Navigation Links
Don't Give ADHD Meds to Undiagnosed Kids, Experts Urge
Date:3/13/2013

By Barbara Bronson Gray
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Some people call it "brain doping" or "meducation." Others label the problem "neuroenhancement." Whatever the term, the American Academy of Neurology has published a position paper criticizing the practice of prescribing "study drugs" to boost memory and thinking abilities in healthy children and teens.

The authors said physicians are prescribing drugs that are typically used for children and teenagers diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for students solely to improve their ability to ace a critical exam -- such as the college admission SAT -- or to get better grades in school.

Dr. William Graf, lead author of the paper and a professor of pediatrics and neurology at Yale School of Medicine, emphasized that the statement doesn't apply to the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. Rather, he is concerned about what he calls "neuroenhancement in the classroom."

The problem is similar to that caused by performance-boosting drugs that have been used in sports by such athletic luminaries as Lance Armstrong and Mark McGwire, he explained. "One is about [enhancing] muscles and the other is about enhancing brains," Graf said.

In children and teens, the use of drugs to improve academic performance raises issues including the potential long-term effect of medications on the developing brain, the distinction between normal and abnormal intellectual development, the question of whether it is ethical for parents to force their children to take drugs just to improve their academic performance, and the risks of overmedication and chemical dependency, Graf noted.

The rapidly rising numbers of children and teens taking ADHD drugs calls attention to the problem, Graf said. "The number of physician office visits for ADHD management and the number of prescriptions for stimulants and psychotropic medications for children and adolescents has increased 10-fold in the U.S. over the last 20 years," he pointed out.

Recent parent surveys show about a 22 percent increase in ADHD, a 42 percent rise in the disorder among older teens and a 53 percent increase among Hispanic children, according to the paper.

While Graf acknowledged that the data about rising numbers associated with ADHD includes a number of cases that have been appropriately diagnosed as ADHD, he said the increase -- especially among older adolescents -- suggests a problem of overdiagnosis and overmedication.

"We should be more cautious with healthy children in treating them with drugs they don't need," he said. "The ethical balance tips against overuse and toward caution because children are still growing and developing and there's a lot we don't know."

The position paper, published online March 13 in the journal Neurology, was also approved by the Child Neurology Society and the American Neurological Association.

Dr. Mark Wolraich, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and chairman of the subcommittee that wrote ADHD guidelines for the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that his group was not consulted in the development of the position paper Graf developed. Wolraich noted that the AAP also did not recommend the use of stimulant medications for performance enhancement or pleasure.

Yet Wolraich said he is concerned that recommendations against the use of ADHD drugs may confuse parents, who already are frequently hesitant to give prescription medications to their children for ADHD.

"The paper may have an unfavorable impact," Wolraich said. "I worry that we're focusing too much on the downside and it will deter people from getting the help they need. We have a lot of good evidence about the use [of medications] and it is clearly effective in the short term for treating the symptoms you see with ADHD."

More information

Learn more about ADHD from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: William D. Graf, M.D., professor of pediatrics and neurology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Mark Wolraich, M.D., Shaun Walters Professor of Pediatrics, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City; March 13, 2013, Neurology, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Los Angeles Periodontist, Dr. Markzar, is Now Informing Patients about the Possible Connection between Gum Disease and Cardiovascular Disease
2. Jacksonville Periodontist, Dr. Richard E. Aguila, Now Fixes High Gum Lines with Crown Lengthening Procedures for His Florida Patients with Excessive Gums Showing
3. Postmenopausal women who smoked are more likely to lose teeth due to periodontal disease
4. Dr. Stephen C. Hale Now Offering LANAP Periodontal Surgery for Texas City Gum Disease
5. Nashville Periodontal Group Is Expanding Their Sedation Dentistry To Include Patients In Forest Hills, TN Needing Dental Anxiety Relief
6. Milford, Ohio: Periodontists of the Ohio Valley Center for Periodontics & Implants Now Bring a Modern Gum Surgery Alternative to their Local Gum Disease Patients
7. The Woodlands, TX Periodontist, Dr. Gayle Bradshaw is Now Accepting New Patients For The Modern Bone Graft Procedure To Strengthen Jaw Bone For Dental Implants
8. Ueno Periodontics Now Offers Innovative Laser Gum Surgery to Treat Gum Disease
9. Dr. William Gielincki Jr. Dentist at Jacksonville Center for Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry Introduces Solutions for Patients with Sleep Apnea
10. Dr. Wilkerson Begins Teaching Early Orthodontic Course in Austin, TX
11. Dr. Tal Morr - a Preferred Prosthodontics in Miami Area
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Don't Give ADHD Meds to Undiagnosed Kids, Experts Urge
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing their writing ... which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by nominating him ... Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In April, Genome ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions today ... cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first two ... the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification solutions ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any dentist ... many challenges of the current process. Many of them do ... of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And ... to offer it at such a high cost that the ... it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 , , ... July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , ... , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & ... Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: