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Neural Feedback Training as Therapy for ADHD?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the trendy-but-does-it-work dept.

Science 864

jamesh asks: "I asked Slashdot (anonymously) a while back about my daughter, who has been diagnosed with ADHD. The Ritalin has made a lot of difference but things are still not quite right, and she has developed various vocal tics (grunting, odd little noises, words and so forth... think Tourette's Syndrome, only not nearly as bad), which is one of the side effects of stimulant medication. She's now a lot less of an outcast and appears able to better interact with other kids, but we're still looking at alternate treatments. It may be the trendy new thing, but we've now started down the road of neural feedback therapy. Does anyone out there have any experience in this treatment? First hand 'I've tried it once and it changed/ruined my life' anecdotes would be great, but if you have a child, friend or acquaintance who has been through this treatment, it would be really useful to hear about their experiences." We also discussed ADHD treatments in another related Ask Slashdot but I don't see any mention of such a therapy in that discussion. Has anyone heard of studies or reports on patients of Neural Feedback Therapy?

"If you haven't heard of it, the idea is that by attaching sensors to the head, brainwaves can be measured, and by providing visual feedback, you can actually train your brain to regulate its activity. An ADHD person supposedly has a brain which isn't very good at keeping itself in 'concentration' mode. In a child, the feedback takes the form of a game or in the case of an infant, a pleasing pattern on the screen (an infant would probably be treated for sleep disorders, not ADHD, in case you were wondering). When the brainwaves are in the 'right' state, the game proceeds or the patterns get prettier. When the brainwaves are erratic, it all slows down.

Because it is a trendy new thing, it's been put forward as a possible treatment for many other things including sleeplessness, epilepsy and other disorders, but one of the better successes has been in the treatment of ADHD.

The whole thing sounds quite plausible, but it is also quite expensive. All of the stuff I've read has been either from the suppliers of the treatment, or from people trying to discredit it."

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Goatse.cx Dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7980952)

I just heard some sad news in #GNAA - Anal Stretching Website goatse.cx was found dead in its former .cx home this morning. There are some more details below. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot.org community will miss it - even if you didn't enjoy its work, there's no denying its contributions to anus pimping culture. Truly an Christmas Islandian icon.

If you still have the old goatse.cx IP in your DNS cache, you will see this message from the goatse.cx webmasters:

ALERT The CX Registry has shut off the goatse.cx domain suddenly and without warning. They have cowardly cited a section of their AUP with allows them to remove sites at their discretion. Please e-mail info@nic.cx [mailto] with your opinion of this matter.

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*
g_______________________________________________g
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t
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e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x
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g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>_\___|_____o
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>_|__/_____a
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>_|_/______t
s______/_/\|___C_____)__RIP__|_(___>_/__\_______s
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e
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*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*
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t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*
Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.

Re:Goatse.cx Dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7980964)

Oh no's, no more goatse! What will I jack off to?

Re:Goatse.cx Dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981212)

This. [goatse.cx]

# Impotent Stiff: Please try to keep pants on.
# Try to touch other people's penises instead of your own.
# Lick other people's rims before pissing in your own mouth.
# Use a clear subject that describes what you are about to do.
# Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments are encouraged by our pro-homosexual moderators
# If you want replies to your comments brought to you, consider the consequences of CmdrTaco visiting your house and foot-fisting your son, your father, your grandfather, you and your canary.

Re:Goatse.cx Dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981266)

Wont work unless you DNS server has the old goatse.cx entry

MOD PARENT SIDEWAYS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981019)

Holy shit, the AC speaks the truth. goatse.cx has been revoked. Such an Internet icon, we must have our ass-stretching shock site back!

Re:Goatse.cx Dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981123)

There's still this site [trollse.cx] .

But beware: it is even more disgusting than goatse.cx

Re:Goatse.cx Dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981252)

But remember: He will not teach you how to become a cracker.

Regarding the story: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981162)

America: Where cannabis is illegal but children are filled up with chemical drugs by incompetent parents and more incompetent "physicians".

I hope your "army", consisting of idiots failing to find their way (not just the blonde slut), will try to liberate ourcountry, too.

Re:Goatse.cx Dead (-1)

(TK)Max (668795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981256)

Email sent!

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Please allow goatse.cx to continue to exist. There can be no internet without goatse.cx.


All good people of the internet should do what they can to help goatse.

Not a disease (3, Insightful)

tehdely (690619) | more than 10 years ago | (#7980956)

Pardon my ranting, but this issue hits rather close to home.

I'm of the opinion that ADD/ADHD is not a disorder, and should never be "treated". Perhaps having been prescribed various stimulant medicines which shortly turned into an addiction, which in itself transformed into dependency on methamphetamine (which I finally quit in March thanks to Rational Recovery [rational.org] ) has influenced me in distrusting chemical treatment, the idea of treatment at all, and, most importantly, the disease model that most people seem to apply to Attention Deficit, but perhaps it is just from having been someone who could very aptly be described as the "Poster Child" for ADD.

Based on the experience of myself and many others, I have come to the conclusion that Attention Deficit is not a disorder inasmuch as it is a different form of thinking and interacting with the world which can have both its downsides and its blessings. We may have trouble in the standard school and work paradigms that most seem to be able to deal with successfully, but we also tend to be very insightful, creative, and interesting folks :)

I always call attention to the fact that many of our greatest minds, a perfect example being Albert Einstein, would today have been diagnosed with ADD, prescribed stimulants, and had the insights that they would have otherwise shared with the world snuffed out and replaced with mindless conformity.

Please consider changing your daughter's school, and adapting her environment to her very special mind, instead of trying to cram a square peg into a round hole and possible damage her intellect forever.

Re:Not a disease (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981028)

If you're looking for a cause for behavioural problems look no further than the child's diet. After breast feeding there is absolutely no reason to have any animal products go in their mouths, and adjusting eating to remove the ingestion of meat and dairy products will cause a very large change in behaviour. Nowhere is it more apparent than in children, being so much more sensitive to the poisons not only inherent in meat, but the hormone laden stress-bred animals we pass as 'meat' these days.

My advice is to completely remove meat & dairy from the child's diet and get a colonic irrigation as soon as possible. You will have a different child on your hand within weeks.

To prove this AC is insane. (2, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981068)

This is what a colonic irrigation is.

Procedure in which very large quantities of liquids are infused into the colon via the rectum through a tube, a few pints at a time, in an effort to wash away and remove its contents. CI differs from an ordinary enema which involves infusing a lesser amount of liquid into the rectum only. A "high colonic" may involve the use of twenty or more gallons pumped by a machine or transmitted with an apparatus that relies upon gravity to achieve its purpose. Liquids used in colonics may include coffee, herbs, enzymes, wheat grass extract, or many other substances. Proponents of the procedure advertise that "all disease and death begin in the colon," that colonics "detoxifies" the body, and that regular "cleansing" is necessary to maintain one's health. None of these claims are true.

Re:To prove this AC is insane. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981128)

You are correct, however your attribution of "insanity" is unwarranted. Fact is you don't like the 'sound' of the treatment so you decide it is not 'sound'.

The reality speaks for itself. Hundreds of people are helped daily by colonics, removing decades of caked up rubbish lining the wall of the intestine which MUST, imperatively MUST be removed for true health. Getting a child started on the right path early as I was is the only way to true health, anything less I would say is child abuse.

