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New Solutions For ADHD

ADHD

By Drs. Jen and Jason Rhodes

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that five million children in the United States have ADHD—that is about five percent of all children. While ADHD is most commonly associated with childhood, studies show that up to 70 percent of children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults.

Often, children are prescribed stimulate medications as a way to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD as these medications help users to focus their thoughts and ignore distractions. However, there are short and long-term effects related to these drugs. The most common side effects of ADHD medications are decreased appetite, sleep problems, headaches, jitteriness, stomach aches and social withdrawal. The long-term impact of these medications on a youthful, developing brain is not yet known.

With the side effects of medications, many parents are turning to a new therapy in the treatment of ADHD called Neurofeedback. More than 30 years of university-based research has demonstrated that the brains of children and adults suffering with ADHD produce a high amount of theta waves and too few beta waves, resulting in an inability to concentrate and pay attention.

Theta waves are the predominant brainwave produced when you are just about to fall asleep; beta waves are produced when we are awake, alert and externally focused. Normal theta to beta ratios in adults is 2:1 and in children it is 2.5:1. Ratios higher than 3:1 suggest ADHD. In several different studies it was demonstrated that 86 percent of the children diagnosed with ADHD using traditional criteria had a theta/beta ratio higher than 3:1.

When the brain becomes dysregulated, it sometimes produces a high level of theta waves in waking states. In these cases, it is associated with distractibility, inattention and daydreaming. In some cases, the individual will become hyperactive to compensate for the lack of focus. Neuro-feedback is a non-invasive procedure to teach children with ADHD how to control their own brainwaves and reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with ADHD.

To attend a free parent information night, on November 5 or November 19, contact St. Louis Neurotherapy Institute at (314) 983-9355. www.stlneurotherapy.com.

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