The Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine

Importance of qEEG Brain Mapping in Treating ADHD or ADD

LogoTwo scientific studies further highlight the importance of successfully treating ADHD in childhood or adolescence. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry reported that children with ADHD are at increased risk for developing secondary psychiatric disorders in adolescence, including substance related disorders, conduct disorder, anxiety, and depression.

Ritalin and Prozac: Safe for Children

LogoA study in the Journal of Neuroscience, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, raises disturbing unanswered questions about the possible risks of the combination of methylphenidate (Ritalin) and fluoxetine (Prozac) in children. The Los Angeles Times reported that 40% of children who are diagnosed with either ADHD or Depression will eventually be diagnosed with both disorders in childhood/adolescense and many of them will be taking both of these drugs.

Protecting Self Esteem in Children with ADHD/ADD

LogoThe most damaging aspect for a child with ADHD or ADD can be low self esteem. Even though the drugs for ADHD can have harmful side effects, it is often the low self esteem from the childhood ADHDfrustrations that ultimately can cause the most damage in their life. The low self esteem increases the risk in their adult lives for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, impaired relationships, and lack of motivation for successful careers. Children with ADHD or ADD may frequently express how they feel that they are not smart enough, that they feel they will always be behind in school, academics don't come easy for them like it does for their friends, and they do not know if things are ever going to get easier for them. They may be teased or mocked by other kids for struggling academically. If they are impulsive or have difficulty with social skills, they may lose friends or become ostracized. A recent study in the scientific Journal of Attention Disorders report that ADHD Children have significant impairment in health-related quality of life with regard to social and emotional well being, as compared to healthy children. The ADHD causes conflict between family members, much longer time to complete homework with additional time and support required from the parents, and less time for recreation and other family activities. Neurologically, they lack the concentration skills to be successful with their academic challenges. Even bright children can have concentration problems. It is not about willpower. Even taking medication forADHD to concentrate will not allow the child to attribute their success fully to themselves. The quantitative EEG brainmapping identifies which neurophysical system of the child's attention system is dysregulated or underfunctioning that is causing the ADHD or ADD symtoms. Concentration skills are critical for success and developing healthy self esteem. Based on brainmapping findings, the quicker the child can develop the concentration skills to be successful in school, the sooner their self esteem will begin to turn around.

Clinical Improvements Confirm Technology Breakthrough

LogoDuring the past 33 years of the Drake Institute, periodically there have been landmark breakthroughs in technology that significantly advanced clinical outcome for our patients.

Childhood ADHD Increases the Risk of Cigarette Smoking and Substance Abuse

LogoTwo recent studies have further confirmed that ADHD in both boys and girls increases the risk of substance abuse. UPI reported on the study that was published this month in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. The first study from Harvard Medical School showed that the increased risk for cigarette smoking and substance abuse cannot be explained by a family history of substance abuse. The researchers did find though that if the ADHD child also had a diagnosis of "Conduct Disorder", then the risk for substance abuse was tripled.

Drake Institute - New Understanding of Brain Activity in Autism Can Help Autism Treatment as Well as ADHD Treatment.

LogoA clinical study from Harvard Medical School's Children's Hospital just published in the medical journal BMC Medicine has confirmed what we have been finding in quantitative EEG brainmaps of Autistic children at the Drake Institute for the last 6 years The findings showed abnormal connectivity between the regions of the brain involved in language processing. By recording and measuring the brain's electrical activity, the researchers found abnormal differences in connectivity between the language regions of Autistic children when compared to a more normal control group of children.

Drake Institute Reports Causes of Attention Deficit Hyperacitivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

LogoA study in the British Medical Journal, Lancet, has reported for the first time, direct evidence of a genetic link with ADHD. Another study published in the medical journal, Pediatrics, has suggested that increased exposure to pesticides may also be linked to ADHD. Other causes may include premature birth, complications during childbirth such as hypoxia (lack of oxygen), and prolonged exposure to anesthesia at early ages. The study on the genetic link with ADHD, even more so, makes it increasingly clear that ADHD is not caused by bad parenting or high sugar diets. There has been too much misunderstanding about the causes of ADHD with the child and the parents being unfairly stigmatised. Misconceptions such as if the parents did a better job of parenting or if the child tried harded and wasn't lazy, then the child would not have ADHD. These are all misconceptions that only do harm to the child's self esteem as well as the parents' self esteem. It needs to be understood that ADHD or ADD is a neurophysiologic disorder, not a result of parenting. Neuroimaging tests such as quantitative EEG brain mapping have shown that children with ADHD or ADD have abnormal brain wave patterns in the areas of the brain that control concentration, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. When the brain wave patterns are improved through brain map guided neurofeedback treatment, so are the symptoms. The most important point is that early intervention for the child's ADHD or ADD is likely to produce the best clinical outcome. Parenting a child with ADD or ADHD is a much more challenging child rearing experience than parenting a child without ADHD or ADD. Normal parenting methods frequently are not adequate as the parents are likely to experience increased frustrations with normal parenting methods not having the impact that they desire. The child is more vulnerable to developing low self esteem as they feel they are not as smart as their peers, or that it will never get better for them academically,or why try hard if it doesn't make a difference. If they are impulsive, then they will trigger a lot of disapproval from adults and may get rejected by peers. Neurologically, the ADHD or ADD child's concentration or attentional system is underfunctioning so they are unable to successfully meet their academic and even sometimes day to day challenges. When their self esteem suffers, the parent's self esteem may also suffer. Again, the earliest intervention can produce the best clinical outcome and prevent psychological problems as they get older.

ADHD Drugs Slow the Growth Rate of Teenage Boys

LogoAs a physician, who can prescribe drugs, I, Dr. David Velkoff, always have to weigh the risks versus benefits of a clinical treatment. The Drake Institute has always chosen neurofeedback; more recently brain map-guided neurofeedback, as the preferred treatment of ADHD or ADD as opposed to drugs. This is because of brain map guided neurofeedback's safety, clinical improvements, and long term improvements that the ADHD drugs cannot match.