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ADD/ADHD/LEARNING DISORDERS

Listed below are numerous weaknesses and variables we find most commonly with these learning problems:

Tendency to high excitatory neurotransmitters glutamate and aspartate; avoid MSG and foods containing aspartame. Over-excitation impairs the ability to concentrate and focus.

Low regulatory neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline. Dopamine lays down the tracks in the brain for memory. Low levels make it difficult to retain information. It is also the precursor to noradrenaline.

Check for food allergies. The most common ones are wheat, egg, soy, and dairy.

Many children with ADD/ADHD have digestive disorders. Test for gluten intolerance and gliadin sensitivity, parasites, fungal imbalances and intestinal permeability.

Heavy metal toxicity is often correlated. With young children, lead is the most common one; also mercury from vaccinations is common.

Sensitivity to methylxanthines. This is a chemical found in chocolate, coffee, teas and asthmatic medications.

Many have poor physiological coping mechanisms to deal with stress. Check adrenal function for cortisol levels.

Refined foods and sweets aggravate the condition.

Other pre-disposing factors are low birth weight, fetal alcohol syndrome, virus, thyroiditis (autoimmune response), fetal exposure to stress

Researchers studying 7-year-olds with attention disorders looked back at the children’s television viewing habits at age 1 and 3. They found that the viewing increased the risk of having an attention problem by 9 percent for every hour of TV watching a day. The study appears in the current issue of the Journal Pediatrics. –Hartford Courant 4/2004

For every hour of television watched, two groups of children-ages 1 and 3-faced a 10% increased risk of having attention problems at age 7. The findings bolster previous research showing that television can shorten attention spans and support American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that youngsters under age 2 not watch television. “the truth is there are lots of reasons not to watch television. Other studies have shown it to be associated with obesity and aggressiveness,” too, said lead author Dimitri Christakis, a researcher at Children’s Hospital and regional Medical Center in Seattle. The researchers didn’t know what shows the children watched, but Dr. Christakis said content likely isn’t the culprit. Instead, he said, unrealistically fast-paced visual images typical of most TV programming may alter normal brain function.-Wall Street Journal 4/2004

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD affects 3 to 5 percent of all children perhaps as many as 2 million American children. Two to three times more boys than girls are affected.-National Institute of Mental Health

A study, appearing in the current issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Services, conducted by Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit management company, analyzed antidepressant use among 2 million privately insured children. For children of all ages, antidepressant use rose 68 percent among girls and 34 percent for boys. Use was highest among girls age 15 to 18, at 6.8 percent. Overall, antidepressant use among patients in the sample who were 18 and younger increased 49 percent between 1998 and 2002. Thomas J. Moore, a health policy analyst at George Washington University, said his own research shows an even greater increase in antidepressant use among the children, possibly because his figures include a broad population, including children who don’t have private insurance.

“The drugs are used mostly for boys pre-adolescence, and mostly for girls during adolescence,” he said. “The drugs are being used for attention deficit disorder…even though no {antidepressant} drug has shown been effective. In the younger boys, the majority of use is in that area.”-Gathered from Newsday article 4/4/04

According to the FDA, more than 10 million children and teens under 18 took antidepressants in 2002.-Newsday 4/4/04

Last year, Britain banned the use of Paxil for depression in children because of an increase in self-harm and suicidal behavior. The FDA recommended children not take Paxil for depression because research showed it was no more effective than a placebo.