ADHD rates rised from 6 to 10 percent in US kids, research says

Twenty-Year Trends in Diagnosed Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among US Children and Adolescents, 1997-2016

The number of ADHD diagnoses among children has risen sharply in the past two decades, a new study shows, MedicalXpress reports.

Key Points

Question
What are the long-term trends in prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among US children and adolescents over the past 2 decades?

Findings
In this study of data from 186 457 children and adolescents aged 4 to 17 years from the National Health Interview Survey, a nationwide, population-based, cross-sectional survey conducted annually from 1997 to 2016, the estimated prevalence of diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in US children and adolescents increased from 6.1% in 1997-1998 to 10.2% in 2015-2016.

Meaning
Among US children and adolescents, the estimated prevalence of diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder increased significantly between 1997 and 2016.

Research Abstract

Importance
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is common in US children and adolescents. It is important to understand the most recent prevalence of ADHD and its long-term trends over the past decades.

Objective
To estimate the prevalence of diagnosed ADHD and 20-year trends from 1997 to 2016 among US children and adolescents using nationally representative data.

Design, Setting, and Participants
In this population-based, cross-sectional survey study (National Health Interview Survey), surveys were conducted annually from 1997 to 2016. A total of 186 457 children and adolescents aged 4 to 17 years from 1997 to 2016 were included in this analysis. Data were collected through in-person household interviews with a parent or guardian. The data analysis was performed in January 2018.

Main Outcomes and Measures
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnosed by a physician or other health care professional.

Results
Among the included 186 457 children and adolescents (96 017 boys [51.5%], 51 350 Hispanic [27.5%], 91 374 non-Hispanic white [49.0%], 28 808 non-Hispanic black [15.5%], 14 925 non-Hispanic other race [8.0%]), 14 704 children and adolescents (7.9%; 10 536 boys [71.7%], 2497 Hispanic [17.0%], 9010 non-Hispanic white [61.3%], 2328 non-Hispanic black [15.8%], and 869 non-Hispanic other race [5.9%]) were reported to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. The weighted prevalence of diagnosed ADHD was 10.2% (95% CI, 9.6%-10.8%) in 2015-2016. There were significant sex and racial/ethnic disparities in the prevalence of diagnosed ADHD. The prevalence was 14.0% (95% CI, 13.1%-15.0%) in boys and 6.3% (95% CI, 5.6%-7.0%) in girls, 6.1% (95% CI, 5.2%-7.0%) in Hispanic individuals, 12.0% (95% CI, 11.1%-12.9%) in non-Hispanic white individuals, and 12.8% (95% CI, 11.0%-14.5%) in non-Hispanic black individuals. Over the 20-year period, the estimated prevalence of diagnosed ADHD in US children and adolescents increased from 6.1% in 1997-1998 to 10.2% in 2015-2016 (P for trend <.001). All subgroups by age, sex, race/ethnicity, family income, and geographic regions showed a significant increase in the prevalence from 1997-1998 to 2015-2016.

Conclusions and Relevance
This study’s findings suggest that among US children and adolescents, the estimated prevalence of diagnosed ADHD increased significantly between 1997-1998 and 2015-2016. This study suggests that additional research is needed to better understand the cause of this apparent rise in prevalence.

EU should ban brain-harming chlorpyrifos to protect health

Exposure to chlorpyrifos is linked to ADHD and autism. It should not be allowed on the European market

Today, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) together with Générations Futures, Pesticide Action Network Europe and Pesticide Action Network Germany released a factsheet on the health effects of chlorpyrifos.

Chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used pesticides in Europe and its residues are also commonly found in our food. The current authorisation for chlorpyrifos on the European market will expire on 31 January 2019. We are very concerned about the possibility of an extended authorisation due to its health harming properties. Chlorpyrifos is linked to the disruption of the hormonal system and effects on the developing human brain. Children exposed to chlorpyrifos in the womb or in early life can suffer neurodevelopmental effects later in life, like attention deficit disorders (ADHD) and autism.

This factsheet sets out the case and evidence against the use of chlorpyrifos and explains the health impacts which justify its ban.

Reference.

Widespread risk from brain-harming chlorpyrifos, state scientists find

Current uses of chlorpyrifos put children at risk from unsafe levels of exposure from residues on food, contaminated water, and pesticide drift

Nerve agent chlorpyrifos is a toxic air contaminant that threatens agricultural communities and harms children’s developing brains, PAN North America reports, July 30, 2018.

