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Brain Scans May Help Identify ADHD & BiPolar Kids

Brain Scans to Identify Special Needs

I am not sure exactly what parents are supposed to do with this knowledge or at what is age of the child that the brain scans should be done AND are definitive.  But I suppose that early detection can only be a good thing.  This might be something for Type A Parents to bring up with their pediatrician, particularly if there is a family history of ADHD or Bi Polar disorders.

Full article here.  Interesting paragraphs below:

  • The investigators used functional MRI to observe brain activity in 23 children with bipolar disorder, 14 children with ADHD and 19 children without either disorder (controls) as they did a memory task while viewing faces with different emotions. The children were aged 10 to 18. Those with bipolar disorder and ADHD were not taking medications, the study authors noted.
  • Compared to the children in the control group, those with bipolar disorder and ADHD showed dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex, which controls behavior (such as impulsivity), executive function, working memory, attention and language, according to the report in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
  • Children with ADHD had the most severe dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex, but those with bipolar disorder had more deficits in brain areas involved in emotion processing and regulation, the researchers found.
  • “Our hope is that by better differentiating between these two severe developmental illnesses, we can help develop more accurate diagnoses and more targeted treatments for [bipolar disorder] and ADHD,” Alessandra Passarotti, assistant professor of psychiatry at UIC and lead author of the study, said in a university news release.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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