An unbiased discussion of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
|Prospectus: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
According to the National Resource Center on AD/HD 5-8% of all school age children and 2-4% of adults are diagnosed AD/HD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is associated with trouble paying attention, impulsive behaviors, and being overly active. Seventy to ninety percent of these children are given powerful psychostimulants to control these behaviors. These include drugs such as Ritalin (methylphenidate) or Adderall (a mixture of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. These have a high abuse potential and can potentially cause dependence and addiction.
The diagnosis of AD/HD usually begins with questions or comments from a classroom teacher that lead to a consultation with a school psychologist. This leads, in turn, to referral to a family practitioner or a pediatrician, who based on his "clinical judgment" and comments by other individuals in this chain, provides the diagnosis. The International Consensus Statement confirms that objective diagnostic criteria for AD/HD is sadly lacking. In the past, many experts thought that most children "outgrew" ADHD during adolescence. But, this does not seem to be the case. Thus, AD/HD seems, at least for some individuals, to be a lifelong problem, and for society, since, “these individuals consume a disproportionate share of resources and attention from the health care system, criminal justice system, schools, and other social service agencies ".
The lack of objective diagnostic criteria means that, on one hand, it is difficult to "know" that a child or adult actually has AD/HD, and on the other hand, it makes it difficult to determine if a treatment is successful or not. The number of false positives; that is, the number of children that do not have AD/HD, but are treated as if they do, is probably quite high. For example, my colleagues and I demonstrated, I believe for the first time, that the effect of Ritalin was related to the level of motor activity before treatment The depressant effect was noted in subjects with higher levels of activity, while subjects with lower levels of pre-treatment activity showed a stimulant effect (Johnson, F. H., Sherry, C., and Millichap, J. G. Neurology 1969, 19, 302-3).
There are more than 150 books dealing with AD/HD, some dealing with children, some with teenagers, some with adults, some dealing with descriptions of AD/HD, and some with treatment modalities, but they all have a point of view. I believe that I have demonstrated my ability to provide an unbiased discussion of controversial topics such as animal rights and endangered species : My AD/HD book would be modeled after these books and provide unbiased information that would allow interested individuals to form reasoned decisions about AD/HD and its diagnosis and treatments.
I have a strong background in psychopharmacology and quantitative neurophysiology, as well as in biofeedback. I have taught human physiology, psychopharmacology, introductory psychology, and sensation and perception to students with widely varying backgrounds. I have professional papers dealing with quantitative neurphysiology, psychopharmacology, reproductive behavior, teratology, and the bio-behavioral effects of non-lethal weapons in more than 26 different refereed scientific journals. In addition to the books mentioned above, I have 5 other books, and I have completed the 3rd edition of my imaging book . I have reissued my first two books that have gone out of print, as a print in demand book, which are still selling.