Sacramento, CA – California took a step closer Monday to curbing the use of a pesticide linked to permanent brain harm, including ADHD, autism and IQ loss. Sixteen months after disgraced former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt defied his own scientists and refused to ban the neurotoxic organophosphate chlorpyrifos, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has concluded their own study by largely agreeing with the EPA scientists: current uses of chlorpyrifos put children at risk from unsafe levels of exposure from residues on food, contaminated water, and pesticide drift up to half a mile. Now, children’s health advocates are pushing the department to follow the science with sound policy, and become the second state in the nation to ban it. Hawaii’s state legislature passed a statewide ban in May.

DPR’s scientific conclusions were announced at a hearing convened Monday by the state’s Scientific Review Panel (SRP), a body of independent scientists overseeing DPR’s risk assessment of chlorpyrifos. Review of the chemical had been on hold for many years pending the proposed federal ban. The SRP formally accepted the risk assessment Monday, and unanimously agreed to designate chlorpyrifos a Toxic Air Contaminant, joining a list of 46 other chemicals including a number of fumigant pesticides. DPR now has ten working days to initiate the regulatory process formalizing the Toxic Air Contaminant designation.

“We’re glad that the state has finally accepted the overwhelming consensus of federal and independent scientists who’ve studied chlorpyrifos for years and determined that it harms kids’ brains severely and irreversibly,”

said Mark Weller, co-director of the statewide coalition Californians for Pesticide Reform.

It’s what comes next that will determine for how long California’s communities will continue to be put at risk. DPR has the authority to halt exposures immediately by suspending use in California while formal assessment of control options are considered. However, DPR may also follow the timeline under the Toxic Air Contaminant regulations that allow for two years to decide how to mitigate the risk to children’s brain health. And meanwhile, almost a million pounds continues to be used on California’s food crops each year, exposing thousands of children and pregnant women to a chemical that permanently damages the developing brain.

“With everything we now know, it’s unconscionable that this toxic chemical is still being used on food crops in California,”

“The state must immediately suspend all use of chlorpyrifos to protect kids, farmworkers and agricultural communities.”

said Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Behavior

Special issue of Hormones and Behavior, Volume 101, Pages 1-148, May 2018

The peer-reviewed journal Hormones and Behavior, Volume 101, Pages 1-148 (May 2018), raises concern about how many of the 90,000+ chemicals in use today may disrupt our most basic endocrine systems with significant consequences for neurodevelopment, neurophysiology, healthy brain aging, and behavior.

Several articles address bisphenol A :

About PDBEs, triclosan, and other replacement chemicals :

Other studies included in this special issue address behavioral effects of voluntary taken pharmaceuticals, including birth control pills, and pain medications.

About DES and the BRAIN :

Behavioral effects of pain medications

Increased risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes following prenatal non-prescription paracetamol exposure

2018 Study Highlights

  • All nine studies suggest prenatal APAP is associated with adverse neurodevelopment.
  • These neurodevelopmental endpoints include ADHD, ASD and lower IQ.
  • Associations were strongest for hyperactivity and attention-related outcomes.
  • Controlling for indication for use, when possible, did not explain associations.
  • Given these findings, pregnant women should be cautioned against indiscriminate APAP use.

Abstract

Background
The non-prescription medication paracetamol (acetaminophen, APAP) is currently recommended as a safe pain and fever treatment during pregnancy. However, recent studies suggest a possible association between APAP use in pregnancy and offspring neurodevelopment.

Objectives
To conduct a review of publications reporting associations between prenatal APAP use and offspring neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Methods
Relevant sources were identified through a key word search of multiple databases (Medline, CINAHL, OVID and TOXNET) in September 2016. All English language observational studies of pregnancy APAP and three classes of neurodevelopmental outcomes (autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and intelligence quotient (IQ)) were included. One reviewer (AZB) independently screened all titles and abstracts, extracted and analyzed the data.

Results
64 studies were retrieved and 55 were ineligible. Nine prospective cohort studies fulfilled all inclusion criteria. Data pooling was not appropriate due to heterogeneity in outcomes. All included studies suggested an association between prenatal APAP exposure and the neurodevelopmental outcomes; ADHD, ASD, or lower IQ. Longer duration of APAP use was associated with increased risk. Associations were strongest for hyperactivity and attention-related outcomes. Little modification of associations by indication for use was reported.

Conclusions
Together, these nine studies suggest an increased risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes following prenatal APAP exposure. Further studies are urgently needed with; precise indication of use and exposure assessment of use both in utero and in early life. Given the current findings, pregnant women should be cautioned against indiscriminate use of APAP. These results have substantial public health implications.

Can the most frequently used anaesthetic in paediatrics affect the next generation ?