Re:To prove this AC is insane. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981208)

Do you have any evidence of this? I am talking about pictoral evidence taken by modern medical tools?

Re:Not a disease (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981084)

You wacky vegan types always seem to forget that we were built for eating meat. Our digestive system bears no resemblance to that of a herbivore, and in fact, we can't even properly digest cellulose, and so we are unable to take full advantage of any vegetable's nutritional potential.

Re:Not a disease (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981231)

True dat, although lettuce and whatnot are good for humans, people need them for the same reason chickens need gravel: It's undigestable crap to push everything else through. Any other benefit is just trace nutrient stuff.

Re:Not a disease (1)

aethera (248722) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981250)

Although the parent post may be taking things to the extremist ends, if you exploring non-medical treatments, or at least alternatives to the side effects of Ritalin, looking for an environmental cause just might be worth your time. In fact, since you sound like a caring and concerned parent, I'll bet you already have.

Case in point, my fiance used to suffer from terrible migrains. She tried cutting out caffeine with some success, but when she cut out corn syrup from her diet (a tough thing to do) The migraines went away. Now, ADHD is is a very different beast from migraines, but I would certainly look to things like diet, climate (desert / ocean or in between), local pollutants (live downwind from a coal-powered generating plant, or even a peanut-butter plant?) And I would certainly try extensive periods of foregoing things like television and computers.

I might mess with classical music or even music lessons, and certainly, I would try forgoing various foods, including processed sugars, preservatives, and yes meat. Yes humans are omnivores, but some more or less so than others. Just because we evolved to eat meat doesn't mean we did so perfectly. And yes, I'd check my house for mold spores, look at my laundry detergents and other soaps, and see how much outgassing I was getting from carpeting, matresses, linens and other platics. The chance of finding something is slim, but if the choice is between a lifetime prescription on Ritalin, other expensive therapies, orsimply eating organic foods, I'd at least try everything I could think of.

Re:Not a disease (4, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981078)

"I always call attention to the fact that many of our greatest minds, a perfect example being Albert Einstein, would today have been diagnosed with ADD..."

I agree with your point that ADD is not a disorder. Well, I should rephrase that, the diagnosis of ADD is probably faulty. There may be a disorder or condition where the human brain just cannot stay focused on something or another. I doubt, though, that a lot of the people diagnosed with it really have a neural wiring problem. Rather, the content is just not interesting.

I find myself tuning out people at times. It's like they talk too slow. I've noticed this problem especially with the older generation. They feel they must talk in very precise terms and verbally illustrate their ideas. Problem is, I often get their point long before they've finished babbling. So I find myself drifting in and out of attentiveness with them.

Honestly, I don't think this is a neural problem. I think it's an artifact of growing up in a generation where we're expected to understand stuff faster. So yes, I agree, 'treating' it would be a bad idea. Instead, I'd rather learn at the speed my mind will allow.

Re:Not a disease (1, Flamebait)

shamilton (619422) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981082)

You sound like a misdiagnosis. For those of us that are genuinely affected, stimulants make the difference between utter misery and mental health. Maybe this guy should do what his daughter thinks is best, instead of some guy preaching "fuck the system" on slashdot.

Re:Not a disease (1)

Gyan (6853) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981147)

Maybe this guy should do what his daughter thinks is best, instead of some guy preaching "fuck the system" on slashdot.

His daughter's 6 years old.

Re:Not a disease (2, Interesting)

Erratio (570164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981160)

Keep in mind that this isn't just some guy preaching "fuck the system", this is a guy who went through all the stuff. I'm sure there are a lot of people that share your plight, but I'd say that the vast majority of people are misdiagnosed, that ADD is often used as an easy excuse to a more complex problem.

Re:Not a disease (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981195)

ADHD is not a disease, it's a classification. Treating it with meds is just for the loser weak parents. Grow up and be a fucking parent. I grew up with it, and meds would not be a good thing.

Re:Not a disease (4, Insightful)

RabidMonkey (30447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981196)

And maybe you should stop ranting like a tit.

I didn't get a 'fuck the system' vibe out of his comments - they were clear, consise and backed up with personal 'evidence'.

Just because you dont' agree doesn't make him wrong. Any more than it makes you are wrong because you think taking drugs makes you a better person.

And don't try and unload on me - I've done the drugs for ADD, and I hated myself when I was on them so I'd flush them and tell my parents I took them. I have since learned 'coping strategies' that the public health people used to teach me and they work just fine. I have learned to recognize that I am drifting out of focus and correct if I need to. I also let my employer know that I am prone to ADD and that I am in fact still working even if I look like I'm not.

I agree with the parent - drugs aren't the way to go. but if you feel they work for you, thats great.

But thats still no reason to be a tit about it.

Re:Not a disease (3, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981091)

I've learnt the similar thing in school. Even before I was in kindergarten, I was reading magazines, newspapers and the like. There were, of course, words I wasnt sure of, but I figured them out between my parents and a dictionary.

Well, when I get to school in kindergarten, I blew everybody away. Most was starting on their ABC's and counting. I was pretty much bored to death. And I was ancy. Having a 'teacher' (I use this word very loosly) who was one of those high-strung IHATECHILDREN types didnt help much either.

Needless to say, they called in the psych people and demanded that they put me on drugs and psycho-therapy. My parents put their foot down hard and told them to fuck off.

What you have here is a teacher who wants all their kids to be is little blobs who sit down and shut up.

I learnt something else from that early age: School isnt the place of learning. Perhaps that also ruined me, as I never had to study to ace a test or somesuch.

Re:Not a disease (1)

Erratio (570164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981096)

I definitely agree that the problem isn't the people, but the system. Different minds work different ways, and the education system is this country only caters to a specific type. It leans more towards linear and comprehensive rather than non-linear and analytical. Many of the most intelligent people I've met would have been categorized as ADD if the category were invented yet. My parent were told the I was probably retarded when I was a child but they didn't listen and I ended up excelling in school once I settled into it. It doesn't seem like ADD or ADHD have too much scientific ground to stand on as "disorders" either.

Re:Not a disease (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981108)

I love the line about Einstein. We can say all kinds of theories about the dude because he's now dead, projecting anything on to him.

Proper treatment of ADD is *not* just enough pills to "calm them down". Proper treatment of ADD is a variety of coping mechanisms, with stimulants being one of them.

In fact, having ADD and being prescribed Ritalin, I have accomplished far greater things than I would have were I to not have been medicated. Now that I am on my own, I still have found it to be beneficial, both for work, and for play.

ADHD is not real. (1, Troll)

Xarius (691264) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981110)

I don't believe in ADHD/ADD at all. Children are naturally naughty, curious, and full of energy. Why must Americans attempt to find something wrong with everyone, handing labels out willy-nilly.

At the end of the day "kids will be kids"--Yes, that is an actual saying folks. If you pump the little sods full of these sedatives or whatnot you are ruining the learning experience of a child, in respect to social rules.

A naughty child properly disciplined will grow up OK in most cases. A naughty child fed drugs will grow up to be one of the many idiots that populate the western world today.

