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Early school sports reduce ADHD symptoms for girls in later years

Girls who played after-school sports in elementary school seem to have fewer symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder once they reach middle school, a new study suggests.

The research included both boys and girls, but the effect of sports on attention and behavior symptoms was only significant in girls.

“Girls, in particular, benefit from participation in sport when it comes to ADHD symptoms,” said lead author Linda Pagani. She’s a professor at the University of Montreal School of Psychoeducation in Quebec, Canada.

ADHD is a condition that includes ongoing patterns of inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity — issues that interfere with a person’s functioning or development, according to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

ADHD signs and symptoms include: Making careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work or during other activities; having difficulty paying attention in tasks like a lecture or lengthy reading assignment or during play; seeming not to listen when spoken to directly; interrupting others; fidgeting; leaving one’s seat when staying seated is expected; running around in inappropriate situations or feeling restless, in teens and adults.

The current study included nearly 1,500 children born in Quebec in 1997 and 1998. The group included 758 girls and 733 boys with complete data from age 6.

Parents were asked if kids participated in an extra-curricular physical activity with a coach or instructor between the ages of 6 and 10.

When kids were 12, teachers were asked to compare their ADHD symptoms and behaviors to their peers’. Teachers only looked for symptoms suggestive of ADHD, not a formal diagnosis, Pagani said.

Girls who consistently participated in organized sports were less likely to have ADHD symptoms than girls who didn’t, the study found. The researchers didn’t find a similar link for boys.

Pagani said organized sports likely help reduce ADHD symptoms in several ways: During an organized physical activity, kids have to listen and focus on what their coach is saying. It’s different from an unstructured after-school program where kids can do whatever they want.

Sports also help inhibit distraction and promote planning behavior, Pagani explained. Plus, sports get kids away from their screens and switching from one app to the next, and give them a chance to shake off some energy.

So, why wouldn’t sports make a difference for boys, too?

They probably do, Pagani said, but the upside wasn’t strong enough to be statistically significant.

“Boys are over-identified when it comes to any kind of ADHD symptoms,” she said. “For every three boys with ADHD, only one girl will get identified. Girls may not be getting pharmacology [medications] and psychotherapy that boys often do. In this particular domain, because girls are under-identified and under-treated, they tend to benefit a lot from sports.”

All kids — both girls and boys — can benefit from taking part in organized sports, Pagani said.

Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., reviewed the findings.

“Although the researchers found an association in girls between organized sports

‘Abuse Deterrent’ ADHD Tx May Face Uphill Approval Path

An abuse-deterrent stimulant product for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) got a skeptical review from FDA technical staff ahead of an advisory committee meeting later this week.

AR19 is an oral amphetamine sulfate immediate-release capsule formulated to reduce non-oral abuse. The drug, developed by Arbor Pharmaceuticals, will go before the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee (PDAC) and the Drug Safety and Risk Management (DSaRM) Advisory Committee on Thursday.

The main question looming over AR19 is whether it will indeed deter intranasal and IV abuse through its novel formulation. In briefing documents prepared for panel members, FDA staff suggested they weren’t persuaded by the company’s studies.

Non-medical use of prescription stimulants has remained relatively stable since 2010 and, in 2018, 2% of the U.S. population was misusing stimulants, according to the briefing documents. Young adults are more likely than adults of other ages to misuse stimulants, and the vast majority of misuse occurs orally.

However, based on the immediate-release properties of AR19 capsules, the drug was not intended to and “will not deter abuse by the oral route,” the agency staff stated.

Intranasally, AR19 “did not provide convincing evidence” of abuse-deterred effects compared to 10-mg amphetamine sulfate in a human abuse potential (HAP) study, wrote Tiffany R. Farchione, MD, acting deputy director of the psychiatry division of the FDA Office of Neuroscience, in the briefing documents.

The drug failed to demonstrate a 10% reduction in the reinforcing properties outlined in the HAP study. However, that study was later invalidated because the drugmaker did not prespecify a protocol that removed outlier subjects, the agency staff stated.

Regardless, in a post-hoc analysis conducted by the FDA that excluded outliers, “drug liking” — a measure of abuse liability — was not significantly different between groups either.

In syringeability studies submitted in the application, it was feasible to extract at least 10 mg of amphetamine sulfate per liter when using the higher doses of AR19 (20 mg and 40 mg), which constitutes the minimum reinforcing dose, according to the briefing documents.

