A Conversation for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Danger!

Post 1

NAITA (Join ViTAL - A1014625)

I have a few problems with this entry. I'll skip quickly past the claim that Holistic Treatment like "acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage and homeopathy" are "usefull weapons" as that will undoubtedly lead nowhere. I would like to point out though the danger in two particular sections.

The entry ends with the sentence: "Many children must have gone through the education system and been labelled as troublesome when there was an easy answer to their troubles." It does not mention the dangerous overdiastognication (ooh, I wonder if that word exists) of ADHD.
ADHD was for a while (is?) a fashion diagnosis. Perscription of Ritalin was so high that the DEA and the International Narcotics Control Board was worried, as shown in this excerpt from INCB ANNUAL REPORT 1995:

"Among the dangers, as the Board sees it, are that ADD might be diagnosed too often overlooking other causes for attention and behavior problems and that doctors may be overprescribing methylphenidate. United States investigators found divergent prescribing practices among physicians, only 1 per cent of whom were responsible for the majority of all methylphenidate prescriptions issued. This also has impact on regional variations in the use of methylphenidate." (Whole report: [Broken link removed by Moderator]
frontline/shows/medicating/backlash/un.html)

Otherwise healthy children should not be drugged or treated on suspicion, but I'm sure tests for ADHD are better today...


The entry also contains the section: "As an aside, there is some evidence now emerging that children who have problems mentioned above, particularly intestinal problems (leaky gut) are pushed into an autistic condition when given the MMR vaccine. There is not any concrete proof of this but there could be a connection."
There is _no_ scientific evidence supporting this, but rather scientific evidence against it. Excerpt from (http://www.drgreene.com/21_337.html): "Some people have speculated that the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine (MMR), which is routinely given to millions of children each year, has caused a huge surge in autism over the last 30 years. A study in the February 19th, 2001 British Medical Journal provides an interesting perspective. In the United Kingdom, the surge in autism continues, with a sevenfold increase between 1988 and 1999 (from 0.3 cases per 10,000 people to 2.1 per 10,000). However, the rate of MMR vaccine has not gone up sevenfold, but has remained constant at 9,700 per 10,000 children. This provides further evidence that MMR, which protects children against diseases that can cause sterility, blindness, birth defects, and death, is not responsible for the unhappy surge in autism. We need to find the real cause."

Media scares have caused many parents to refuse the MMR vaccine, creating a risk of, amongst other things, measels epidemics as the unvaccinated population increases. What does this mean? Potentially a 20% mortality rate! (Source WHO: http://www.who.int/vaccines/en/measles.shtml "Measles [snip]Complications such as diarrhoea, middle ear infection and pneumonia are common. Infants under one year of age have the highest case fatality rates reaching as high as 20% in epidemic situations.")


Children who are genuinely suffering from ADHD should be helped, but please point out that some children are troublesome by nature, and _don't_ contribute to unfounded media scares like the MMR-thing.

Good job on warning against restrictive diets without medical supervision though. smiley - ok


Danger!

Post 2

Mina

I have heard that in the States there is more danger of a child being misdiagnosed than here in Britain. My son's specialist diagnosed my son during the first appointment, but didn't give an offical diagnoses for 3 months, after a lot of observation (mostly from me, because I live with him).

As regards the link between the MMR, autism and ADHD, I thank my lucky star that I didn't get my son the MMR - because I really believe that he could have been pushed over the edge by it.


Danger!

Post 3

Mina

Just out of interest, how can the unvaccinated population cause a measles epidemic if one didn't esist before the MMR was brought in? We're not the ones with the disease artificially introduced into our bodies. Why am I more at risk of spreading an empidemic than I was 15 years ago?


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Post 4

NAITA (Join ViTAL - A1014625)

En epidemic happens when a highly infectious disease spreads rapidly and cause a lot of people to get sick. If 95% of the population is vaccinated and cannot get the disease an epidemic is less likely than if only 50% or none are vaccinated. Why?
Simple, measles is a disease you almost always only get once, because you become immune. If 95% of the population is immune, they will not be sick, and will not spread the disease further if they interact with someone sick. Result: no epidemic. If only ... say 50% of the population is immune, then one in two are available to become ill and to spread the disease further. Result: Potential epidemic.
Pre vaccination diseases like measles would occur in epidemic waves. After an epidemic most people would be immune and the disease would only survive here and there... or cause an epidemic somewhere else in the world. The occiasional person would get it, but it wouldn't spread through the immune population and would remain somewhat isolated. Then at some point the ratio of immune to non-immune would drop sufficiently for a new epidemic. And although a fairly harmless disease measles is dangerous for infants. The other M, mumps, on the other hand is fairly harmless for children, but can cause sterility in adult men.
Vaccines of different kinds have caused trouble in the past, but _unfounded_ scares like the "MMR causes autism"-conjecture can cause as much harm by allowing dangerous diseases to grow strong again.


Danger!

Post 5

NanoAnalyzer

I haven't the time right now to respond in full, but.... I live in Montana, the 4th least populus state in the USA. I also lived in central Pennsulvania - a densly populated area. There is a great difference in willingness to diagnose ADD/ADHD depending on several factors including population density, ethnicity, school attitudes and so on. Over diagnosis or not, it truely hurts to see someone whose life could be radically improved be denied the chance. More later, After all it is an amazingly complex subject.


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Post 6

Medibot

Well done whoever mentioned 'overdiagnostation' (good word!).I have just finished a day in a school with a child who has now abdicated all responsibilty for his actions because the term ADHD has been mentioned in his presence and he's is bright enough to know the implications ("I can't control myself because I have ADHD"). Yet from my experience of genuine and undiagnosed cases he is nothing of the sort. I've just spent the afternoon restraining him from hurting other children and being in fear for my career because a nurse has told the family that it sounds like it to her, without waiting for a consultant's opinion. Someone who has probably spent only minutes in his company. I've just spent the afternoon trawling the net for case studies and symptoms and he fits none of them. I understand that his family want answers but unfortunately very often the answers are staring them in the face and very uncomfortable to admit.


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Post 7

Mina

I did write an article on what could cause 'symptoms' but isn't ADHD. It's not in the Guide itself, but you might be interested in it - A10345790


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Post 8

Medibot

Thanks the article helped. It's like I can tick three boxes for the child I was talking about. I think the main difference with this child is that he can control himself for long periods of time, can sit still and concentrate for ages and will use bargaining tools ('I'll do my work if I can sit on the carpet'). I think with the specific child I was talking about, he is manipulative, very bright and aggressive but the hyperactivity aspect just doesn't fit. He does sit still for long periods. The aggression is learned behaviour from family members and I don't think putting him on medication will help.


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