Re:ADHD is not real. (2, Insightful)

shamilton (619422) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981158)

Sedatives? The treatment for ADHD is *speed*. The symptoms of ADHD are similar to the short term effects of amphetamines, and yet they are used to treat ADHD, and give consistent results. And you are claiming that ADHD "is not real"? The facts do the flaming for me.

Re:ADHD is not real. (-1, Flamebait)

Xarius (691264) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981188)

Bah, Regardless ADHD is a fictional condition invented by plebian americans to justify the behaviour of their overweight offspring.

Re:ADHD is not real. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981259)

fu2

Re:ADHD is not real. (1)

SdnSeraphim (679039) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981221)

The idea is not to sedate them. The idea is to give some order to their minds. This has nothing to do with naughty, but to do with success in school and work. For some people (including my wife) Ritalin and their like help to keep focused. For some Ritalin works very well and is the difference between productive and bogged-down life.

Re:Not a disease (2, Insightful)

use_compress (627082) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981134)

I always call attention to the fact that many of our greatest minds, a perfect example being Albert Einstein, would today have been diagnosed with ADD, prescribed stimulants, and had the insights that they would have otherwise shared with the world snuffed out and replaced with mindless conformity.

What evidence do you have of this? I can think of Bob Dylan, who clearly had (and probably still has) ADHD, a counter example. During 1965-6, what most would argue to be his best period, he would regularly take methamphetamines before writing. These would calm him down the point that he could write very non-trivial songs in a short period of time. Had Einstein taken a little meth he could have been even more productive. Now that you can get Ritalin from a doctor instead of meth of JD on 15th and M, why deprive yourself of safe, helpful medicine?

Re:Not a disease (1)

Mieckowski (741243) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981141)

My brother is on medication for ADD, and I had a real problem in elementry school focusing on my classwork. As I got older though, things got a lot better. There is a deal of variation in the way people think, and that just because someone works in a different way does not mean that they are "disordered." Right now I'm at the top of my high school class, but I don't know what would have happed to me if I got put on medication. Treatments like this would be great if they allowed people to deal with their own idiosyncrasies.

Re:Not a disease (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981161)

Check out http://www.cchr.org/issues/adhd/index.htm

Re:Not a disease (5, Informative)

SdnSeraphim (679039) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981168)

Although I sympathize with your bad experience, I tend to want to stay away from generalizations. My wife was diagnosed with ADHD about 12 years ago. She took ritalin in college and she went from a c-d student to a b student. Much of this has to do with concentration and focus. She describes her thoughts as a flashing from one subject to another all with equal/high priority, and she is able to focus on one task, one though with the help of ritalin. She does not take it currently, because she is nursing our third daughter, but she wishes she could because of the focus and clarity if gives to her. Our oldest daughter likely has ADHD. She is struggling in school. We remind her that school is not the most important thing in life. I agree that mindless conformity is bad. It reminds me of how some Native American tribes "honored" androgenous people as a special type of person. Where our society has in the past and currently doesn't know what to do with such people. We tried to "make" them one sex or another just so they could conform. I think ritalin can help some people. As with any narcotic substance, caution surely is advised.

Re:Not a disease (2, Insightful)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981179)

I am not a doctor, but I understand that many cases are misdiagnosed, and that even many true cases of ADD/ADHD can be effectively treated through limiting of sugar and caffeine while reducing the over-stimulation of the child.
You prabably already have, as you sound like a concerned father, but I encourage you to look into non-medicinal, dietary and environment based remedies to see if they are an option. Living as a drug addict makes life that much more difficult.

Re:Not a disease (5, Insightful)

amishdisco (705368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981182)

I would steer clear of anyone with such a vehement position on this issue, as it is a serious one. To deny someone the benefits of proper medication is to bar them from realizing the full potential of their intellect. Yet be cautious, do your research, and examine other alternatives if undesirable side-effects overwhelm the benefits.

You may want to look into Strattera, as it lacks the addictive properties of other ADHD drugs. My only noticable side-effect on it has been a focused mind - something I've coveted for a long time.

Not every ADHD sufferer agrees with this statement (5, Interesting)

MaineCoon (12585) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981193)

I suffered from ADHD as a child as well, and believe I still do suffer from it in some form as an adult, although I have many of the problems under control through conditioning and strong willpower. I disagree very strongly with your statement that it is not a disease.

I also do not believe those stimulants (none of which I take) are a hindrance. As a child, I was on ritalin, and I was still in the gifted and talented program. In Kindegarten, I had ADHD issues so severely, I was originally suspected to be suffering from a mild form of mental retardation (ADHD didn't cross their minds at the time). As a result of this suspicion, I was given an IQ test. I was discovered to have a high IQ (~145 range at the time in Kindegarten), which ruled out mental retardation, and brought up suspicion of ADHD.

I couldn't sit still in class, I couldn't focus, I couldn't pay attention, I couldn't learn. What good is intelligence if one can't manage to focus long enough to learn how to read and write? What good is intelligence or brilliance without an educational foundation and the ability to focus and employ one's abilities?

Ritalin was a godsend for myself and my parents - I could finally focus in class, and my mother wasn't being driven crazy by an overactive 5 year old. I was in the gifted and talented program in elementary school, and began reading material well beyond my grade level.

Now, that is not to say I believe Ritalin is a wonder drug. I am merely stating my experience with it during my childhood. Misdiagnoses of ADHD IS a problem. Treatment of correct diagnoses is not.

You can listen to what this person has to say, not treat your daughter, and put her school years at risk of being wasted time. Or you can seek treatment for your daughter.

- MaineCoon

Re:Not a disease (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981220)

I agree whole-heartedly.

I'm probably classifiable as ADHD, but Iv'e never been to the doctor to get that "problem" "taken care of". Likewise, I'm probably a bit schizo too; but I know that I am an intelligent, successful, and insightful person.

Sometimes things that should be simple are a battle... But, that's because the rest of 'yall are fucked up, and you're trying to fit a round person into a square hole.

Historically, people whom are a bit off kilter have been the shakers and movers. Everyone else is content to be sheep-like, and go about thing as normal.

There's a thin line between genius and madness, so they say.

People like you make my life more difficult (4, Interesting)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981223)

I was diagnosed with ADD in elementary school and have been on and off drugs at various points in my life. I will say that they most definitely DO make a difference in my life. I take adderall and I have a really rough time going to class without it. I'm less attentive and get far less out of the experience without meds. Upon taking an IQ test my score went up a full 30 points when drugged. That kind of thing has real world effects on my life.

Is ADD overdiagnosed? It's probable given the lax screening practices I've heard of. I myself spent weeks being diagnosed at great expense and had to submit to a battery of tests. In response to another user in this thread posthumous diagnoses are considered speculative and not conclusive.

I find it disconcerting that you have formulated your judgement without any real world evidence other than your own personal experience. I have a rough time dealing with people upon admittance of my ADD as a result. It's terrible when people suddenly percieve you as having an imaginary illness. For me life is more 'real' when I'm on Adderall. I can think clearly, have conversations without being distracted and am generally more productive. The only downside to being on Adderall is a bit of drymouth and sleep problems (which don't occur if you take it in the morning as I do). I have no symptoms of addiction, in fact I occasionally forget to take Adderall and usually choose not to on the weekends or for low key events. I can live without Adderall; but my life is just so much more fulfilling being able to use it.

