Low Iron in Brain a Sign of ADHD?

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) — A newer MRI method can detect low iron levels in the brains of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The method could help doctors and parents make better informed decisions about medication, a new study says.

Psychostimulant drugs used to treat ADHD affect levels of the brain chemical dopamine. Because iron is required to process dopamine, using MRI to assess iron levels in the brain may provide a noninvasive, indirect measure of the chemical, explained study author Vitria Adisetiyo, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Medical University of South Carolina.

If these findings are confirmed in larger studies, this technique might help improve ADHD diagnosis and treatment, according to Adisetiyo.

via Low Iron in Brain a Sign of ADHD?.

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Childhood Depression and Sleep Apnea

We have noted a significant correlation between depression and sleep disorders in adults for years. However, in this month’s issue of Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, a study entitled The Relationship between Depressive Symptoms and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pediatric Populations: A Meta-Analysis, demonstrated the increased incidence of depression in children from preschool up to age 18 with sleep apnea.

It is well-known that childhood depression is a significant problem. Depression affects 1% of preschoolers, 2% of school-age children, and up to 8% of adolescents. If untreated, it poses a significant risk for increased psychosocial problems, as well as substance abuse and suicide. It is also known that about 2% of all children in this age group suffer from sleep-disordered breathing.

via Childhood Depression and Sleep Apnea – Sleep Answers.

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How to Treat Depression When Psychiatrists Are Scarce – Wired Science

Mental health doesn’t even rate a mention in most policymakers’ lists of global health priorities. But mental illness and substance abuse disorders rank among the greatest causes of disability worldwide. In poor countries, where there aren’t nearly enough therapists, these conditions cause tremendous suffering and block economic development. Vikram Patel, a psychiatrist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has a solution: train ordinary people to be coun­selors.

via How to Treat Depression When Psychiatrists Are Scarce – Wired Science.

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Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy May Not Raise Autism Risk

(HealthDay News) — Children of mothers who take a widely used class of antidepressants during pregnancy are not at increased risk for autism, a large new study finds.

Autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication and social skills, is estimated to affect about one in 88 children in the United States.

Previous research has suggested that women who take antidepressants during pregnancy are up to five times more likely to have children with autism.

via Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy May Not Raise Autism Risk.

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Sleep Therapy Is Expected to Gain a Wider Role in Depression Treatment – NYTimes.com

An insomnia therapy that scientists just reported could double the effectiveness of depression treatment is not widely available nor particularly well understood by psychiatrists or the public. The American Board of Sleep Medicine has certified just 400 practitioners in the United States to administer it, and they are sparse, even in big cities.That may change soon, however. Four rigorous studies of the treatment are nearing completion and due to be reported in coming months. In the past year, the American Psychological Association recognized sleep psychology as a specialty, and the Department of Veterans Affairs began a program to train about 600 sleep specialists. So-called insomnia disorder is defined as at least three months of poor sleep that causes problems at work, at home or in relationships.

via Sleep Therapy Is Expected to Gain a Wider Role in Depression Treatment – NYTimes.com.

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