27 January 2009

ADHD Drugs and Hallucinations

An FDA study of 50 independent clinical trials has found a link between ADHD medications and hallucinations in children. About 2 percent of the children tested suffered from hallucinations, most of which were thoughts of creepy crawlies on the body. It appears that children under 10 years of age were more susceptible to this than were the older children. The study has been published in the journal Pediatrics.

This is why every psychiatrist and parent should carefully monitor a child when starting a new medication that affects the brain. Hopefully your child will be in the lucky 98 percent like my daughter was. If your child suffers any negative side affects, then it's time to contact the doctor right away and try something else.

23 January 2009

Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps and ADHD

As a toddler, little Michael Phelps was constantly talking, asking questions, and needing attention from other people. His preschool teachers complained that he was noisy during quiet time, wouldn't sit during circle time and bothered the other children.

During elementary school, Michael's teachers described him as "immature" and said he couldn't sit still, be quiet when required to, or stay focused on his classwork. Although he did well with physically active subjects like PE and science experiments, he did not like to read. His report card had D's, C's and B's.

Both of Phelps' sisters were swimmers. His mother decided to get him swimming, too, as an outlet for all that excess energy.

When Phelps was in 5th grade, his doctor (and fellow parent at Michael's sisters' swim meets) suggested he might have ADHD. He himself had witnessed Micheal running around at the meets "like a crazy person." Assessment forms were sent to the teachers and the results were no big surprise..."cant sit still, keep quiet or focus."

At age 9, Micheal started taking Ritalin which helped a little bit. His grades improved slightly but he continued to do minimal work, never going above and beyond.

By age 10 Michael was doing great in swimming. He ranked nationally for his age group in competitions. Swim meets offered Michael a way to focus on something he loved. ADHD children are very good at focusing on something they have a passion for. He started setting records.

After about 2 years of being on ADHD medication, Michael asked his mom if he could stop taking it because no one else took it and going to the school nurse for mid-days medication made him feel different than the other children. He promised his mother he could handle school without the medication.

Phelps graduated from Towson High School in Maryland and studied at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

For a listing of other famous people with ADHD, click on http://adhdandmore.blogspot.com/2009/01/famous-people-with-adhd.html#links

Ty Pennington and ADHD

By the time Ty Pennington hit elementary school, he was picking up desks and showing off to make the other children laugh, jumping off the roof at home and running into the street, unaware of cars. His teachers thought he was disruptive. His mother worried for his safety.

Pennington's mother, Yvonne, was studying to become a clinical psychologist and during some research for a psych class she came across studies on children who found focusing very challenging. She decided it was time to take her son to the doctor.

The doctor told Yvonne that her son had "minimal brain dysfuncion." She did not like this label and did not tell her son these words but she did do extensive research on minimal brain dysfunction. She learned about using a token system which rewards children for focusing and staying on task.

Ty was rewarded with drink coasters for a pre-set amount of time to stay focused. Once he saved up enough coasters/tokens he could trade them in for extra time doing something he enjoyed like building with his Erector Set, extra play time or TV time. Ty's teacher adopted this token system, too.

Slowly Ty's ability to stay on task improved but he still did the absolute minimum to get by.

Yvonne noticed that her son developed a strong passion for building. Gotta love that Erector Set! He even talked friends into helping him build a 3-story tree house in exchange for some of his comic books.

In high school Ty earned B's and C's but the lack of structure in college was unbearable. After his first year, Ty dropped out of Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

In the 1980's a new term emerged from the medical community - ADHD. Pennington's doctor prescribed stimulants which helped his ability to focus enough to retry college.

Ty graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta with honors.

Afterward graduation, Ty got odd jobs in construction, graphic design, modeling and acting. Then he landed a construction gig on the Learning Channel show, "Trading Spaces." Three years later he was offered the lead spot in a new show called "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

And the rest will be history!

For a list of other famous people with ADHD click on http://adhdandmore.blogspot.com/2009/01/famous-people-with-adhd.html#links

19 January 2009

New ADHD Medication - Clonicel

There is a new medication on the horizon to treat hyperactivity in children. Addrenex Pharmaceuticals introduces Clonicel, which is a derivative of Clonide, with ADHD children in mind. It helps reduce hyperactivity in a slow release pill with no drowsy side effects.