Although there were no safety concerns identified with the administration of AR19 when taken orally, the formulation of the drug has been linked with toxicities, such as hemolysis and thrombotic microangiopathy, when manipulated for unintended routes of administration, the agency stated.

Arbor Pharmaceuticals seeks approval and labeling of AR19 as an Abuse-Deterrent Opioid because there is no established pathway for developing abuse-deterrent stimulants.

“The patterns of misuse and abuse, morbidity, and mortality associated with prescription stimulants are different from those associated with prescription opioids, and the [FDA] has not determined that prescription stimulant products warrant the same regulatory approach as opioid analgesics with regard to [abuse-deterrent formulations],” Farchione wrote.

She noted that the FDA has also “expressed concerns” that the term “abuse deterrent” is often misinterpreted to mean a drug carries a lower risk of addiction.

AR19 contains the same active ingredient as Evekeo (amphetamine sulfate), Arbor Pharmaceuticals’ FDA-approved ADHD treatment. AR19 has been shown to reduce symptoms in adults with ADHD. The proposed dosing ranges

Money Worries Raise Suicide Risk in People With ADHD: Study | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter


MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There’s a link between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), financial stress and suicide risk, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data on ADHD and suicide in Sweden from 2002 to 2015, as well as credit and default data from a random sample of more than 189,000 Swedish adults for the same period.

Before age 30, people with ADHD had only a slightly higher demand for credit than others. But demand among people with ADHD continued to grow with age, while demand for credit fell among others.

“Because they are in financial distress, those with ADHD keep asking for more credit and not getting it,” said study co-author Itzhak Ben-David, a professor of finance at Ohio State University.

“The result is that their financial problems just keep getting worse and worse through adulthood,” he said in a university news release.

Adults with ADHD were more than four times more likely than the general population to have bank overdrafts, impounded property and unpaid alimony, educational support or road taxes. By age 40, their default risk peaked at more than six times that of the general population.

As in previous research, this study found that people with ADHD were more likely than others to die by suicide.

But it also found that adults with ADHD who were at the highest risk of default were about four times more likely to die of suicide than those with ADHD who were at low risk of default and people without ADHD who had poor credit.

Among men with ADHD, the frequency of unpaid debts increased significantly in the three years prior to suicide, according to findings published Sept. 30 in the journal Science Advances.

“There is more financial chaos in the lives of men with ADHD in the years immediately preceding suicide,” said study co-author Marieke Bos, deputy director of the Swedish House of Finance at the Stockholm School of Economics.

The findings highlight the significant role that financial problems play in suicide risk among people with ADHD, according to the researchers.

“Our modern life is built on paying bills on time and making rent and mortgage payments. These tasks are more difficult for people with ADHD and it takes a toll,” Ben-David said.

Co-author Theodore Beauchine, a professor of psychology at Ohio State, said more attention should be given to financial difficulties facing people with ADHD.

“The impulsivity found in ADHD is predisposing to suicide. And if you have a lifetime of financial problems, that can lead to a sense of hopelessness,” he said in the release. “Hopelessness combined with impulsivity is a really bad combination and may increase the risk of suicide.”

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more on ADHD.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Anxiety, Depression, and Women; Suicide Linked to ADHD

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, women were more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression versus men. However, Black and Hispanic women were less likely to receive treatment than white women. (ABC News)

But not surprisingly, stress and depressive symptoms have spiked during the pandemic, with one study linking media consumption to this rise. (ScienceDaily)

Dasotraline, a novel dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, was both safe and effective at reducing the number of binge-eating days per week after 12 weeks of treatment. Although the FDA accepted Sunovion’s new drug application for this treatment in July 2019, the company withdrew the application in May 2020 citing a need for more clinical studies. (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry)

A new app aimed at diagnosing autism may soon be a new arrow in pediatricians’ quiver. (Digital Trends)

In similar news, apps aiding in eating disorder recovery have boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Wired)

Janssen is in pursuit of a court order to block Mylan’s generic version of its extended-release injectable schizophrenia treatment paliperidone (Invega Trinza). (Bloomberg Law)

States with a higher rate of firearm ownership had an increased risk of adolescent firearm suicide, as well as a near 7% increased risk in all-cause suicide. (Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)

Young adults with ADHD were more likely to attempt suicide than those without, a new study found. And this was particularly true among women. (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry)

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    Kristen Monaco is a staff writer, focusing on endocrinology, psychiatry, and dermatology news. Based out of the New York City office, she’s worked at the company for nearly five years.

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