I implore you and everyone who reads this to take into consideration the seriousness of ADD for certain people, and ask that you not spread invalid, generalizing, anecdotal evidence about what is an important part of my life.

Re:Not a disease (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981249)

The logical rational side of me would like to agree with you fully. However, I've seen first hand several people whose lives were made livable thanks to this type of medication. (not rit, something else)

Re:Not a disease (3, Informative)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981253)

As another person who could also be considered a 'poster child for ADHD' let me disagree with you. My personal experience has been that there are times that no matter how hard I try or attempt to work around it, there are times where my brain simply refuses to focus on any single task long enough to accomplish anything - even the things I want to do. I also occassionally fall into another classic symptom - hyperfocusing on a single task to the extreme detriment of others.

I've been on adderall on and off since middle school, and it has had a definite, positive effect on these symptoms when I take it. That said, I will agree that I'm strongly opposed to what I'd call routine prescription of stimulants. IE: Take one daily, 'just in case.' The thing I feel is often overlooked is these drugs do have definite side effects. For example, while I usually have a good appetite and admittedly eat a bit more than I probably should, if I'm on a 'routine' adderall dosage, I have to force myself to eat - it's not totally unusual for me to go a day or two without eating simply because I forget otherwise.

The bigger reason why I oppose it, however, are the emotional side effects; which is the primary reason why I don't take it daily as I'm prescribed to. Not only does the medication tend to cause you to focus better, but it also tends to cause emotional swings to become more extreme. While I tend to have slight swings anyway, the medication tends to turn what might be a slightly down mood into full blown depression - especially on the off end of the drug. Having dealt with that for several years and realizing the drastic improvement in my attitude when I took myself off medication for a couple of years, I'd never put a child on medication full time.

As it stands today, for the most part I avoid medication and try my best to work around the condition on my own, but do keep my prescription filled for times when I feel it would help me. I've found it to be a fairly good compromise, allowing me to work effectively and avoid the side effects on being constantly medicated.

So I guess what I'm saying is I don't totally disagree with you, but I still feel that ADHD isn't just something that you deal with or drastically change the environment of the kid for. I know that if anything, all years of guidance counsellors giving me things 'that will help' did is piss me off. You just have to give the kid a chance to figure things out for themselves and allow them to decide when and if they need medication, accomodations, etc. I'd force neither medication nor a special environment on a kid, but feel it'd be better to give them the tools to figure it out for themselves.

GNAA announces plans to bomb Christmas island (-1)

timecop (16217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7980960)

GNAA announces plans to bomb Christmas island
by GNAA Staff
Due to recent AUP policy changes at .cx NIC, one of the key GNAA sponsored websites, http://goatse.cx [goatse.cx] has been found "in violation of .cx AUP policies". This announcement delivered a huge blow to the GNAA organization.
Without goatse.cx, we lose an important piece of GNAA.
"We will not let this happen", GNAA representative goat-see said to the press. "GNAA will begin planning a terrorist attack on the Christmas Islands."
GNAA currently operates a back-up site, also located at the .cx TLD, http://goat.cx [goat.cx] . Users are welcome to use this website while we try to persuade .cx NIC to reinstate goatse.cx domain.
"In the event that our peaceful negotiations will fail, Christmas islands are sure to be gone off the face of this planet", added another GNAA member, penisbird.

excerpt from an irc log

@b- The domain goatse.cx has been found in violation of .cx AUP policies, http://www.nic.cx/policies/pdf/cx.AUP.pdf [www.nic.cx] #5, page 7, and is therefore suspended.
@r- shit, that sucks
*** joey (joey@brodels.gngsta.com) has joined nologin
@s- yea i read, page 7 only talks about payment issues though
@s- nothing about content
@b- ya
@b- im confused too
@s- i dunno what the #5 means
@s- oh i see
@s- Communication publication or distribution of adult or obscene content
@s- or images by way of embedded links in unsolicited email, postings to
@s- news groups, internet forums, notices to instant messaging programs,
@s- where the internet user is not explicitly made aware that by clicking on
@s- the link they would be directly exposed to adult or obscene content.
@b- hah
@b- he'll have to make a splash page
@s- i already put the lawyer warning on there
@p- hah
@b- that amendment to thier AUP
@b- is like 100% goatse
@s- - Over the years we have received numerous complaints of this domain's
@s- - content, but no person filee an AUP violation form against the
@s- - domain. Recently the .cx board met and revised all .cx policies (December
@s- - 2003). One of the .cx policies that has not changed is that each domain
@s- - holder is required to review the policies every thirty days and make sure
@s- - their domain is in compliance (Please read part 1, page 2 of
@s- - http://www.nic.cx/policies/pdf/cx.registration.agr eement.pdf [www.nic.cx] ).
@s- -
@s- - We do not review web sites and cannot ensure every domain holder is in
@s- - compliance. But, if a domain is brought to our attention that fails to
@s- - comply with our policies, we reserve the right to suspend the domain.
@s- -
@s- - I am unclear if you change the content, the suspension might be
@s- - revoked. If you are considering this option, please send a note of inquiry
@s- - to info@nic.cx.
@s- -
@s- - Best Wishes,
@s- -
@s- - Elaine Pruis
This commentary brought to you by a proud GNAA member.

About GNAA
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gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

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If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.
By moderating this post as "Underrated", you cannot be Meta-Moderated! Please consider this.

.________________________________________________. fucking
| ______________________________________._a,____ | CmdrTaco
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ | will
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ | he ever learn that
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ | GNAA is totally
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| _________#1__________?________________________ | GNAA will absolutely own
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| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ | Just remember, the longer the lines are,
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(C) GNAA 2004

cost relative to drugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7980966)

Question: What is the cost difference between this new treatment and Ritalin?

Also, is Rialin prescription only?

ty

Re:cost relative to drugs? (1)

O (90420) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981260)

Ritalin is prescription only (in the US, at least), but generic methylphenidate is quite cheap. So are the generic alternatives to Adderal and Dexedrine.

Neutral Feedback Therapy (-1, Offtopic)

potpie (706881) | more than 10 years ago | (#7980967)

Is this why nobody replies to my /. posts?

Re:Neutral Feedback Therapy (3, Funny)

740916 (740916) | more than 10 years ago | (#7980991)

Is this why nobody replies to my /. posts?

No, but have you considered showering more often?

Experiment (4, Insightful)

Mieckowski (741243) | more than 10 years ago | (#7980987)

I've actually tried the sofware, as I have an uncle that's into this stuff. I couldn't seem to "train" my brain waves in the short time I tried it, though. And those sensors pressing on your head HURT after a while :(

Doctor (4, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 10 years ago | (#7980990)

My man, you need to talk to the doctor. Doctor. Several of them, if you want. But you're not going to get much wisdom from a bunch of people who start their posts with "IANAD".

Seriously, I'm sorry this is happening to you and it sucks, but go talk to someone who knows how to help you. Please.

When I starts a fiddlin' (0, Offtopic)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981000)

I just takes me Ritalin...

States, noise, and drugs (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981020)

The trouble with this approach is that as of yet, there is no way to say for sure what the 'right' state of neural activity is. You can say in this group at that age there is some sort of range of common neural activity (field potential, specific regions firing, etc.), but training that is harder than it sounds.