For more on Clonicel, click on http://www.addrenex.com/lead_product.html

For a listing of other ADHD medications, please click on http://adhdandmore.blogspot.com/2009/01/adhd-medications.html#links

13 January 2009


Here are some quotes you might enjoy or relate to:

"I'm sorry...I wasn't paying attention to what I was thinking" -Shelley Curtiss

"I was trying to daydream but my mind kept wandering." -Steven Wright

"Punctuality is the virture of the bored." -Evelyn Waugh

"ADD is like going through life, carrying a one-man band contraption with a broken strap." -Julia Smith-Ruetz

"My room may be a mess but it's an organized mess. I know right where everything is." -Brandon Curtiss

"The best non-pharmacological treatment for ADD is exercise, sex, and humor." — Dr. Ned Hallowell, Co-author of Driven to Distraction.

"I prefer to distinguish ADD as attention abundance disorder. Everything is just so interesting . . . remarkably at the same time.” — Frank Coppola, MA, ODC, ACG

"I see myself as an intelligent, sensitive human, with a soul of a clown which forces me to blow it at the most important moments." — Jim Morrison, musician

"I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers." — Woody Allen

"The only problem with the world is a lot of people DON'T have ADD" — Andy Pakula, CEO of Think! Interactive Marketing

“Man, I love my ADD. It always reminds me how much I don’t remember.” — Frank Coppola MA, ODC, ACG

"Ah! the clock is always slow, it is later than you think." — Robert W. Service

"Never do today what you can put off til tomorrow." — Matthew Browne

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." — Thomas Edison

"All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room." — Blaise Pascal

"It has been said that idleness is the parent of mischief, which is very true; but mischief itself is merely an attempt to escape from the dreary vacuum of idleness." — George Borrow

"Too much rest becomes a pain." — Homer

"Sometimes a person with ADD feels as if their mind is moving as fast as a speeding train." -- Frank Coppola MA, ODC, ACG

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." — Henry David Thoreau

"It's a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word!" — Andrew Jackson

"Five minutes! Zounds! I have been five minutes too late all my lifetime!" — Hannah Cowley

"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible." — Frank Zappa, musician

"Something a guy never wants to hear, 'Tim, the school called!' " — Tim Allen

"If they try to rush me, I always say, 'I've only got one other speed and it's slower." — Glenn Ford

"My parents and my former faculty members would be surprised that I'm standing here. While my name appeared on several list in the dean's office, none of them was the dean's list my parents wanted." — Steve Croft, 60 Minutes Correspondent during a college graduation speech.

Here is a link you might find interesting: Famous People with ADHD


Famous People with ADHD

Here's a list of famous people with ADHD and those who MIGHT have had it. Obviously people who lived a long time ago weren't officially diagnosed that way, but written history suggests they might have had ADHD. This list is a compilation of several other separate lists. Enjoy!
You are in good company!

