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024 - Follow Up on 2013 - 2014 emails

posted Nov 20, 2015, 12:55 PM by Doug Muha

Counselor Notes 24

September 25, 2014

Follow Up on 2013 – 2014 emails

 

I have a lot of interesting information to send along this year.  The focus is going to be on parenting issues.  Before getting into that, I want to follow up on some things that came up in the last school year’s notes:

Counselor Notes 18 talked about the possible role of inflammation in ADHD.  Here is a relatively short article postulating environmental toxins producing inflammation and thus leading to ADHD:    http://unritalinsolution.com/adhd_immune_imbalance

Counselor Notes 16 looked at the role of omega 3 fatty acids in attention problems.  Dr. David Rabiner of Duke University noted in a September 2, 2014 issue of his Attention Research Updates that:

…. Dietary supplementation of long-chain fatty acids as an intervention for ADHD has generated considerable interest in recent years. Certain highly poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are known to play an important role in many aspects of physical health, and may also play a role in a wide range of neuro-developmental and psychiatric conditions. For example, children with ADHD have been shown in several studies to have low blood levels of PUFAs. Because PUFAs are important for healthy brain development and functioning, some researchers have suggested that increasing PUFA levels via dietary supplements could enhance brain functioning and reduce ADHD symptoms.

Several prior issues of Attention Research Update have reviewed studies of fatty acid supplementation as a treatment for ADHD symptoms - see www.helpforadd.com/2007/may.htm and www.helpforadd.com/2006/august.htm - and some encouraging results have been reported. And, recently published reviews of fatty acid supplementation indicate that it yields reductions in ADHD symptoms for many children; the best results have typically been obtained with the combination of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. …

…. In this randomized trial, Omega-3/6 supplementation was associated with reductions in children's ADHD symptoms over one-year that were roughly comparable to those seen in children treated with medication. There was also evidence of better treatment adherence for children receiving combined treatment and that children receiving combined treatment required lower medication doses than those receiving medication alone. Overall, therefore, study results suggest that Omega-3/6 supplementation may be a viable alternative to medication for some children and/or that it can have value when combined with stimulant medication.


Addressing the more widespread diet issues (which were covered last year in Counselor Notes 11 through 21),  Rabiner noted in a June 17, 2014 issue of Attention Research Update   that:

…. Results from a study published in 2011, however, suggests that dietary interventions for ADHD may be more powerful than previously thought [Pelsser et al., (2011)….

….  What is especially noteworthy is that the majority of children with ADHD who were placed on the few foods diet showed a 40% reduction in ADHD symptom ratings; their oppositional behavior improved as well. In fact, the magnitude of the benefits obtained were larger, on average, than what is commonly found with medication. These results suggest that a restricted elimination diet can have substantial benefits for many children with ADHD, and not just for a small minority of diagnosed children. Although results from this study indicate a potentially larger effect of a restricted elimination diet on ADHD symptoms than has been reported in previous work, the results are largely consistent with other studies that have examined this issue in a similar way. 

Based on this finding, the authors recommend that all children should be considered for dietary intervention for ADHD, provided that parents can to follow a restricted elimination diet for at least 5 weeks so that its value can be determined and that close supervision is available…..

The newsletter has much more information and discussion of the results than I am reporting here.  For parents of a child with attention issues, I highly recommend signing up for it.  Attention Research Updates is a free email newsletter devoted solely to attention issues.   It is written by Dr. David Rabiner of Duke University.  You can sign up for it at http://www.helpforadd.com/ .

Parents who are interested in seeing the older issues of Counselor Notes mentioned here or want to be forwarded the full Attention Research Update that the above quotes were taken from should email me at muhad@hcss.org.  I will also be available during the Parent – Teacher conferences next Monday 9/29 and Tuesday 9/30.  (You can call me at the school too! 931-296-2371)

Doug Muha Ed.S.
School Counselor
Waverly Elementary School

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