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The Remarkable Nutritional Treatment for ADHD, Dyslexia & Dyspraxia THE LCP SOLUTION
by B Jacqueline Stordy and Malcolm J. Nicholl

Fox 'n Friends Dr. Manny still not convinced of reality of children's ADHD, says majority of children in elementary schools don't have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (January 25, 2007)
see Net the Truth Online for discussion.

Anti-psychotic drug use in kids skyrockets

Fivefold increase from 1995 to 2002, researchers find

Updated: 7:52 p.m. ET March 16, 2006

Soaring numbers of American children are being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs — in many cases, for attention deficit disorder or other behavioral problems for which these medications have not been proven to work, a study found.

The annual number of children prescribed anti-psychotic drugs jumped fivefold between 1995 and 2002, to an estimated 2.5 million, the study said. That is an increase from 8.6 out of every 1,000 children in the mid-1990s to nearly 40 out of 1,000.

But more than half of the prescriptions were for attention deficit and other non-psychotic conditions, the researchers said.

The findings are worrisome “because it looks like these medications are being used for large numbers of children in a setting where we don’t know if they work,” said lead author Dr. William Cooper, a pediatrician at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

The increasing use of anti-psychotics since the mid-1990s corresponds with the introduction of costly and heavily marketed medications such as Zyprexa and Risperdal. The packaging information for both says their safety and effectiveness in children have not been established.

Anti-psychotics are intended for use against schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses. However, attention deficit disorder is sometimes accompanied by temper outbursts and other disruptive behavior. As a result, some doctors prescribe anti-psychotics to these children to calm them down — a strategy some doctors and parents say works.

The drugs, which typically cost several dollars per pill, are considered safer than older anti-psychotics — at least in adults — but they still can have serious side effects, including weight gain, elevated cholesterol and diabetes.

Large studies needed
Anecdotal evidence suggests similar side effects occur in children, but large-scale studies of youngsters are needed, Cooper said.

The researchers analyzed data on youngsters age 13 on average who were involved in annual national health surveys. The surveys involved prescriptions given during 119,752 doctor visits. The researchers used that data to come up with national estimates.

Cooper said some of the increases might reflect repeat prescriptions given to the same child, but he said that is unlikely and noted that his findings echo results from smaller studies.

The study appears in the March-April edition of the journal Ambulatory Pediatrics....

Is ADHD Getting Out of Control?

A record four million children -- some as young as 2 -- are being diagnosed with ADHD, and many are being put on powerful medications, perhaps for life. Now a growing number of experts are sounding alarm bells.

By Linda Marsa

It's a rare parent today who's not familiar with the term attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Indeed, this once-obscure abbreviation is now a household word, thanks in part to the fact that the number of kids diagnosed with the condition has skyrocketed -- from an estimated 150,000 in 1970, to a half million in 1985, to a whopping four million currently. (It is outranked only by asthma and allergies among childhood disorders.)

Predictably, prescriptions for ADHD treatments have ballooned proportionately, rising more than 47 percent over the past five years to a current total of 31 million. The ADHD therapeutic arsenal -- a $2.2-billion-a-year business -- now includes a dozen drugs, the use of which has steadily drifted downward to ever-younger children.

A landmark 2000 Journal of the American Medical Association study revealed that use among 2- to 4-year-olds of stimulants such as Ritalin (which, paradoxically, have a calming effect on hyperactive kids) nearly tripled from 1991 to 1995; Ritalin prescriptions for preschoolers rose 49 percent from 2000 to 2003. This is especially sobering in view of the fact that Ritalin is not even approved for use in children under 6; all these prescriptions are written off-label.

Is Medication Really Necessary?

Despite the galloping increase in the use of such drugs, there is still considerable confusion as to exactly what ADHD is and how it should be treated. Part of the problem is that there is no definitive test to certify that a child has it. And because symptoms run the gamut from constant frenzied activity and disruptive, impulsive behavior to fidgeting, making careless mistakes in schoolwork, and failing to finish tasks, it's not always easy to distinguish between normal kid behavior and ADHD. Diagnosis is still a judgment call, says Timothy E. Wilens, MD, author of Straight Talk About Psychiatric Medications for Kids (Guilford, 2004).

In addition, the spectrum of ADHD has broadened. There are now thought to be three distinct types. The most extreme -- and the one most associated with the label -- is the hyperactive, impulsive child who is disruptive, can't sit still, and may be a bully or a troublemaker. Children with the second type are those who are inattentive, unable to focus, and easily distracted. The third type, and the most common one, usually combines inattention and hyperactivity.

For children whose extreme impulsivity and aggressiveness cause them to fall hopelessly behind in school and to become social outcasts, a parent's decision to medicate can be painful but clear-cut. But what about the parents of the millions of other kids who also bear the ADHD label but whose behavior is more ambiguous? These parents face thorny questions: Is their child's energy, dreaminess, or inattentiveness merely normal youthful behavior, or does it cross the line into a neurological illness? And would putting the child on drugs be a help or the chemical equivalent of handcuffs?

Behavioral pediatrician Lawrence H. Diller, MD, author of Running on Ritalin (Bantam, 1999), believes the latter. "America uses 80 percent of the world's Ritalin," he says. "We medicate our kids more, and for more trivial reasons, than any other culture. We'd rather give them a pill than discipline them." His view is shared by many others, who chalk up the seemingly limitless numbers of antsy, disruptive kids to the failures of a permissive society that can't control its children and babysits them with MTV.

Others pointedly disagree. "ADHD has not increased, we're just identifying it better," says Steven Pliszka, MD, chief of child psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center, in San Antonio. "In the past, these kids were the ones who were always being sent to the principal's office." Moreover, research shows that there is a strong genetic component to the disorder. If a child has it, the odds are good that a parent may, too (though he or she may be unaware of it).

But even if the data strongly suggest a biological origin to ADHD, says William E. Pelham Jr., PhD, director of the Center for Children and Families at the State University of New York at Buffalo, there is little doubt that environmental factors can nudge a latent, largely benign tendency into a full-blown disorder requiring medication. Several trends in American life have converged to whip up this perfect storm. ...




The Purpose of Christmas

Christmas Eve: Sunday, December 24 at 8 and 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. Christmas Day: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET
Rick Warren is the world-renowned author of 'The Purpose Driven Life' and the pastor of Saddleback Church in California.
Join us for Christmas services from Saddleback including traditional carols and Warren's Christmas message

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