Role of epigenetic mechanisms in transmitting the effects of neonatal sevoflurane exposure to the next generation of male, but not female, rats

2018 Study Abstract

Background
Clinical studies report learning disabilities and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders in those exposed to general anaesthesia early in life. Rats, primarily males, exposed to GABAergic anaesthetics as neonates exhibit behavioural abnormalities, exacerbated responses to stress, and reduced expression of hypothalamic K+-2Cl− Cl− exporter (Kcc2). The latter is implicated in development of psychiatric disorders, including male predominant autism spectrum disorders. In this study, we tested whether parental early life exposure to sevoflurane, the most frequently used anaesthetic in paediatrics, affects the next generation of unexposed rats.

Methods
Offspring (F1) of unexposed or exposed to sevoflurane on postnatal day 5 Sprague-Dawley rats (F0) were subjected to behavioural and brain gene expression evaluations.

Results
Male, but not female, progeny of sevoflurane-exposed parents exhibited abnormalities in behavioural testing and Kcc2 expression. Male F1 rats of both exposed parents exhibited impaired spatial memory and expression of hippocampal and hypothalamic Kcc2. Offspring of only exposed sires had abnormalities in elevated plus maze and prepulse inhibition of startle, but normal spatial memory and impaired expression of hypothalamic, but not hippocampal, Kcc2. In contrast to exposed F0, their progeny exhibited normal corticosterone responses to stress. Bisulphite sequencing revealed increased CpG site methylation in the Kcc2 promoter in F0 sperm and F1 male hippocampus and hypothalamus that was in concordance with the changes in Kcc2 expression in specific F1 groups.

Conclusions
Neonatal exposure to sevoflurane can affect the next generation of males through epigenetic modification of Kcc2 expression, while F1 females are at diminished risk.

Much Higher Risk of ADHD in DES GrandChildren

Association of Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol During Pregnancy With Multigenerational Neurodevelopmental Deficits

New research published today, May 21, 2018, shows that prenatal diethylstilbestrol exposure may lead to neurodevelopmental disorders across several generations : DES grandchildren are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD (36% to 63%).

Key Points

Question
Is exposure to diethylstilbestrol during pregnancy associated with adverse multigenerational neurodevelopmental outcomes?

Findings
A cohort study of 47 450 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II found significantly elevated odds for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the grandchildren (third generation) of users of diethylstilbestrol, a potent endocrine disruptor.

Meaning
Exposure to endocrine disruptors during pregnancy may be associated with multigenerational neurodevelopmental deficits.

Abstract

Importance
Animal evidence suggests that endocrine disruptors affect germline cells and neurodevelopment. However, to date, the third-generation neurodevelopmental outcomes in humans have not been examined.

Objective
To explore the potential consequences of exposure to diethylstilbestrol or DES across generations—specifically, third-generation neurodevelopment.

Design, Setting, and Participants
This cohort study uses self-reported health information, such as exposure to diethylstilbestrol during pregnancy and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis, from 47 540 participants enrolled in the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study II. The 3 generations analyzed in this study were the participants (F1 generation), their mothers (F0 generation), and their live-born children (F2 generation).

Main Outcomes and Measures
Participant- and mother-reported exposure to diethylstilbestrol during pregnancy and physician-diagnosed child ADHD.

Results
The total number of women included in this study was 47 540. Of the 47 540 F0 mothers, 861 (1.8%) used diethylstilbestrol and 46 679 (98.2%) did not while pregnant with the F1 participants. Use of diethylstylbestrol by F0 mothers was associated with an increased risk of ADHD among the F2 generation: 7.7% vs 5.2%, adjusted odds ratio (OR), 1.36 (95% CI, 1.10-1.67) and an OR of 1.63 (95% CI, 1.18-2.25) if diethylstilbestrol was taken during the first trimester of pregnancy. No effect modification was observed by the F2 children’s sex.

Conclusions and Relevance
This study provides evidence that diethylstilbestrol exposure is associated with multigenerational neurodevelopmental deficits. The doses and potency level of environmental endocrine disruptors to which humans are exposed are lower than those of diethylstilbestrol, but the prevalence of such exposure and the possibility of cumulative action are potentially high and thus warrant consideration.

DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Prenatal Exposure to Phthalate connected to ADHD in Children

Prenatal Phthalates, Maternal Thyroid Function, and Risk of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort

Introduction

There is growing concern that phthalate exposures, particularly during the prenatal period, may have an impact on child neurobehavioral development. Prenatal exposure to phthalates has been associated with both externalizing and internalizing  behaviors using validated behavioral screening instruments, as well as with deficits in executive function as measured by both parental report and performance-based assessments , although not all studies have found evidence of associations. Among the neurobehavioral domains identified in multiple studies are inattention , aggression, conduct problems, and emotional reactivity/regulation, as well as impairments in working memory. Sex differences in the associations of phthalates with neurobehavioral end points have often been noted, although some studies have found stronger associations among boys, whereas others have found stronger associations among girls. The constellation of phthalate-associated behaviors highlighted across studies has led many researchers to note overlap with symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Despite the observed overlap in affected neurobehavioral domains, there is less consensus on the specific phthalate responsible for neurodisruptive effects, and no prior study has accounted for the correlation among phthalates by mutual adjustment. Some studies have reported significant associations with dibutyl phthalates and/or di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) ; others have highlighted butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP). Moreover, as of now there have been no studies with biomarkers of exposure in the prenatal period and access to clinically confirmed neurobehavioral end points, such as ADHD diagnoses from a clinical provider. Rather, the bulk of the literature relies on parent-reported symptoms. Because the ages of the children examined have varied substantially across and within studies, relying solely on parental reports to identify nonnormative behavior may be problematic.

A number of mechanisms have been proposed to explain how phthalates may negatively affect brain development, although few have been thoroughly examined in humans or in animal models. One prominent concern is phthalate-induced maternal thyroid hormone disruption. Phthalates have been associated with changes in circulating thyroid hormone levels in adults and in pregnant women. The most consistent finding across studies has been an inverse association between metabolites of DEHP and thyroxine and/or free thyroxine. Maternal prenatal thyroid hormone is essential for fetal neurodevelopment, and clinically diagnosed thyroid hormone disorders (hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism) in the perinatal period have been linked with ADHD in offspring. Additionally, both higher and lower levels of thyroid hormone concentrations, even within population reference ranges, have been associated with ADHD-like behaviors. Perinatal phthalate exposure has also been associated with preterm delivery, which is itself a risk factor for ADHD.

A true causal association of phthalate exposure with child neurodevelopment would have major public health significance. Phthalates are ubiquitous in consumer products, are components of many food processing and packaging materials, and can be found in both pharmaceuticals, and personal care products. Therefore, to address this critically important public health question, we undertook a prospective, nested case–control study in the Norwegian Mother and Child Study (MoBa) to examine the hypothesis that prenatal biomarkers of phthalate exposure are associated with clinical ADHD in offspring. We further considered whether any associations were mediated by maternal thyroid function or preterm delivery or were modified by child sex.

Objectives

We undertook an investigation into whether prenatal exposure to phthalates was associated with clinically confirmed ADHD in a population-based nested case–control study of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort (MoBa) between the years 2003 and 2008.

Methods

Phthalate metabolites were measured in maternal urine collected at midpregnancy. Cases of ADHD (n=297) were obtained through linkage between MoBa and the Norwegian National Patient Registry. A random sample of controls (n=553) from the MoBa population was obtained.

Results

In multivariable adjusted coexposure models, the sum of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate metabolites (∑DEHP) was associated with a monotonically increasing risk of ADHD. Children of mothers in the highest quintile of ∑DEHP had almost three times the odds of an ADHD diagnosis as those in the lowest [OR=2.99 (95% CI: 1.47, 5.49)]. When ∑DEHP was modeled as a log-linear (natural log) term, for each log-unit increase in exposure, the odds of ADHD increased by 47% [OR=1.47 (95% CI: 1.09, 1.94)]. We detected no significant modification by sex or mediation by prenatal maternal thyroid function or by preterm delivery.

Conclusions

In this population-based case–control study of clinical ADHD, maternal urinary concentrations of DEHP were monotonically associated with increased risk of ADHD. Additional research is needed to evaluate potential mechanisms linking phthalates to ADHD.

Early exposure to BPA linked to increased hyperactivity

Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A and hyperactivity in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Bisphenol-A, widely used in plastics, receipt paper and canned food linings, is a culprit in some children developing hyperactivity : a July 2017 review, available online 7 March 2018, of more than 30 scientific studies, concludes early life exposure to the endocrine disrupting chemical BPA leaves children more susceptible to hyperactivity later in life.

Study Highlights

  • We used the OHAT systematic review framework to examine if early exposure to BPA has an effect on hyperactivity
  • We found that, in both rodents and humans, early exposure to BPA is linked to increased hyperactivity
  • Integration of animal and human evidence finds that BPA is a presumed hazard to human health
  • We suggest the development of clinical recommendations for avoiding BPA exposure, especially for pregnant women and children

2018 Study Abstract

Background
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has increased in prevalence in the past decade. Studies attempting to identify a specific genetic component have not been able to account for much of the heritability of ADHD, indicating there may be gene-environment interactions underlying the disorder, including early exposure to environmental chemicals. Based on several relevant studies, we chose to examine bisphenol A (BPA) as a possible contributor to ADHD in humans. BPA is a widespread environmental chemical that has been shown to disrupt neurodevelopment in rodents and humans.

