Child Psychiatry

African Woman using laptop at home at night
Play, ADHD, and the Construction of the Social Brain Jaak Panksepp

Because of the role of play in the epigenetic construction of social brain functions, the young of all mammalian species need sufficient play. For the same reason, the nature of that play becomes an important social policy issue for early childhood development and education. Animal research on this topic indicates that play can facilitate the maturation of behavioral inhibition in growing animals, while psychostimulants reduce playfulness. According to the research, our failure to provide adequate opportunities for natural play in modern societies may have contributed to the steady growth in the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) in children.

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High-Dose Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) in ADHD Treatment Jane Pei-Chen Chang

In this study researchers conducted a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comparing the effects of high-dose eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 1.2 g) and placebo on cognitive function (continuous performance test) in 92 youth (age 6–18-years-old) with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Blood erythrocytes PUFAs were measured before and after treatment, to examine the effects of baseline endogenous EPA levels on treatment response and the effects of EPA treatment on PUFAs levels.

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Non-ionizing Radio Frequency Radiation’s Affect on Learning
New research links non-ionizing radio frequency radiation from wireless devices we use to biologic harm and adverse effects on behavior, memory and learning.
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Low cholesterol levels in children predict impulsivity in young adulthood Katrin Tomson-Johanson

Total and LDL cholesterol measured in 9, 15 and 18 years old boys predicted disinhibition and thoughtlessness in 25 years old young adults. High scores of disinhibition were associated with low total and LDL cholesterol levels in males but, while less consistently, with high total and LDL cholesterol levels in females. Cross-sectional analysis did not result in systematic outcomes.

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Screen Dependency Disorders: a new challenge for child neurology Aric Sigman, PhD

In a 2017 journal article, Dr. Aric Sigman found associations between screen dependency disorders and specefic neurogenetic polymorphisms, abnormal neural tissue and neural function. The research goes on to say that it is even possible that intensive routine exposure to certain screen activities during critical stages of development may alter gene expression leading to screen dependency disorders.

The article discusses these concerns and preventive strategies for child neurology.

Read the Journal Article:2017 Journal Article
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The Influence of Early Media Exposure on Children’s Development and Learning Katherine Hanson, PhD

In Dr. Katherine Hanson’s doctoral dissertation – she explores the research on early screen media exposure and its relationship to executive functioning and language skills in children. She also discusses the constant presence of television in a home and its effect on children’s working memory skills, academic ability and language outcomes.

It’s fascinating research and ties much of the modern literature on screen media and children together.

Read Her Dissertation:Dissertation Link
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What Screen Time and Screen Media Do To Your Child’s Brain and Sensory Processing Ability Amy and Evelyn Guttmann

Did you know? Night-time exposure to LED-illuminated devices (computers, tablets, phones, etc.) supress melatonin and disrupt the natural sleep cycle? Sleep cycle disruption is a significant factor in ADHD as well as other mood and behavioral problems.

Additional research also suggests that too much screen time for your children can affect the way your child’s brain functions with too much information too fast and creates more stimuli than our brains are capable of handling.

Hands on OT founders Amy and Evelyn Guttman have done a wonderful job of capturing some of this research in a recent blog post.

Read More from Amy and Emily's blog:Hands on OT
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The role of zinc supplementation on the metallothionein system in children with autism spectrum disorder Nagwa A Meguid

A recent research report suggests that children ages 3-8 on the autism spectrum may benefit from zinc supplementation. In this 2019 study, 30 patients were treated with zinc supplementation and evaluated. The data suggests an increase in cognitive-motor performance and an increase3d serum metallothionein concentration as well as a significant lowering of circulating serum levels of copper.

Read More from the National Institute of Health:Zinc Article
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