for use by the Mhra… one of the Mhra’s roles is to assure that colour and other additives used in medicines are safe and that the products containing these ingredients are appropriately labelled.”

Dr Sui Ping Lam, the Mhra’s acting director of licensing, said: “The quantities used in, and consumed from medicines is […] comparatively small compared to foods.

“We encourage anyone who has had an adverse reaction to report it to us through our Yellow Card reporting Scheme.”

A Food Standards Agency spokesman said: “It is important to remember that hyperactivity is also associated with many other factors in addition to certain additives, so dietary advice may help manage hyperactive behaviour, but may not be the total solution.”

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/childrens-medicines-contain-banned-additives-linked-to-hyperactivity-8895331.html#

90 percent of pediatric specialists not following clinical guidelines when treating preschoolers with ADHD

Contact: Terry Lynam tlynam@nshs.edu 516-465-2600 North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System

Some prescribe medication too soon; others not even as a second-line treatment

NEW HYDE PARK, NY – A recent study by pediatricians from the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York examined to what extent pediatric physicians adhere to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clinical guidelines regarding pharmacotherapy in treating young patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The results showed that more than 90 percent of medical specialists who diagnose and manage ADHD in preschoolers do not follow treatment guidelines recently published by the AAP.

“It is unclear why so many physicians who specialize in the management of ADHD — child neurologists, psychiatrists and developmental pediatricians —  fail to comply with recently published treatment guidelines,” said Andrew Adesman, MD, senior investigator and chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park.  “With the AAP now extending its diagnosis and treatment guidelines down to preschoolers, it is likely that more young children will be diagnosed with ADHD even before entering kindergarten.  Primary care physicians and pediatric specialists should recommend behavior therapy as the first line treatment.”

Current clinical guidelines for pediatricians and child psychiatrists associated with the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) recommend that behavior therapy be the initial treatment approach for preschoolers with ADHD, and that treatment with medication should only be pursued when counseling in behavior management is not successful.

The study also found that more than one-in-five specialists who diagnose and manage ADHD in preschoolers recommend pharmacotherapy as a first-line treatment alone or in conjunction with behavior therapy.  Although the AAP recommends that pediatricians prescribe methylphenidate when medication is indicated, more than one-third of specialists who prescribe medication for preschool ADHD said they ‘often’ or ‘very often’ choose a medication other than methylphenidate initially (19.4 percent amphetamines; 18.9 percent non-stimulants).

“Although the AAP’s new ADHD guidelines were developed for primary care pediatricians, it is clear that many medical subspecialists who care for young children with ADHD fail to follow recently published guidelines,” said Jaeah Chung, MD, the study’s principal investigator who also practices at Cohen Children’s.  “At a time when there are public and professional concerns about over-medication of young children with ADHD, it seems that many medical specialists are recommending medication as part of their initial treatment plan for these children.”

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To schedule an interview with Dr. Adesman, call 516-232-5229 or email Adesman@lij.edu.

To view the abstract, “Medication Management of Preschool ADHD by Pediatric Sub-Specialists: Non-Compliance with AAP Clinical Guideline, go to http://www.abstracts2view.com/pas/view.php?nu=PAS13L1_1365.5

This study is being presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies in Washington, D.C. on Saturday May 4, 2013 11:30-11:45 a.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (Rm. 102B).

Did the gene for ADHD help our nomadic ancestors?

Re-Post 2008

Contact: Ben Campbell
campbelb@uwm.edu
414-229-6250
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

An ADHD-associated version of the human gene DRD4 is linked to better health among nomadic tribesmen, but may cause malnourishment in their settled cousins, according to new research by a team directed by an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).

A study by UWM assistant professor Ben Campbell and colleagues from Northwestern University, Boston University and UNLV shows that a particular version of the gene DRD4, appears to have completely different effects, depending on one’s environment.

The DRD4 gene codes for a receptor for dopamine, one of the chemical messengers used in the brain. Previous research has linked the gene with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-type behavior in young men – risk-taking, reward-seeking and impulsivity, says Campbell.

But people can have different versions of the gene. One variant, called the 7R allele, is associated with novelty-seeking in addition to ADHD.

The researchers conducted the study among the Ariaal population in northern Kenya – some of whom still live as nomads, while others have recently settled. The research team analyzed the body mass index (BMI) and height of the two groups, nomadic and non-nomadic Ariaal men, who had the variant gene.

They found that those with the 7R allele in the nomadic population were better nourished than their non-nomadic brethren who carried 7R allele.

The results underscore, says Campbell, the complexity of genotype on the expression of behavior. Different environments can determine whether behaviors associated with the gene, such as ADHD, are more or less effective.

“We may have difficulty understanding ADHD in part because we are considering the behaviors associated with it in only one environment – the present one,” he says. “The thinking used to be one gene, one outcome. Now we know that one gene with different environments yields different outcomes.”

Campbell says the results have implications for the relationship between a sedentary lifestyle and aging.

“This suggests that this particular allele may be beneficial in a traditional setting with high levels of habitual physical activity, but carries with it longer term costs in a more sedentary setting.”

Although the effects of different versions of dopamine genes have already been studied in industrialized countries, very little research has been carried out in non-industrial settings, says Campbell. And yet, subsistence environments are more similar to those where much of human genetic evolution took place, he points out.

 

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The research, co-authored by T.A. Eisenberg, Peter B. Gray, and Michael D. Sorenson, is published this month in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology