Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Stuff" from 2e Newsletter

OMEGA 3 HELPS... Oh, wait. Remember that study we reported on last Friday, the one that indicated that omega-3 fatty acids can improve reading skills and memory? Well, a study published yesterday says that those acids might not benefit thinking skills. A study of older women showed no protection against cognitive decline in thinking and memory skills. At least salmon tastes good, though. Read more.

ATTENTION DYSREGULATION, not deficit, is another way to think about ADHD, according to a new article a the site of the Child Mind Institute. The article discusses hyperfocus and "attendant" difficulties with transitions. The article also touches on the engagement of media, as in a section subheaded "Focus on Strengths, Not Screens." Find the article.

ACUPUNCTURE FOR DEPRESSION? Either acupuncture or counseling, in addition to "usual care," can provide some relief of depression scores in the short term (three months). Interestingly, after 12 months the patients on "usual care" alone had improved to the point where there was no difference with the acupuncture or counseling group. Read more.

CAFFEINE, BRAIN DEVELOPMENT. Got a teen who sucks down caffeinated beverages? In a recently published study conducted on rats, the conclusions call for caution: in pubescent rodents, caffeine intake equating to three to four cups of coffee per day in humans results in reduced deep sleep and a delayed brain development. Find out more.

NAPS AND LEARNING. Learning in pre-schoolers may be enhanced by naps. Kids who napped did better on a test of memory recall. Read more.

MACARTHUR GRANTS AND US. The 2e community has a stake in the work of at least two of the latest class of MacArthur Fellows. Angela Duckworth studies predictors of success in education and has identified grit and self-control as two of those predictors. Susan Murphy's work "enable[s] researchers to determine which treatments are most effective over time for patients suffering from ADHD," depression and other chronic disorders, according to the Chicago Tribune. Read more.

POLITICS affects the 2e community in many ways -- funding for gifted ed, funding for research on giftedness (think "Javits Grants"), funding for research on the disorders that affect our gifted kids. A depressing column in The New York Times by Thomas Friedman illustrates how our dysfunctional political system is affecting research conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Promising projects in the areas of autism (as well as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease) have been shelved because of our "sequester." As Friedman notes, "We’re cutting the medical research that has the potential to prevent and cure the very diseases that are driving health care costs upward." Find the column, but be advised that it might incite you to start talking to your computer screen as you read.

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