Friday, July 11, 2014

Teens, Tweens, ADHD, Meds, and More

NOW THEY TELL US. Boston Children's Hospital researchers reviewing studies on stimulant meds for ADHD note that while studies show the effectiveness of the meds on symptoms, not many studies were performed regarding the safety of the drugs. An article in the Boston Globe explains that the Food and Drug Administration requested six follow-up safety studies from drug companies, but only two were performed. Read more.

ONE THING CLINICIANS WARN ABOUT with stimulant meds is the possibility of misuse -- but this misuse might be by young people who ask the child on meds to share or sell the stimulants. Evidently studies show that kids with ADHD who are on properly prescribed meds have a lower risk of overall substance abuse. An article at WTOP.com provides information on the topic; in the article is a pointer to an AAP study on the ADHD and substance abuse, and a pointer to guidelines for parents on ADHD medications from the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (Note: Also at the site of ParentsMedGuide.org are parent guides for meds for childhood bipolar disorder and depression in young people.)

TEENS AND CONCUSSION. Concussion can evidently express itself in symptoms that are physical, emotional, or cognitive, according to the American Academy of Neurology. Teens who suffer concussions take longer to recover than older athletes. Emotional symptoms evidently include "irritability, aggression, anxiety, depression, apathy, frequent mood changes or excessive emotional reaction" -- which sounds like a typical Zits cartoon and begs the question, how would you tell the difference from normal teen emotions? :-) Anyway, read more.

TWEENS are the topic of an article at the site of the Child Mind Institute that covers cognitive changes, social changes, and emotional development. Got one of these not-quite tadpoles and not-quite frogs? Find the article


POST-DOCS! The University of California San Francisco and the Center for Childhood Creativity in that city are awarding a two-year postdoctoral fellowship to an individual with exceptional creativity in studying the neuroscience of how high-level affective/motivational processing and learning interact, with an emphasis on outreach and community engagement. There are lots of criteria for the successful candidate -- check them out here, and scroll down the page to "Jobs."  Good luck!

EXPLORE® TEST AT DAVIDSON ACADEMY. The Davidson Academy will serve as a test site for the two-hour EXPLORE test on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. The EXPLORE test, developed by ACT for eighth graders, is an effective above-level test for younger students (grades 4-6), and provides the opportunity to demonstrate their advanced abilities. An EXPLORE test score can be used in the context of eligibility criteria for the Davidson Young Scholars program as well as The Davidson Academy. The cost is $65 and the initial deadline to register is Monday, Sept. 1.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Today we saw the first press release of the season with the words "back to school" in it, in conjunction with the word "shopping." We doubt that kids on summer recess have even achieved the proper level of relaxation yet, but commerce must go on.

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