Ritalin may ease early iron deficiency damage

Ritalin may help improve brain function in adolescent rats that were iron deficient during infancy, according to a team of Penn State neuroscientists. This may have implications for iron-deficient human infants as well.
The researchers found that …

Boosting supply of key brain chemical reduces fatigue in mice

Researchers at Vanderbilt University have “engineered” a mouse that can run on a treadmill twice as long as a normal mouse by increasing its supply of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter essential for muscle contraction.
The finding, reported this …

Prenatal exposure to pesticides linked to attention problems

Berkeley — Children who were exposed to organophosphate pesticides while still in their mother’s womb were more likely to develop attention disorders years later, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. …

Genetic link may tie together pesticides, ADHD, Gulf War syndrome

Research at the Salk Institute has identified a gene that may link certain pesticides and chemical weaponry to a number of neurological disorders, including the elusive Gulf War syndrome and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The finding is the first to demonstrate a clear genetic link between neurological disorders and exposure to organophosphate chemicals; the gene is one that scientists had not studied in previous efforts to find connections between these chemicals and disease. Organophosphates include household pesticides as well as deadly nerve gases like sarin.

Researchers find link between improved memory and the use of neurofeedback

The results announced in the International Journal of Psychophysiology this month show a link between neurofeedback training and improved memory in a 40 person trial. Dr David Vernon, from Imperial College London at the Charing Cross hospital says: “Previous research has indicated that neurofeedback can be used to help treat a number of conditions including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, epilepsy and alcoholism by training particular aspects of brain activity, but this is the first time we have shown a link between the use of neurofeedback, and improvements in memory.” Neurofeedback is a learning procedure that has been involved in treatments enabling participants to normalize behaviour, stabilize mood and improve their cognitive performance. It works by allowing people to watch their brain activity, and through this, find a way to correct or improve it.

Drug treatment for ADHD sharply cuts risk for future substance abuse

An analysis of all available studies that examine the possible impact of stimulant treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on future substance abuse supports the safety of stimulant treatment. Using a statistical technique called meta-analysis, the researchers found that medication treatment for children with ADHD resulted in an almost two-fold reduction in the risk of future substance abuse. “We know that untreated individuals with ADHD are at a significantly increased risk for substance abuse. And we understand why parents often ask whether stimulant medications might lead to future substance abuse among their children,” says Timothy Wilens, MD, MGH director of Substance Abuse Services in Pediatric Psychopharmacology, the paper’s lead author. “Now we can reassure parents and other practitioners that treating ADHD actually protects children against alcohol and drug abuse as well as other future problems.”

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