Objectives
Using the Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT) framework, a systematic review and meta-analysis was designed to determine the relationship between early life exposure to BPA and hyperactivity, a key diagnostic criterion of ADHD.

Data sources
Searches of PubMed, Web of Science, and Toxline were completed for all literature to January 1, 2017.

Study eligibility criteria
For inclusion, the studies had to publish original data, be in the English language, include a measure of BPA exposure, and assess if BPA exposure affected hyperactive behaviors in mice, rats or humans. Exposure to BPA had to occur at <3 months of age for humans, up to postnatal day 35 for rats and up to postnatal day 40 for mice. Exposure could occur either gestationally (via maternal exposure) or directly to the offspring.

Study appraisal and synthesis methods
Studies were evaluated using the OHAT risk of bias tool. The effects in humans were assessed qualitatively. For rodents exposed to 20 μg/kg/day BPA, we evaluated the study findings in a random effects meta-analytical model.

Results
A review of the literature identified 29 rodent and 3 human studies. A random effects meta-analysis showed significantly increased hyperactivity in male rodents. In humans, early BPA exposure was associated with hyperactivity in boys and girls.

Limitations, conclusions, and implications of key findings
We concluded that early life BPA exposure is a presumed human hazard for the development of hyperactivity. Possible limitations of this systematic review include deficiencies in author reporting, exclusion of some literature based on language, and insufficient similarity between human studies. SRs that result in hazard-based conclusions are the first step in assessing and mitigating risks. Given the widespread exposure of BPA and increasing diagnoses of ADHD, we recommend immediate actions to complete such risk analyses and take next steps for the protection of human health. In the meantime, precautionary measures should be taken to reduce exposure in pregnant women, infants and children. The present analysis also discusses potential mechanisms by which BPA affects hyperactivity, and the most effective avenues for future research.

Sources and Press Releases

Root Causes that Can Mimic ADHD Symptoms

There are many other problems that have the same symptoms of ADHD

ADHD is diagnosed by health professionals who form their opinion by observing a child’s behavior. There are no brain scans, blood tests, or anything else definite that is used during diagnosis. The problem with this is there are many other problems that have the same symptoms of ADHD.

Many parents, because of not knowing, settle for ADHD as a diagnosis before looking at everything. For example, any problem dealing with the fuels of the body: water, food, blood and air can cause behavior problems. Water, food, blood and air to the body are just like gas and oil to a car. If you put bad gas or have old or the wrong oil in your car, it will act up just like a child acts up when eating foods they are allergic to, drinking or breathing contaminated water or air or having blood disorders.

There are also many medical, biological, emotional and mental conditions that mimic ADHD also. For those who are searching for reasons behind their child’s behavior, here are some possibilities. Only settle for the diagnosis of ADHD after checking out all of these problems and many more.

50 Conditions that Mimic ADHD

See original publication on ablechild.

Conditions most over looked

  1. Hypoglycemia (Low Blood sugar)
    Low blood sugar can stem from thyroid disorders, liver or pancreatic problems, or adrenal gland abnormalities, or even an insufficient diet. Hypoglycemia can display the same ADHD like sypmtoms.
  2. Allergies
    15 to 20 percent of the world has some type of allergy. A person can be allergic to nearly anything so check for all forms. Food is one of the primary causes of allergic reactions. Just like the Car and human analogy stated above. If a child eats food they are allergic to, the body will not run properly and that may affect behavior. Everyone has different sensitivities to allergens so just because you aren’t affected does not mean your child won’t be also. (Some examples, Allergic reactions to food dye, milk, chocolate, and grains, ect)
  3. Learning disabilities
    If the primary place of behavior problems is at school, learning disabilities may be the cause of ill behavior. One of the main things that affect a child’s self-esteem is how well they do in school. If a child has an undiagnosed learning disorder that makes school much harder and sometimes impossible. Children with undiagnosed learning disabilities are labeled as lazy, stupid, and many other downgrading opinions that affect self-esteem. And many times when a child’s self-esteem is at jeopardy they try to make up for it in other sometimes-nonproductive ways such as acting out, bullying, or becoming the class clown.
  4. Hyper or hypothyroidism
    An imbalance in metabolism that occurs from an overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormones. This imbalance may cause a variety of behaviors and may affect all body functions.
  5. Hearing and vision problems
    If a child can’t see or hear properly, school and daily things in life are nearly impossible and it may cause ADHD like symptoms especially in educational settings.
  6. Mild to high lead levels
    Even in the absence of clinical lead poisoning: research shows that children with even mildly elevated lead levels suffer from reduced IQs, attention deficits, and poor school performance. Lead is the leading culprit in toxin-caused hyperactivity.