Ansel Adams — Photographer
Ann Bancroft —Actress
Alexander Graham BellTelephone Inventor
Harry Andersen — Actor
Hans Christian Anderson — Author
Beethoven — Composer
Harry Belafonte —Actor, Singer
Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington —WWII Flying Ace (Black Sheep Squadron Leader)
Terry Bradshaw —Football Quarterback
George Burns — Actor
Sir Richard Francis Burton — Explorer, Linguist, Scholar, Writer
Admiral Richard Byrd — Aviator (Was retired from the navy as, "Unfit for service")
Thomas Carlyle — Scottish historian, critic, and sociological writer
Andrew Carnegie - American Industrialist
Jim Carrey — American Comedian
Lewis Carroll — Author (Alice in Wonderland)
Prince Charles — Future King of England?
Cher — Actress and Singer
Agatha Christie — Author
Sir Winston Churchill — English Statesman (Failed the sixth grade)
Bill Cosby — American Actor, Comedian
Tom Cruise — Actor, Couch Jumper
Harvey Cushing M.D. — Greatest Neurosurgeon of the 20th Century
Salvador Dali —Spanish Surrealist Artist
Leonardo da Vinci — Italian Inventor, Artist
John Denver — American Musician
Walt Disney — American Cartoonist, Film Producer, Theme Park Innovator (A newspaper editor fired him because he had "No good ideas".)
Kirk Douglas — American Actor
Thomas Edison — Inventor (His teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything)
Albert Einstein — Physicist (Einstein was four years old before he could speak,and seven before he could read)
Dwight D. Eisenhower — U. S. President, Military General
Michael Faraday — British Physicist, Chemist
F. Scott Fitzgerald — Author
Malcolm Forbes —Forbes Magazine Founder & Publisher
Henry Ford — Automobile Innovator, invented the Production Line
Benjamin Franklin —American Colonial Politician, Elder Statesman, Inventor
Galileo (Galilei) — Italian Mathematician, Astronomer
Danny Glover — American Actor
Tracey Gold — American Actress
Whoopi Goldberg — Comedienne, Actress
Georg Frideric
Handel —German Composer
Valerie Hardin — Gothic Poet, Artist, Children's Author
Mariette Hartley — Actress
William Randolph Hearst — Newspaper Magnate
Ernest Hemingway — Author
Mariel Hemingway — Actress
Milton Hershey — Hershey's Chocolate Magnate, American Philanthropist
Dustin Hoffman — Actor
Bruce Jenner — Olympic Athlete
Luci Baines Johnson - Daughter of USA President Lyndon B. Johnson
"Magic" Johnson — American Basketball Player, Film Personality, Business Man
Samuel Johnson — Author
Michael Jordan — American Basketball Player
John F. Kennedy — U. S. President
Robert F. Kennedy — U.S. Attorney General, Brother of JFK
Jason Kidd — Professional Basketball Player
John Lennon —Musician
Frederick Carlton (Carl) Lewis —American Olympic Athelete.
Meriwether Lewis - explorer (Lewis & Clark) 
Abraham Lincoln —U.S. President during American Civil War (Entered The Black Hawk War as a Captain and came out a Private)
Greg Louganis — Olympic Athelete (Diving)
James Clerk Maxwell — British Physicist
Steve McQueen — American ActorWolfgang 
Amadeus Mozart — German Child Prodigy Composer, Violinist, Pianist
Napoleon Bonaparte —Emperor of France
Nasser (Gamal Abdel-Nasser) Egyptian Leader
Sir Issac Newton - English Scientist, Mathematician (Did poorly in grade school)
Nostradamus —Physician, Prophet
Ozzy Osbourne —English Rock Musician, said he was ADHD on TV
Louis Pasteur — Scientist, developed "Pasturization" (Rated as mediocre in chemistry when he attended the Royal College)
General George Patton — American Military
Pablo Picasso — Spanish Cubist Artist
Edgar Allan Poe — English Author, Poet, Master of the Macabre
Rachmaninov — Russian Composer
Eddie Rickenbacker — WWI Flying Ace
John D. Rockefeller —Founder, Standard Oil Company
Nelson Rockefeller — U.S. Vice President
August Rodin — Artist, Sculptor
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt — American First Lady
Pete Rose —American Baseball Player
Babe Ruth — American Baseball Player
Nolan Ryan — American Baseball Player
Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat — Egyptian President, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 1976
George C. Scott — American Actor
George Bernard Shaw —Author
Will Smith — American Actor, Rapper, Entertainer
Tom Smothers — Actor, Singer, Entertainer
Socrates — Greek Philosopher
Suzanne Somers — Actress, Pinup Girl
Steven Spielberg — American Filmmaker
Sylvester Stallone — American Actor
Jackie Stewart — Car Racing, Grand Prix Hall of Famer
James Stewart — American Actor
Henry David Thoreau —Author, Poet
(Lev Nikolayevich) Leo Tolstoy — Russian Author (Flunked out of college)
Alberto Tomba — Alpine Ski Champion
Vincent van Gogh — Dutch Artist who settled in France, Impressionism
Russell Varian — Inventor
Jules Verne — Author (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)
Werner von Braun — German Rocket Scientist (Flunked 9th grade algebra)
Lindsay Wagner — American Actress (Bionic Woman), Spokesperson
Gen. William C. Westmoreland — Military (Vietnam Era)
Robin Williams — Prolific American Comedian, Actor,
Woodrow Wilson — U. S. President
Henry Winkler —American Actor (Fonzie)
Stevie Wonder — American Musician
F. W. Woolworth — Department Store Innovator (While working in a dry goods store at 21, his employers wouldn't let him wait on a customer because he "Didn't have enough sense.")
Frank Lloyd Wright — American Architect
Orville Wright —Airplane Developer
Wilber Wright — Airplane Developer
William Wrigley, Jr. — Chewing Gum MakerWilliam Butler Yeats — Irish Author

