Thursday, December 30, 2010

THE LAST POST OF 2010 is an appropriate place to mention Edutopia's solicitation for nominees for "Person of the Year in Education." Got strong feelings? Want to see whom others feel should get the title? Go to Edutopia.
MEDS AND KIDS. A Wall Street Journal article examines medications for children, noting that 25 percent of kids and teens in the United States take prescription drugs. The article points out that many meds prescribed for for kids haven't  been tested on kids -- a little odd, it seems to us. Finding the proper dosage, or finding unexpected side effects in kids, can be an issue. Find the article.
GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER CHILD? Check out a review of the book Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives. Its author checked research on a variety of in utero influences on children that potentially affect a child's weight, predisposition to diabetes, lung health, and other factors. Find the review.
THE TEENAGE BRAIN. Sharp Brains has posted on its site "Top 10 Resources to Better Understand the Teenage Brain -- Brain Health Series Part 2." The resources consist of links to features and documents on other websites, including those of New Scientist (on brain maturation), the National Institute of Mental Health (a "Teenage Brain Fact Sheet"), and PBS ("Inside the Teenage Brain," a documentary). Find the list.
THE DSM MEETS GENETICS. An illuminating article on the Scientific American website offers insight into a variety of issues that face parents of twice-exceptional children. Among those issues are: 
  • The fact that there are no validated lab tests for mental illnesses
  • The way symptom patterns commonly change over a lifetime, leading to different diagnoses
  • The heritability of traits 
  • Common co-morbidities, especially the tendency for certain disorders to "cluster" with others. 
The author, a former director of the US National Institute of Mental Health, suggests that what we know about genetics does not map well onto DSM classifications. He further recommends that DSM task forces "create chapters of disorders that co-occur at very high rates and that appear to share genetic risk factors based on family, twin, and molecular genetic studies... [This] would be possible for certain neurodevelopmental disorders, anxiety disorders, the obsessive-compulsive disorder spectrum, so-called externalizing or disruptive disorders (such as antisocial personality disorder and substance use disorders), and others." Find this article.

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