Articles of Interest:
An AD/HD Mother's Resolutions
CHADD Conference Report
Contributed by: Carol Sadler (Posted on 2000-12-20)
The Conference was terrific. I am still recuperating!! I learned a great deal once again. Couple of interesting items that I will share with you quickly (from the top of my head and not my notes):
1) Some Neurologists said that within 2-10 years (and probable closer to 2), there will be a test that can be given to people in the doctor's office by swabbing the inside of the mouth to detect AD/HD if it is genetically transmitted!! They think they have identified the couple of genes that cause AD/HD; once they work that out, all they have to do is work out the test! All other causes for AD/HD, like a bump on the head or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, etc. will still be able to be detected through the brain imaging scans. So possibly very soon, there will be tests available for doctors to use.
Once these genes are identified for sure and later on down the road, could it lead to correcting AD/HD? Quite possibly! That is in the future!!
2) In the largest medical study on children with AD/HD by NIMH(?), I believe, where 600 children were diagnosed and treated, when Ritalin was given at the exact right dose for their body weight, it was 94.9% effective in the treatment for AD/HD.
3) There are some doctors who are beginning to believe that ADD without hyperactivity is a form of a sleep disorder. Sleep Apnea and other sleep disorders have similar symptoms to ADD, like the inattentiveness and distractibility. ADD affects the back of brain, unlike AD/HD which affects the frontal lobes of the brain.
4) Lots of talk about Executive Function and Working Memory problems in people with AD/HD. These usually go undiagnosed and children rarely get the help they need for these disorders and go pretty much hand in hand with AD/HD.
5) Lots of talk about Bi-Polar Disorder. There even may be, in a few years, a new class of AD/HD which will group these children with co-morbid disorders like AD/HD, ODD, Conduct Disorder, etc. There seems to be more and more overlapping of these disorders and it is very difficult to identify all these between Bi-Polar, AD/HD, and other disorders. Is it Bi-Polar, AD/HD or just totally a new disorder??
6) Look for a major announcement in Feb. 2001 by the Pediatrics Association. Apparently they have agreed to put out new guidelines for Pediatricians to follow when diagnosing AD/HD. The announcement will be made in February and distribution of the guidelines will be in April.
One other note from the conference: I wanted you all to know that our hotel where the conference was held was picketed one evening. The picketers handed out leaflets about "too many school children on DRUGS!", and lots of misinformation about CHADD and AD/HD. It was very dismaying for me to see this, even though I know it happens. Some people went out to talk to them, and they said they were not against CHADD (even though there were all kinds of unkind things in the leaflet about CHADD); they were more there to picket the Chicago Superintendent who was invited to speak. They talked to them about having the disorders as adults and we knew it was a real disorder. We talked about our children who had the disorders, and who improved dramatically on medication. We talked about the scientific studies that had been done, and what a disservice they were doing to the families who lived with these disorders and were afraid to get help because of their actions. They actually were very nice. Then the Sheraton security guards and police came and made them leave. I think it is very important for all of you advocating for yourself or your children to realize and recognize that this is happening!!