Friday, February 7, 2014

Newsletter 4.3: Is ADHD Overdiagnosed? Is Sleeping Diorder The Real Culprit?

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Around a year ago, an interesting observation came in the form of an op-ed piece for the New York Times written by Dr. Vatsal G. Thakker. In the article, Thakker argued that ADHD is overdiagnosed--especially in adults. According to Thakker, more consideration should be given to sleeping disorders, as those symptoms can be similar to ADHD symptoms.

For children especially, a lack of sleep can sometimes manifest in a lack of focus and hyperactivity. Children also need plenty of delta sleep for growth and development. Several studies have found that children with ADHD also often have sleep disorders such as snoring or restless leg syndrome--these interrupt delta sleep. In one study cited by Thakker, 78 children were scheduled for tonsillectomies (due to sleep disorders); 28 percent of these had ADHD. A year later, when researchers followed up with the 22 tonsil-free, ADHD children, they found that half of them no longer met the ADHD criteria. Because they were sleeping better, the ADHD struggles were gone.

The article is an interesting read, and is referenced at the bottom.

The Canadian Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry also published an overview of the connection between sleep problems and ADHD. In it, they summarized, ". . . Sleep problems commonly co-exist with ADHD symptoms and . . . the reasons for this are multi-factorial; therefore, a systematic approach is necessary to tease out the relevant contributory factors in a given clinical situation, and a treatment approach which is diagnostically-driven is paramount. The first guiding principle is that all children initially presenting with symptoms of ADHD should be routinely screened for primary or comorbid sleep disorders (i.e., OSA, RLS)."

A study published in the Journal of Pineal Research followed up with ADHD children who had been on melatonin for approximately 3 years. No adverse effects were reported, and 65% of the children were using melatonin daily. If melatonin was temporarily discontinued, 92% experienced a delay of sleep onset. Long-term melatonin treatment was judged to be effective against sleep onset problems in 88% of the cases. Significant Improvements of behaviour and mood were also noted. The researchers concluded that melatonin is an effective therapy.

Life Choice DMF grade melatonin is the highest possible quality; rely on our Melatonin for a pleasant sleep experience!

NYT Article
Study 1
tudy 2

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