With current Brain Machine interfaces for, eg, paralyzed people, it takes months to train them to a state where they can control cursors via internal rhythms or other non-conscious means. And, yes, it's probably possible to train the brain for a specific range of activity, given enough time. ... But a lot of that activity is regulated by chemical processes, which can be easier (and more quickly!) influenced by drugs at this point in time. It's just that the research in the neurosciences changes so fast, that WHICH drug to use is often contentious. But my money is that that is still the best approach for the next few years.

I'd write more, but I have to go control my robo-Monkey. (-:

Do you realise Ritalin is Speed? (2, Insightful)

Steven Reddie (237450) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981025)

Ritalin is speed, don't give it to kids. I realise why it works for this "disorder" but that's no reason to use it. I'm 32 now but have every reason to believe that I suffered from ADHD when I was a kid, and I think I still do to a certain extent, but I got through it without drugs. Actually, I didn't get through anything, this is just me, I have an overactive mind that means I sometimes jump from one thing to another very quickly.

Only after puberty (1)

sempf (214908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981145)

Ritalin is NOT speed for kids. Trust me, I have seen my nephew take it for years. it's a downer before puberty.

Re:Only after puberty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981224)

It's still a downer after puberty if you have ADD. Ritalin makes me quite sleepy and I'm 20. Thankfully, I take Dexedrine which doesn't make me noticably sleepy and treats my symptoms.

Re:Do you realise Ritalin is Speed? (5, Informative)

akedia (665196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981165)

Ritalin is a stimulant. "Speed" is used by people to basically mean anything that stimulates the brain chemicals. In the case of someone who has ADHD, they lack a certain brain chemical. Ritalin replaces that brain chemical to normalize the level in the brain and help with ADHD. In the case of a child without ADHD (they have a normal balance of the chemical) the excess amount causes stimulation in the same way that "speed" causes you to become blitzed. Perhaps you had a low-grade or nonexistant ADHD and the Ritalin was excessive, causing you to be wired when medicated as a kid. I don't know the name of this chemical, and I'm too lazy to Google for it (damn ADD.) Ooh look, a butterfly!

By the way, this is from someone who took Ritalin and Depakote for 10 years, and now takes Lithium and Effexor.

Re:Do you realise Ritalin is Speed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981189)

Huh? That's like saying that Morphine is... well... Morphine and that my father-in-law should have been in excruciating pain after his heart surgery because he shouldn't have gotten any.

There are now non-stimulant anti-ADD meds.

Re:Do you realise Ritalin is Speed? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981257)

I can't believe these comments. Even if no one else does, I understand. I can only tell you that the story of your daughter was the story of me. When I got to college, my primary doctor told me i might had ADHD. I went to three doctors and got the same answer: (1) girls dont have add, and (2) gifted children don't have add. I guess your doctors were much less, um, conservative. When I went on Ritalin it did nothing. It didn't help much at all. Bad side effects, anxiety. But Adderall changed my life. I finally went to an amazing doctor and he suggested that ADHD treatments and literature are centered around boys and that girls need a different kind of approach. I think adderall is a very bad idea for a young child, but maybe in high school or something it would be better. Why change your daughter? What could be so horrible about her 1st grade behavior that forces this kind of medication? If you took Ritalin you would understand. It is an awful experience; it is even worse to think that you have to take this pill because your mind needs to be "contained" somehow. The last thing girls need is to have their behavior censored. We already self-censor and censor each enough. I am all for medications when they help. But when they cause unwanted problems--and let's face it there's a lot we dont know about giving children mind altering drugs--maybe conservative is better.

My experience... (4, Interesting)

Peyna (14792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981036)

My parents adopted a young boy who was diagnosed with ADHD and was taking Ritalin (which then caused severe Tourette's like symptoms, so they diagnosed him with Tourette's and gave him drugs for that.)

As soon as the adoption was final, my parents had him taken off of all of the drugs, and while he still has behavioral problems, the Tourette's has all but gone away, and he is generally happier than he was before.

Billions of people survived just fine with Ritalin, and I personally see no use for it in any situation.

Re:My experience... (1)

Steven Reddie (237450) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981061)

You mean without?:

Billions of people survived just fine without Ritalin, and I personally see no use for it in any situation.

This is crazy (0)

Zorak Man (732141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981037)

I have been diagnoed with ADHD. I never took a pill or had any treatment (to my knowlege). I'm 18 now and finnishing up my senior year in high-school. No pill would have given me the kind of results I got. I lived and learned through it. It was bumpy and took around 3 years to really get though it, but I have leared my weak points and how to deal with them and that is more vaulabe then any artificial treatment could do.

results (2, Interesting)

Mieckowski (741243) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981038)

My uncle who uses this treatment has a bicycle "race" where you go faster if you generate a certain type of brain waves. He brought it to a family party and my relatives checked it out. The people who seemed to be best at it (who actually didn't have ADD) were ones who could meditate, did yoga, or otherwise had some experience trying to relax.

Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981041)

It sounds plausable, but it sounds like the kind of thing that would work better on a younger child. Having ADHD myself, in addition to Tourette's Syndrome and Asperger's, it sounds like it would be more frustrating than helpful (to me). However it might work better on a younger child, whose brain is still developing, to train it.

Just my opinion...

Probably is Tourettes (2, Interesting)

tgordon (703174) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981045)

I'm ADHD and took Ritalin as a child to treat it. Bad idea, because it activated apparently dormant Tourettes Syndrome. Like the poster said, the tics were mild, all physical (rolling my eyes compulsively still continues today at age 19). After the Tourettes diagnosis treatment became a bitch since most ADHD meds aggravate it.

The most effective treatment for ADHD (0)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981048)


Turn your televison off!

Had this done (5, Informative)

nemesisj (305482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981053)

I am borderline ADHD, and I only found out several years ago afte I began having trouble with class and general management of time while in college.

My mom had a friend who had recently gotten certified in using this type of therapy on her daughter (who was severely ADHD), and they arranged for me to show up at their house knowing that because I was a computer science major and a geek, that I would be extremely interested in the whole setup. I walk in, express interest, and they offer to hook me up, and while they're explaining what's going on, they run a quick diagnostic which shows I could use some work on the machine (and that my brain waves are "sloppy").

To make a long story short, I went through three months of training using the machine, the whole time believing it was a placebo, but my entire family noticed the difference. I also began noticing that I was sleeping better and could work for periods of time longer than 30 minutes without feeling like i HAD to take a break.

To sum up, this is a very groundbreaking type of therapy that does work, and I encourage anyone on /. to research it.

Some info (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981055)

Link here. [berkeley.edu]

Stop Ritalin (4, Insightful)

(eternal_software) (233207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981059)

I don't know about the Neural Feedback Training, but I'd suggest finding an alternative to Ritalin ASAP.

There are many studies out there about the inefficient conversion of ALA To EPA and DHA [ajcn.org] in people with ADHD, leading me to believe that pumping your kid full of stimulants is a (very) wrong answer.

Try Mercola.com [mercola.com] , which has some very informative articles on ADHD [google.com] . As a start, make sure your kid isn't having a lot of sugar and caffeine (ie drinking fruit juices and soda).