Other good possibilities to check for

  1. Spinal Problems
    Some spinal problems can cause ADHD like symptoms because if the spine is not connected to the brain properly nerves from the spinal cord can give the brain all of signals at once making a child rambunctious and always on the go.
  2. Toxin exposures
    Children are more vulnerable to toxins than adults. Such as pesticide-poisoning (Eating vegetables and fruit not washed thoroughly, they can be exposed to them by playing outside on the ground), also by gasoline fumes, and herbicides. Inside there are also many toxins. Disinfectants, furniture polishes and air fresheners are toxins that can affect some children’s behaviors. Beds and carpets are one of the most dangerous places in the house because they are full of different types of dust, and other toxins. Toxins can cause hyperactivity, attention deficits, irritability, and learning problems.
  3. Carbon Monoxide poisoning
    Thousands of children each year are exposed to toxic levels of this gas each year. Sources include gas heaters, and other gas appliances such as fireplaces, dryers, and water heaters.
  4. Seizure disorders
    The most overlooked is the absence Seizures. During an absence seizure, the brain’s normal activity shuts down. The child stares blankly, sometimes rotates his eyes upward, and occasionally blinks or jerks repetitively, he drops objects from his hand, and there may be some mild involuntary movements known as automatisms. The attack lasts for a few seconds and then it is over as rapidly as it begins. If these attacks occur dozens of times each day, they can interfere with a child’s school performance and be confused by parents and teachers with daydreaming.
  5. Metabolic disorders
    They reduce the brain’s supply of glucose, the bodies fuel and can cause ADHD like symptoms.
  6. Genetic defects
    Some mild forms of genetic disorders can go unnoticed in children and display some of the same symptoms of ADHD. Mild forms of Turner’s syndrome, sickle-cell anemia, and Fragile X syndrome are some examples. Almost any genetic disorder can cause hyperactivity or other behavior problems, even if the disorder isn’t normally linked to such problems. Many genetic diseases disrupt brain functions directly, through a variety of paths. A simple blood test can rule out genetic disorders.
  7. Sleeping disorders
    Or other problems causing fatigue and crankiness during the day.
  8. Post-traumatic subclinical seizure disorder
    It causes episodic temper explosions. These fits of temper come out of the blue for no reason. Some of these seizures can be too subtle to detect without a twenty-four-hour electroencephalogram (EEG).
  9. High mercury levels
    One of the most interesting things regarding high mercury levels is that it can relate to dental fillings. Children who have mercury amalgam fillings in their mouth and grind their teeth are at risk of high mercury levels. American dental associations are defensive on the subject of mercury fillings but many European countries have discontinued the use of them because of side effects. There are also other causes of high mercury levels.
  10. High manganese levels
  11. Iron deficiency
    Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying pigment in the blood. Iron is normally obtained through the food in the diet and by the recycling of iron from old red blood cells. The causes of iron deficiency are too little iron in the diet, poor absorption of iron by the body, and loss of blood. It is also caused by lead poisoning in children.
  12. B vitamin deficiencies
    Many experts believe that one of the main causes for inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, temper tantrums, sleep disorders, forgetfulness, and aggression are caused by faulty neurotransmissions a problem with the neurotransmitters in the brain. Vitamin B-6 is a necessary vitamin used in the making of neurotransmitters that affect behavior. A lack of this vitamin or really any other vitamin can cause a child to act inappropriately.
  13. Excessive amounts of Vitamins
    Excessive amounts of vitamins can be toxic to the body and may cause the same ADHD like symptoms. It is possible to overdose when taking vitamins so make sure you contact a physician and check for vitamin deficiencies before taking extra vitamins.
  14. Tourette’s syndrome
    Tourette’s syndrome is a rare but disruptive condition. It involves multiple tics (small, repetitive muscle movements), usually facial tics with grimacing and blinking. Tics may also occur in the shoulders and arms. This is usually accompanied by loud vocalizations, which may include grunts or noises, or uncontrollable (compulsive) use of obscenities or short phrases. The tics are worse during emotional stress and are absent during sleep. The cause is unknown. It occurs most often in boys, and may begin around age 7 or 8 or not until the child is in his or her late teens or early twenties. It may, at times, run in families. This disorder can be mistaken for not being able to sit still or impulsive behavior.
  15. Sensory Integration Dysfunction
    Sensory Integration Dysfunction is the inefficient neurological processing of information received through the senses, causing problems with learning, development, and behavior. These children are over-sensitive or under-sensitive dealing in touch, taste, smell, sound, or sight. For example, some of these children crave fast and spinning movement, such as swinging, rocking, twirling, and riding the merry-go-round- without getting dizzy. These children may move constantly, fidget, enjoy getting into upside down positions and be a daredevil. These children may become overexcited when there is too much to look at words, toys, or other children. They may cover their eyes, have poor eye contact, be inattentive when drawing or doing desk work, or overreact to bright light. These children often act out in an attempt to cope with their inability to process sensory information such as acting out in crowded or loud places.

