Brain Connections Develop Slower in Kids with ADHD
Brain images of children with ADHD show that connections between networks in their brains grow slower than those of children without ADHD. Researchers from the University of Michigan studied brain scans of over 750 children with and without ADHD. Using fMRI, they were able to see less developed connections in areas of the brain dealing with internal thoughts and focus.
“It is particularly noteworthy that the networks we found to have lagging maturation in ADHD are linked to the very behaviors that are the symptoms of ADHD,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Chandra Sripada.
Researchers hope “the new findings, and the methods used to make them, may one day allow doctors to use brain scans to diagnose ADHD – and track how well someone responds to treatment.”
The study, “Lag in maturation of the brain’s intrinsic functional architecture in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder,” is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.
Brain Scans Predict Reading Problems in Children – may predict Dyslexia
|Credit: John Morgan on Flickr|
Researchers used brain scans to follow 38 children from kindergarten through to third grade – the time when children learn to read and develop their reading skills. Using the scans, researchers watched “white matter volume” develop in the children’s brains. Through their analysis of the white matter volume, researchers were able to “show that white matter development during a critical period in a child’s life, when they start school and learn to read for the very first time, predicts how well the child ends up reading,” according to senior author Fumiko Hoeft, MD, PhD.
“Early identification and interventions are extremely important in children with dyslexia as well as most neurodevelopmental disorders,” said Hoeft. “Accumulation of research evidence such as ours may one day help us identify kids who might be at risk for dyslexia, rather than waiting for children to become poor readers and experience failure.”
The study, “White Matter Morphometric Changes Uniquely Predict Children’s Reading Acquisition,” is published in the journal Psychological Science.
FDA Considers Banning Electric Shock Treatments Used On People with Autism
|Credit: FDA website|
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the use of
graduated electronic decelerators or GEDs to control negative behaviors of people with autism at a Massachusetts treatment center. GEDs are attached to the arms or legs of some students at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center. If the student has a behavioral problem, a facility worker can activate the GED which then gives a two-second shock to the student.
The use of GEDs has been heavily criticized with the United Nations referring to it as “torture.” In addition, some parents brought claims against the Center over the use of this device. On the other hand, some parents contend it is the only treatment that works for their children. The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center is believed to be the only center in the US using this type of device as a treatment.
The GEDs are designed and manufactured by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center. Since its initial design, the voltage used has increased. The current device is not approved by the FDA.