Re:Stop Ritalin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981226)

While I must agree that Ritalin is not the right answer for everybody, maybe not even most kids, it does work extremely well for others. It definitly seems to affect different people differently.
Through elementry school and most of high school I was on Ritalin of various doses. It worked for me, and worked very well. I tried many other meds, my parents fearing the downsides of Ritalin, but none of them had the same positive affect of Ritalin. In fact most of them (such as Welbutrin (sp?)) didn't have any affect on me at all.
I never became addicted to Ritalin, infact I hated taking it, how it made me feel, except that I could actually get work done. Towards the end of high school I was allowed to determine when and how much I took. This worked well because I would only take it when I needed it (test coming up, paper due, etc). It also helped train at least some positive work habits so that when I quit taking it completely I didn't need to find a substitute (they won't perscribe Ritalin for adults except in very rare cases).
[must..stay...focused]
They didn't have Neural Feedback when I was in school, but I'd very much like to try it now, as I still have mild ADD.
I would also recommend that those interested read a book called "Healing ADD:6 Types of ADD" by Daniel Amen. The book is too long for anyone with ADD to actually finish, but the best part was where he talks about 6 different types of ADD. It finally became clear to me why my ADD was different from kids with ADHD or other types of ADD. He also talked about which treatments work best for which types and I believe talks breifly about Neural Feedback. One day I really mean to finish reading it.
Good luck with your struggle with AD...

hey, whats that shiny thing over there?

In all seriousness... (-1, Offtopic)

ath0mic (519762) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981065)

ask an MD, not /., that's what they are there for.

Dave (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981083)

Dave, You seem to be upset. Perhaps you should take a stress pill. HAL2000,

Caution (1)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981087)

Well, you could always try it, but you really should consult a medical professional about it first. We here at /. could doubtless explain to you the subtle nuances of neural feedback technology, perhaps even reverse-engineer it for you, but only you, your child, and a doctor are qualified to determine what's right in your scenario.

That said, I do agree with the poster saying that AD/H/D is not a real disorder. We live in a society that celebrates mediocrity and conformity, and both myself and many I knew were "diagnosed" with this "disorder" as a result of our general tendencies to think very, very differently from other children (hmm, perhaps why I use a Macintosh? :-P ) If you think this is going to cause physical health problems, though, then it should go without saying that you should seek professional advice. But do seriously weigh the pros and cons of your choices before pursuing "treatment" when her condition may not even deserve to be called a disorder in the first place. At any rate, best of luck to you all.

Try something different without medicine. (2, Insightful)

IMarvinTPA (104941) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981088)

I would recommend Abuse it - Lose it [keirsey.com] . There are some additional articles Dr. David Keirsey [keirsey.com] has written about this problem as well.

IMarv

sounds plausible (1)

buddha42 (539539) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981090)

When the brainwaves are in the 'right' state, the game proceeds or the patterns get prettier. When the brainwaves are erratic, it all slows down.

Sounds like you're just taking the 'do your homework get to go out and play, don't do your homework sit in the corner and stare at the wall' approach, only with a drastically shorter feedback loop.

Sources for research (4, Informative)

BernManUNC (455335) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981092)

I am a psychology undergrad, and though I have no serious experience with the study or treatment of ADHD, I can recommend some starting points for gaining the facts on this condition. Where I in your position, I would head to the nearest university, put some cash on a copy card, and start using their online article databases. In particular, MedLine and PsycInfo have the most expansive databases on psychology research. Start simple - run some basic searches using keywords like ADHD and Neural Feedback Training. When you find an article or two that nail the topic you're exploring, move from those databses to the ISI (Web of Science) database. The most powerful feature of this database is its reverse-searching feature, where you can enter in an article, and retrieve a list of articles that have been published citing the one you have. This is a literature search (the first major task in designing a study). Moving back and forth between these databases, narrowing your keywords, following citations, and even searching for authors publishing pertinent studies, is going to return a massive quantity of data.

Unfortunately, links to these databases are going to be useless, because you need a subscription to search them. This is why you need to run your searches from a university library. Once you've got some promising references, start pulling articles, and educating yourself.

I hope this helps. I'm a firm believer in the power of psychology and medicine to improve the human condition. Your daughter doesn't have a disease, but she does have the physiological deck stacked against her. Being a fan of psychology over psychiatry, I'm happy to hear that you're persuing a non-drug-based treatment in addition to her medication regimine. I hope that this is where you'll find true long-term improvement.

Best of luck to you, your family, and your daughter.

special schools (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981104)

there are special schools for students with ADHD and other learning disabilities, I work at one such place, www.theodysseyschool.org.

drugs are probably a bad idea, i also agree that ADHD is probably just a different way of thinking. a good friend of mine is ADHD and she is quite amazing!

Ritalin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981105)

I find the idea of reprogramming young children's minds in this way quite disturbing. I guess it might be better than Ritalin, though. The only kid I've really known who was on it was this really hyperactive violent kid. He just always was like tripping about everything.

Video Games Help (2, Interesting)

lukior (727393) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981107)

There are actually several studies that link playing video games to improvements for ADHD. http://www.cet.edu/gstw/adha.html (center for educational technologies)

Doctors... (1)

iswm (727826) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981116)

...Seem to be too quick at getting all these kids on drugs. The slightest little bit of trouble for school teachers and the next thing you know the kid's doped up. My 2nd grade teacher tried the same with me a few years back. We went to talk to my doctor about it and he asked some questions such as "Can he sit and watch TV for a few hours?" or "Can he sit and do a puzzle?" Both were of course yes. The ultimatly was that the style of teaching that the teacher used in that class wasn't structured enough for me, and I was transfered to a diffrent class where the teacher used a more structred teaching method where I did fine. Maybe more people really should look into these things more before being so quick to get their kids popping pills.

How about. (1, Troll)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981119)

How about you spend time with her? I don't mean after school, I am talking about during the day. Teach her yourself if you have to. But, you won't, you are looking for a quick fix and damn what it does to your daughter. You appear to be more concerned with her IQ then you do her health. You describe what is happening to her as 'various vocal tics' but it could be more than that.

Feeding a 6 year old drugs that we are unsure how they work is not a good thing. Most of the great thinkers of the past 1000 years have/had some/all of the symptoms assosiated with ADHD.

Drugs should be your last resort (4, Informative)

MasterOfTheObvious (741654) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981121)

First, find out which sub-type she has. There are many different subtypes that each have different treatments. Take the on-line tests at: http://www.amenclinic.com Second, check out the pioneer in non-drug therapies: http://www.drakeinstitute.com If you do have to resort to drugs, try Strattera, which is a new, non-addictive, non-stimulant treatment that looks very promising: http://www.strattera.com/index.jsp

Yes it will likely work (2, Interesting)

odeee (741339) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981122)

Take a look at learning connections [learningco...ons.com.au] (people, don't click it unless you're interested as they will most certainly be /.'d), they provide physical exercise programs for children and adults with learning difficulties. By providing physical stimulus they're able to activate parts of the brain that don't appear to be working properly. They've been operating (in Australia) for 28 years and have had a great deal of success through a simple program.

As the computer programs provide a similar type of activity (teaching the brain how to work properly) I believe it would work as well.