Definitely check if there is a family history of the condition

  1. Early-onset diabetes
    Symptoms include aggression, depression, and anxiety. If you have a family history of diabetes checking for this is a must.
  2. Heart disease
    It affects blood and oxygen flow to the brain affecting brain function that in-turn affects behavior.
  3. Cardiac conditions
    It can reduce the supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Defective blood vessels between organs to the brain.
  4. Early-Onset Bi-Polar disorder
    Also know as child-like Bi-polar. The experts state that 85% of children with child-like Bi-polar also meet the criteria for ADHD. The symptoms are extremely close. Most people when they think of Bi-polar disorder, think of Adult like Bipolar which mood swings happen over a somewhat long period of time. In child-like Bipolar, the mood swings can happen many times within a twenty-four hour day, known as rapid cycling. At one moment they’re calm and the next minute they could be in a full fledge temper tantrum. Some of the symptoms are Distractibility, Hyperactivity, impulsivity, separation anxiety, restlessness, depressed mood, low self-esteem, and many more. Early-Onset Bi-polar should be ruled out before ADHD is considered mainly because they are treated with different medications if you choose medications that is. ADHD is treated with stimulant medications which will make a Bipolar child worse possibly psychotic.

General problems you can think about yourself and check if you see fit

  1. CAPD
    (Central Auditory processing Disorder) will sometimes occur in children who have had a history of ear infections and/or PE tubes. Symptoms include distractibility, inability to follow a set of verbal instructions, “space out”, etc.
  2. Worms
    Such as Pinworms lay their eggs in the anal area, causing tickling and itching, which are most bothersome at night. The lack of sleep from this type of infestation can cause crankiness or bad behavior during the day. When asleep, nightmares may be present. This problem is mostly found in very young children preschool to kindergarten because of primitive toileting skills, they tend to put their fingers in their mouths, and they participate in a lot of hands-on activities with other kids and with pets. Roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms are other examples that can make a child display ADHD like symptoms. Worms cause hyperactive behavior, learning problems, depression, or attention deficits by making children miserable on the inside.
  3. Viral or bacterial infections
    When a child is affected by an infection that might cause problem behavior.
  4. Malnutrition or improper diet
    Many children in the United States do not eat a well balanced diet. A proper diet is necessary to growing children. An improper diet can affect a child’s behavior in an ill way.
  5. Head injuries
    Such as the postconcussion syndrome. Some of the symptoms include Irritability, emotionality, memory problems, depression, and sleep disturbances. A concussion can disrupt brain functioning causing ADHD like symptoms.
  6. Dietary Factors
    (For example to much caffeine and sugar) At doses as low as 250 milligrams a day, a level many American children exceed- caffeine can cause rambling speech, attention and concentration problems, agitation, heart palpitations, insomnia, and hyperactive behavior. In a way, it is true we are what we eat.
  7. Some disorders such as anemias reduce oxygen to the brain causing disturbance in the brains chemistry causing ADHD like symptoms.
  8. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or Fetal alcohol effects (FAE)
    FAS is a name that doctors use to describe the damage done to children’s brains and bodies when their mother drink heavily during pregnancy. It is the leading form of mental retardation today. Prenatal alcohol impairment, however, also comes in a milder form called fetal alcohol effects (FAE). Children with FAE often don’t look disabled, and they tend to score in the low-normal or even normal range of intelligence. But these kids arent normal. Their mal-developed brains cause them to exhibit a wide range of behavior problems, including hyperactivity, attention problems, learning disorders, and ethical problems such as stealing, lying, and cheating.
  9. Intentionally or unintentionally sniffing materials such as modeling glue or other house hold products.
  10. Some drugs
    (both prescription and illegal) can cause the brain to atrophy, leading to disturbed cognition and behavior. If your child routinely takes prescription or over-the-counter medications for asthma, hay fever, allergies, headaches, or any other condition, consider the possibility that the drugs are causing or contributing to behavior problems.
  11. A beta-hemolytic streptococcus:(better known as “strep.”)
    Although these bacteria are most commonly thought of as the cause of strep throat. Left untreated, strep can cause rheumatic fever and a movement disorder called Sydenham’s chorea. Moreover, recurrent infections can lead, in susceptible children, to a group of symptoms collectively known as PANDAS (Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders) Some symptoms of PANDAS include obsessive-compulsive behavior, Tourette’s syndrome, hyperactivity, cognitive problems, and fidgeting.
  12. Lack of exercise