Here are links you might enjoy:

Famous ADHD Quotes

Ty Pennington's ADHD Story

Michael Phelps, Olmpic Gold Medalist's ADHD Story

03 January 2009

ADHD Medications

Medication can help children and adults with ADHD overcome their difficulties in focusing and concentrating. The doctor might have the patient try different medications until the right one is found - one that works and is tolerated well. The patient must stay under the prescribing doctor's care the entire time he or she is on ADHD medication.

The most prescribed medications are classified as "stimulants" which work by affecting the chemicals responsible for signals in the brain. The level of neurotransmitters (dopamine and norepinephrine) in the brain are increased. This increase can help one settle down and focus.

To see a listing of medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of ADHD, click on http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/ADHD/default.htm which also has links to label information and side effect warnings.

"Off Label Medication" is a phrase that describes a drug that's okayed by the FDA for a certain treatment but the prescribing doctor is using it for something else. It has NOT been approved by the FDA the way the doctor wants to use it. Off-Label medications that are sometimes used to treat ADHD include Symmetrel, Survector/Maneon, Didrex, Wellbutrin, Clonidine, Provigil/Alertec/Sparlon, Cylert, Edronax and Selegiline. Many of these have detrimental side effects, not found to be effective, or haven't been properly studied yet in the USA.

No medication is without side effects. Every person's response is different. If one medication is not tolerated well, then it can be stopped under the doctor's guidance, and a new one started up. There are many facts and myths about ADHD medications:

  • Some people think tics might develop or existing ones get worse. There is no increase that is considered by the medical community to be "statistically significant."

  • Some people have heard that ADHD medications stunt a child's growth. In reality, growth might slow down but the child catches back up during those typical growth spurt years. Everyone reaches the size they were supposed to reach. In the long run, no one ended up being unusually short or small.

  • There is the side effect of weight loss or not gaining weight. This is probably due to a decreased appetite, caused by certain medications. Like height, the weight will eventually reach what is "normal" for the child. Make sure the patient eats very healthy during their stay on ADHD medication.

  • There is a controversy over whether or not there have been adverse effects on the heart while on some ADHD medications. Research has found that those who suffered cardiovascular problems had previous, perhaps unknown, heart conditions but the connection between the problems and medications were never scientifically proven. Now, to be on the safe side, doctors order ECG's, EKG's and/or ultrasounds to rule out heart conditions before starting their patients. Blood pressure and pulse should be regularly checked by the prescribing physician.

  • There have been a few cases of psychiatric side effects for patients. The patient and family must watch for changes in thinking or depression. The doctor will also interview the patient at each follow-up visit.

  • Some ADHD drugs have resulted in dependance, usually caused by long-term overdose. Always only take what the doctor prescribes and never give, share or sell ADHD medication to someone else.

  • There is also the misinformation that children who take ADHD medication will grow up to be drug addicts. Studies have actually proved the opposite - when a patient follows the prescription, he or she succeeds and does well in school, gaining a healty self-esteem. ADHD suffers who don't take medication suffer from failure and ridicule as they grow up, often turning to drugs and alcohol as ways to block out the pains of the real world.
Before starting medication for ADHD, try changing the home, work and school environment to avoid distractions, allow mental breaks, give extra time for tasks, and squeeze in quick breaks for physical movement first. If those measures don't help enough and medication is being considered, do your research and follow your doctor's prescription.

My daughter is on the smallest dose of Adderall. Her EKG was abnormal so we got an ultrasound -ends up there was a glitch in the EKG. Nothing was wrong with her heart. We have noticed zero side effects. The doctor takes her blood pressure and pulse at every follow-up visit and asks questions about depression to make sure all is going okay.

Good luck to you!