People, please don't discount mental disorders (including ADHD) as being just made up.. for those who are suffering from them and those around them they are very real conditions.

ADD joke (not meant to offend) (1)

juglugs (652924) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981129)

How many kids with ADD does it take to change a lightbulb?


(I don't know)


You wanna go ride bikes?


Obligatory... (3, Funny)

Xarius (691264) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981137)

I, for one, welcome our new Attention Def--OH LOOK A SHINY THING!!!

biofeedback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981146)

I did something similar called biofeedback in order to manage an anxiety disorder. Learning to recognize muscle stress and poor breathing patterns has been extremely helpful.

I find that I'm much less anxious, am better able to deal with stress, and have a *much* easier time getting to sleep at night.

ADHD and anxiety are often related, so perhaps my experience with anxiety will translate to your experience with ADHD.

Good luck. And do talk to an MD. It takes quite a bit of fighting sometimes to get one who will listen to you, but once you find one, they can be very helpful.

ADHD is *bullshit* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981153)

when my parents were young, kids didn't have ADHD or Tourettes or whatever-the-trendy-excuse. i personally don't believe there is such a thing.

you were just stupid. if you were stupid, you fixed it yourself, out of need.

the human brain is a very powerful organ. you don't need medication or treatment to fix things all the time.

Puppy Uppers and Doggie Downers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981172)

Is what I use to keep my pets in order.

What QuackWatch has to say ... (1)

danwiz (538108) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981186)

One of my favorite sites for medical de-bunking is Quackwatch [quackwatch.org] .

Its listed here - Mental Help: Procedures to Avoid [quackwatch.org]
(You'll have to scroll down the page a bit. Its two spaces up from Past-Life Therapy.)

Neural feedback therapy for Tourette's (3, Informative)

Xeger (20906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981192)

Let me begin by pointing out that there is a correlation between ADD/ADHD and Tourette's. In other words, having one increases your chances of having the other.

I was diagnosed with mild Tourette's Syndrome when I was in sixth grade. It manifested itself similarly to your daughter's symptoms -- minor vocal and muscular tics. It wasn't a significant bother, but it impaired me enough that I sought medication for it. I began taking Clonidine transdermally (through a skin patch) to help ease my Tourette's symptoms.

A year after starting the Tourette's medication, I was diagnosed with ADD. This was ~1990, before ADD was a "trendy" disease. At the time, none of my family had ever heard of it before. So I began a regimen of Dexedrine, to help with the ADD.

I stayed on both medications for a further year, until I developed an allergy to the skin patch. At that time, my doctor recommended I try neural feedback therapy to help control the Tourette's. I went in for an hour of therapy every two weeks for a year. Over the course of the year I became better able to control my tics, but only with great concentration. If I became flustered or anxious or nervous or just plain stopped paying attention, I would lose control and the tics would come back. But, at the end of the year, I decided I was able to control the Tourette's well enough to stop therapy and medication.

I continued with Dexedrine throughout my junior-high and high school years, and gradually stopped taking it when I got to college. I firmly believe that the Dexedrine was a great help in high school; even though it exacerbated my Tourette's symptoms, it allowed me to finish high school having learned what I needed in order to get into college. Could I have used some other means to achieve the same ends? Probably. But the medication worked.

Today I'm a slightly disorganized, nervous and fidgety young man living a normal life and working a full-time job in software development. My duties expand every day and I find myself diverting more and more of my attention toward organization and self-management. But I can manage.

Will neural feedback therapy help your daughter? I'd say, give it a try. It could be that the techniques I learned to help control my Tourette's also gave me an edge in studying ... we'll never get a chance to perform that experiment, since now I'm all grown up. But I know from firsthand experience that it's possible to reign one's body in using only the power of one's concentration. So give it a shot. If it doesn't work, there's always the drugs.

P.S. I would recommend looking at alternatives to Ritalin. Dexedrine and Desoxyn , AFAIK, achieve the same thing but with fewer side effects (less of a methamphetamine-like effect on the human body).

One more thing (1)

Xeger (20906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981222)

I'd like to reinforce the point that ADD medications exacerbate Tourette's symptoms!!! It could be that your daughter naturally has some slight inclination toward Tourette's, which was exaggerated when she began taking medications. There is every chance that going off the meds, or switching meds, will make her tics easier to control. Neural feedback therapy could therefore help in both areas, by getting her off the drugs.

Train her right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981197)

The disease, or condition, or whatever you want to call it, is a myth. The problem is real, but it is completely behavioral. Less TV, more reading, more sports, maybe intense concentration via learning to play violin. Medication changes moods. Living changes life.

We don't know... (1)

Hangin10 (704729) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981198)

much about how the brain really works except
for approximately what section does what, and
basicly how nuerons themselves work (think
neural nets (AI)), and how certain drugs affect
the brain in whatever ways.
(Am I right about the above, not entirely sure,
based on the "monkeys use remote control"
article?)

It's entirely possible that many of these so
called "diseases" are entirely normal. For
example, being gay was once considered a disease.
Is this really much different?

High fat diet reduce brain disorders... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981203)

There are many links on this subject, such as:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2836491.stm

Neurocybernetics / EEG Spectrum International (4, Informative)

x00101010x (631764) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981206)

I worked with these guys a while back. Their techniques work for a number of applications including ADHD, seizures and addiction to name a few.
As a previous poster mentioned, this kind of stuff works by "training" your brain. It does this through biofeedback.
Biofeedback works by presenting data of interest from some sort of sensor array (EKG, or in this case an EEG) in a way your brain interprets on various levels (ex: colors, shapes, etc).
These guys usually do it (afaik) in the context of some sort of non-interactive game (well, it is interactive in that it's driven by your brain, not by a joystick/keyboard/mouse, etc).

Anyways, I don't want to say too much because I'm sure most of it was under some sort of NDA, but here's their sites: This stuff is pretty amazing, you can actually feel it working, as potent (or more) than any medication I've ever popped. But it should only be done by a trained therapist (I tried it on myself a few times because I was sick of playing back the same old recordings and it gave me a bit of a headache, but under the control of a trained tech it doesn't cause much (any afaik) discomfort. Also, unlike another poster mentioned, I was never irritated by the connections, maybe they've improved over time).

It's pretty cool stuff and I hope I have an opportunity to contribute more in the near future.

Disclaimer: I'm just a code monkey that developed some "front-end" stuff (the game side shown to the patient, not the nuts & bolts on the therapist's side). So, take my info in context of just a guy who coded from a spec and attended one of their conferences.

For good info on ADD/ADHD (2, Informative)

nullset (39850) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981211)

Be sure to check out Dr Hallowell [drhallowell.com] . He is the coauthor of "Driven to Distraction" as well as their recent followup "Answers to Distraction".

I would recommend emailing him if there's nothing on this site about this particular therapy.

Yes, it's real and yes, it works (5, Informative)

DocJohn (81319) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981215)

I spent three years in my graduate school days (which was now a decade ago... yikes!) administering the hardware/software for the Autogenics system in our community mental health center at Nova Southeastern University under Doil Montgomery, Ph.D. Neural feedback is also referred to as EEG biofeedback. Not only is there some good research in this area, but it's a nice, non-invasive and non-drug way to treat this disorder (which should be especially interesting to teens and children, where medications are less tested and proven).

