Autism Spectrum Disorders

ADHD Diagnoses Rose 24% In Ten Years

A study carried out by researchers from Northwestern Medicine reported in the March/April 2012 issue of Academic Peditrics that the ADHD diagnosis rate had risen 66% in ten years.

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Brains of Children with ADHD Show Protein Deficiency

Children with ADHD appear to have nearly 50 percent lower levels of an amino acid called tryptophan, a protein which helps in the production of dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin. It also is important for attention and learning.

They analyzed connective tissue cells called fibroblasts from 14 boys ages 6 to 12, each of whom had ADHD. It turned out that the cells’ ability to transport tryptophan is lower in boys with ADHD than in other boys. The findings “probably mean that the brain produces less serotonin,” she said.
The children in the ADHD group also had increased transport of the amino acid alanine in their fibroblast cells. 

Interestingly, increased transport of alanine has also been found inchildren with autism. In a study of nine boys and two girls with autism, fibroblast samples showed significantly increased transport capacity for alanine. This increased transport of alanine across the cell membrane “may influence the transport of several other amino acids across the blood-brain barrier,” said the researchers, adding that, “the significance of the findings has to be further explored.”

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Children’s Tylenol and related painkillers may be a cause of asthma surge, Akron doctor says

The use of acetaminophen — a pain reliever popularly sold under the brand name of Tylenol — may be contributingto the rise in childhood asthma, according to a recent editorial in the scientific journal Pediatrics.

“People who take even low levels have a vastly increased risk of also having asthma,” the journal states. “If people say they take acetaminophen once a month, generally their risk of having asthma has doubled.”

Acetaminophen, unlike other over-the-counter pain relievers, blocks the brain’s messages that are primarily sent to the central nervous system. This makes the drug effective for headaches, fever and minor aches and pains but not, for example, inflammation from a muscle sprain.Cons: Can cause liver failure because it reduces the body’s natural supply of a peptide called glutathione. Some studies also suggest that the reduction of glutathione is associated with oxidant damage in the lungs, thus promoting existing asthma symptoms.

Since the late 1970s, the prevalence and death rates of asthma have increased nationwide, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance study. While an average of 6.8 million people self-reported asthma in 1980, the number rose to an average 13.7 million by the end of 1994, according to the CDC study. By 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that about 8.2 percent of the U.S. population, or 24.6 million children andadults, had asthma.

Study links acetaminophen use during pregnancy with higher risk of ADHD, other behavior problems in children

The researchers studied more than 64,000 children and mothers who took part in the Danish National Birth Cohort, established to analyze the effect of exposures from the time of conception to early childhood on pregnancy complications and on the health of children. The cohort ran from 1996 to 2002.

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