    “Hyper Couch Potatoes” are children who aren’t moving enough. Some children because of lack of exercise may seem as though they are always in motion, but often that motion is in fits and spurts: leaping up from a chair, spinning around in the lunch line, bouncing in a chair while watching TV. Quite a few hyperactive children actually do not get enough sustained, strenuous exercise to stay healthy mentally and physically. Exercise can make people happier, less anxious, less hyperactive, and less depressed. One reason is that exercise increases serotonin levels in the brain exactly what Prozac, Elavil, and similar drugs do.
  13. Gifted Children
    Gifted children often display ADHD like symptoms because most of the time they are bored with what other kids their age are doing. Behaviors associated with Giftedness are poor attention, boredom, daydreaming, low tolerance for persistence on tasks that seem irrelevant, their judgment often lags behind their development of intellect, their intensity may lead to power struggles with authorities, and they may have a high activity level. They may need less sleep compared to other children, and they may question rules, customs, and traditions. If your child scores above average on IQ tests, aces exams, has no trouble with homework, has no apparent learning disabilities, and primarily exhibits his or her problems mostly at school, maybe seeking a more challenging class or school would help.
  14. Emotional problems
    Kids who are experiencing emotional problems most often display ADHD like symptoms. For example, kids who are constantly subjected to bullying at school can display ADHD like symptoms. These are normal kids that act out because they are scared. They experience sleeping problems, sadness, and they develop physical symptoms, especially if they think those symptoms will keep them home from school. Often they can’t concentrate in class, partly because they are worried and partly because they are suffering from sleep deprivation. Really any emotional problem at school or home in which a child is having trouble coping with can result in ADHD like symptoms.
  15. Some kids are spoiled and undisciplined
    A number of children labeled hyperactive are merely under-disciplined children. They tend to run their household and get away with anything. Dr Syndey Walker stated this problem best of why parents under-discipline their children. He stated that he blamed not the parents but on the psychological experts who have counseled parents for several decades that children are fragile, easily traumatized little flowers who could be ruined for life by a cross look or a scolding which is very untrue. Children need firm discipline and strict rules not abuse but setting rules and standards and demanding those standards be met, and giving consequences when your rules are broken. Labeling undisciplined kids as ADHD who are not gives them an excuse for their misbehavior, which will often make it worse.
  16. Spirited children
    When dealing with spirited children the problem usually does not lie with the child but with society’s perception of what normal childhood behavior is. Many normal children, according to some people, display ADHD like symptoms not because they are hyperactive or lack sufficient attention spans but because the person forming the opinion has unrealistic standards of how a child should behave.
  17. Lack of understanding and communication skills
    One of the main reasons why a child acts out and throws temper tantrums when they have a problem is because of their lack of understanding of a problem and lack of expressing how they feel. Children do not have the vocabulary or know how to express their emotions like adults do, that’s why many act out when they are in a difficult situation. They are not able tell you something is wrong so they show you instead. This is one reason why any emotional or medical problem can cause acting out behavior in children.

Rare conditions but still good to check for and know about

  1. Early stage brain tumors
    Found rarely in children but should still be considered. Statistically, this diagnosis may not be important but to individual families, they assuredly are.
  2. Brain cysts
    Another rare cause of hyperactivity but should still be considered when searching for the reasons behind displayed ADHD like behavior.
  3. Temporal lobe seizures
    The Temporal lobe is a part of the brain. Any brain malfunction can cause inappropriate behavior. That’s why conducting brain scans is a must when trying to figure out behavior problems.
  4. Klinefelter syndrom
    A Genetic disorder in which a male has an extra X chromosome (XXY). Many individuals experience learning, behavior, and social problems. A degree of subnormal intelligence appears in some affected individuals. Many affected individuals are skinny and taller than most of their peers. A simple blood test can rule this disorder out.
  5. Genetic Disorder XYY
    The extra Y chromosome has been associated with antisocial behavior.
  6. Porphyria
    A hereditary enzyme-deficiency disease. Enzymes are very important to our body’s chemical reactions. Really nothing occurs in our body without enzymes. A lack of enzymes causes body malfunctioning which can cause ill behavior.
  7. Candida Albicans infestation (Yeast Infection)
    Candida infestations cause hyperactivity in children. Most children who do suffer from Candida infestations have some underlying problem frequently an immune disorder, or a disorder affecting carbohydrate metabolism and thus altering blood sugar levels. So immune disorders can cause other problems that also have the same symptoms of ADHD.
  8. Intestinal parasites
    Parasites rob the body of needed nutrients which in-turn affects behavior.