Some basic positive empricial results supporting the use of EEG biofeedback in the treatment of ADHD from MEDLINE:

Neurofeedback treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children: a comparison with methylphenidate. in Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2003 Mar;28(1):1-12.

Fuchs T, Birbaumer N, Lutzenberger W, Gruzelier JH, Kaiser J.

Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, Eberhard-Karls-University, Gartenstr. 29, 72074 Tubingen, Germany.

Clinical trials have suggested that neurofeedback may be efficient in treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We compared the effects of a 3-month electroencephalographic feedback program providing reinforcement contingent on the production of cortical sensorimotor rhythm (12-15 Hz) and betal activity (15-18 Hz) with stimulant medication. Participants were N = 34 children aged 8-12 years, 22 of which were assigned to the neurofeedback group and 12 to the methylphenidate group according to their parents' preference. Both neurofeedback and methylphenidate were associated with improvements on all subscales of the Test of Variables of Attention, and on the speed and accuracy measures of the d2 Attention Endurance Test. Furthermore, behaviors related to the disorder were rated as significantly reduced in both groups by both teachers and parents on the IOWA-Conners Behavior Rating Scale. These findings suggest that neurofeedback was efficient in improving some of the behavioral concomitants of ADHD in children whose parents favored a nonpharmacological treatment.

The effects of stimulant therapy, EEG biofeedback, and parenting style on the primary symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. in Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2002 Dec;27(4):231-49.

Monastra VJ, Monastra DM, George S.

FPI Attention Disorders Clinic, 2102 E. Main Street, Endicott, New York 13760, USA. poppidoc@aol.com

One hundred children, ages 6-19, who were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), either inattentive or combined types, participated in a study examining the effects of Ritalin, EEG biofeedback, and parenting style on the primary symptoms of ADHD. All of the patients participated in a 1-year, multimodal, outpatient program that included Ritalin, parent counseling, and academic support at school (either a 504 Plan or an IEP). Fifty-one of the participants also received EEG biofeedback therapy. Posttreatment assessments were conducted both with and without stimulant therapy. Significant improvement was noted on the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA; L. M. Greenberg, 1996) and the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale (ADDES; S. B. McCarney, 1995) when participants were tested while using Ritalin. However, only those who had received EEG biofeedback sustained these gains when tested without Ritalin. The results of a Quantitative Electroencephalographic Scanning Process (QEEG-Scan; V. J. Monastra et al., 1999) revealed significant reduction in cortical slowing only in patients who had received EEG biofeedback. Behavioral measures indicated that parenting style exerted a significant moderating effect on the expression of behavioral symptoms at home but not at school.

Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with neurotherapy. in Clin Electroencephalogr. 2000 Jan;31(1):30-7.

Nash JK.

Behavioral Medicine Associates, Inc., MN 55434, USA.

Significant public health concerns exist regarding our current level of success in treating ADHD. Medication management is very helpful in 60-70% of patients. Side effects, lack of compliance and the fact that stimulant medications cannot be given late in the day limit the benefits largely to school hours. While stimulants improve behavior and attention, less of an effect has been noted on academic and social performance. Continuing concerns exist about long-term safety, and studies on long-term cardiovascular and neurophysiological effects have not been carried out. Neurotherapy for ADHD offers an effective alternate for patients whose treatment is limited by side effects, poor medication response and in cases in which the patients and/or their parents refuse to consider medications. Studies indicate clinical improvement is largely related to measurable improvements in the EEG signature, evidenced by declining theta/beta ratios over frontal/central cortex and/or reduced theta/alpha band amplitudes.

More MEDLINE articles on this subject can be found by choosing "attention deficit disorder" and "biofeedback" as search terms here [psychcentral.com] .

Repackaging concentrated meditation (2, Insightful)

wytcld (179112) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981232)

When you concentrate on something it becomes prettier. Where is this true? It's true when you're in an external space that's beautiful, for one. For instance, in a club with good live jazz, where you can fall into being more aware of the space the sounds are in than you'd normally be aware of any space - and yet meet yourself in that space, finding yourself also able to concentrate clearly on other stuff you normally leave far in the background.

Okay, so the therapeutic technique you describe is to simulate an aspect of reality that's pretty much there when you're in good external spaces.

It's also much like a standard form of meditation: concentrating on a candle flame. Or concentrating on an image of a diety. The object of concentration, like great live music, becomes richer in your experience at the same time as you're able to better resolve other aspects of life. (Thus has power often in the past been ascribed to statuary.)

Schools don't want concentration, don't want trained attention of this sort. They're mostly ugly spaces, something even less interesting than a factory aesthetic (where at least there's real production being done). That's why 2/3rds of our kids leave them for the factory jobs that no longer are there, instead of sloughing on through a few more years to pass through college - despite that colleges are more often decent aesthetic spaces.

William James wrote cogently of the need to teach concentration as fundamental to education. The problem for our current schools is that kids who can concentrate will mostly want out of them. Because when you can concentrate at will, your will is often not going to be towards the less rewarding concentration on a teacher who typically was among the stupidest cohort at college.

I'd suggest seeing if there's a descendent of the old "free school" movement in your area for your daughter. She's probably too smart for her teachers. But she should learn concentration, whether through immersion in art, practice of traditional concentrative meditative techniques, or the techno repackaging of those techniques that you describe.

And if your penis is small...There is the Patch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981239)

Get all your cheap discount drugs at so and so.

Don't do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7981240)

What's next: chip-implants, borg-type software... Also, it might not even be a disease, but a demon bugging that kid. Yes, evil spirits can and do live within the body.

Relevant research and other facts about ADHD (1)

IgD (232964) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981241)

Various talk show hosts minimize and make fun of ADHD. They claim it isn't a disorder and that people can just "get over it". What you have to keep in mind is that in order for attention problems to be a disorder, they have to result in severe occupational or interpersonal impairment. For example, failing out of school. The critics do have a good point about pharmaceutical companies wanting people to take drugs. The advent of neuroimaging has revolutionized the field of Psychiatry. For the first time, PET scans and other imaging modalities are able to view brains of afflicted persons and see structural differences compared to normal persons. There have been a few key studies involving neuroimaging of ADHD patients that give a lot of insight. One study showed that compared to normal subjects, ADHD patients had different structural and functional anatomy in the brain. The critics responded by charging that medications caused "brain damage". Another key study was done that refuted this. Subjects with ADHD taking medications versus subjects with ADHD not taking meds were compared. Their brains were had the same structural differences prooving that medications do not cause "brain damage".

I'd be happy to provide literature references if any one is interested.

Other Alternatives to Ritalin (1)

obey13 (731453) | more than 10 years ago | (#7981251)

I have tries a number of different things to help with my ADD. Like you daughter I had problems handling the stimulant medications. I know the symdomes are simular, so some of what worked for me may help You might want to try looking into changes in her diet. I found lots of fresh veggies and fruits(think anti oxident). You may also want to try giving her a vitamin supplement strong in Phenylalanine and Glutamine. Flax seed should take care of it too. I eleminated basically all the dairy from my diet as well. Soy and rice milk can be substuted for almost anything Hope this helps. Its only from my own experience so take it with a grain of salt.
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