Long-term neurological dysfunction and neonatal hypoglycaemia after diabetic pregnancy.
AIM: To determine if children born to mothers with diabetes mellitus during pregnancy, who subsequently developed neonatal hypoglycaemia, experienced long-term neurological dysfunction. METHODS: Thirteen children with, and 15 without, neonatal hypoglycaemia (blood glucose < 1.5 mmol/l) were randomly selected from a larger cohort and investigated at the age of 8 years. They were also compared with 28 age matched healthy controls. RESULTS: Children with neonatal hypoglycaemia had significantly more difficulties in a validated screening test for minimal brain dysfunction than controls and were also more often reported to be hyperactive, impulsive, and easily distracted. On psychological assessment, they had a lower total development score than normoglycaemic children born to diabetic mothers, and control children. CONCLUSIONS: Neonatal hypoglycaemia in diabetic pregnancy was associated with long-term neurological dysfunction related to minimal brain dysfunction/deficits in attention, motor control, and perception. (+info)
Further analysis of the separate and interactive effects of methylphenidate and common classroom contingencies.
We evaluated separate and interactive effects between common classroom contingencies and methylphenidate (MPH) on disruptive and off-task behaviors for 4 children with a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Analogue conditions consisting of contingent teacher reprimands, brief time-out, no interaction, and alone were conducted in a multielement design. Medication status (MPH or placebo) was alternated across days in a superordinate multielement design. Results indicate that (a) the behavioral effects of MPH were influenced by one or more of the analogue conditions for each participant, and (b) time-out was associated with zero or near-zero levels of both disruptive and off-task behavior for 3 of the 4 participants during MPH and placebo conditions. Implications for the clinical effectiveness of MPH and possible behavioral mechanisms of action of MPH in applied settings are discussed. (+info)
Remediation of attention deficits in head injury.
Head injury is associated with psychological sequelae which impair the patient's psychosocial functioning. Information processing, attention and memory deficits are seen in head injuries of all severity. We attempted to improve deficits of focused, sustained and divided attention. The principle of overlapping sources of attention resource pools was utilised in devising the remediation programme. Tasks used simple inexpensive materials. Four head injured young adult males with post concussion syndrome underwent the retraining program for one month. The patients had deficits of focused, sustained and divided attention parallel processing, serial processing, visual scanning, verbal learning and memory and working memory. After the retraining programme the deficits of attention improved in the four patients. Serial processing improved in two patients. Parallel processing and neuropsychological deficits did not improve in any patient. The symptom intensity reduced markedly and behavioural functioning improved in three of the four patients. The results supported an association between improving attention and reduction of symptom intensity. Attention remediation shows promise as a cost effective, time efficient and simple technique to improve the psychological and psychosocial functioning of the head injured patient. (+info)
School problems and the family physician.
Children with school problems pose a challenge for the family physician. A multidisciplinary team of professionals can most appropriately assess and manage complex learning problems, which are often the cause of poor school performance. The family physician's primary role in this process is to identify or exclude medical causes of learning difficulties. An understanding of the complicated nature of school problems, the methods used to assess, diagnose and treat them, and the resources available to support the child and family are essential to successful management. Various references and resources are helpful for a more in-depth study of specific school problems. (+info)
Effect of methylphenidate on attention in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): ERP evidence.
Methylphenidate is the most common treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has been shown to improve attention and behaviour. However, the precise nature of methylphenidate on specific aspects of attention at different dose levels remains unclear. We studied methylphenidate effects in ADHD from a neurophysiological perspective, recording event-related potentials (ERPs) during attention task performance in normal controls and children with ADHD under different dose conditions. Twenty children with ADHD and 20 age matched controls were assessed with a continuous performance task requiring subjects to identify repeating alphabetic characters. ERPs and behavioural measures were recorded and analyzed for trials where a correct response was made. The ADHD group was assessed off drug (baseline) and on placebo, low (0.28 mg/kg) and high (0.56 mg/kg) dose levels of methylphenidate. The results showed that the ADHD group at baseline was more impulsive and inattentive than controls and had shorter P2 and N2 latencies and longer P3 latencies. Low dose methylphenidate was associated with reduced impulsivity (fewer false alarms) and decreased P3 latencies, whereas the higher dose level was associated with reduced impulsivity and less inattention (more hits), as well as increased P2 and N2 latencies and decreased P3 latencies. Amplitudes were unaffected and there were no adverse effects of the higher dose for any of the children. These results suggest differential dosage effects and a dissociation between dose levels and aspects of processing. (+info)
Hyperactivity and learning deficits in transgenic mice bearing a human mutant thyroid hormone beta1 receptor gene.
Resistance to thyroid hormone (RTH) is a human syndrome mapped to the thyroid receptor beta (TRbeta) gene on chromosome 3, representing a mutation of the ligand-binding domain of the TRbeta gene. The syndrome is characterized by reduced tissue responsiveness to thyroid hormone and elevated serum levels of thyroid hormones. A common behavioral phenotype associated with RTH is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To test the hypothesis that RTH produces attention deficits and/or hyperactivity, transgenic mice expressing a mutant TRbeta gene were generated. The present experiment tested RTH transgenic mice from the PV kindred on behavioral tasks relevant to the primary features of ADHD: hyperactivity, sustained attention (vigilance), learning, and impulsivity. Male transgenic mice showed elevated locomotor activity in an open field compared to male wild-type littermate controls. Both male and female transgenic mice exhibited impaired learning of an autoshaping task, compared to wild-type controls. On a vigilance task in an operant chamber, there were no differences between transgenics and controls on the proportion of hits, response latency, or duration of stimulus tolerated. On an operant go/no-go task measuring sustained attention and impulsivity, there were no differences between controls and transgenics. These results indicate that transgenic mice bearing a mutant human TRbeta gene demonstrate several behavioral characteristics of ADHD and may serve a valuable heuristic role in elucidating possible candidate genes in converging pathways for other causes of ADHD. (+info)
The extent of drug therapy for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder among children in public schools.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of medication use for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in southeastern Virginia. METHODS: Students enrolled in grades 2 through 5 in school districts in city A (n = 5767 students) and city B (n = 23,967 students) were included. Nurses recorded students who received ADHD medication in school. RESULTS: The proportion of students receiving ADHD medication was similar in both cities (8% and 10%) and was 2 to 3 times as high as the expected rate of ADHD. Receipt of drug therapy was associated with social and educational characteristics. Medication was used by 3 times as many boys as girls and by twice as many Whites as Blacks. Medication use increased with years in school, and by fifth grade 18% to 20% of White boys were receiving ADHD medication. Being young for one's grade was positively associated with medication use (P < .01). The prevalence of ADHD was 12% in district A, 63% in district B. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that criteria for diagnosis of ADHD vary substantially across US populations, with potential overdiagnosis and overtreatment of ADHD in some groups of children. (+info)
Further analysis of problem behavior in response class hierarchies.
A functional analysis identified the reinforcers for 3 participants' problem behavior, but only relatively mild problem behaviors (e.g., screaming, disruption) were observed when all topographies produced tested consequences. We then conducted an extinction analysis in which specific topographies produced a reinforcer while all other topographies were on extinction. The extinction analysis confirmed that the same reinforcer identified in the initial functional analysis maintained more severe topographies of problem behavior (e.g., aggression). In addition, results of the extinction analysis indicated that 2 of the participants displayed patterns of responding consistent with a response class hierarchy hypothesis, in which less severe problem behavior frequently occurred prior to more severe topographies. The 3rd participant displayed a response pattern indicative of differential reinforcement effects. (+info)