ADHD: Causes and Possible Solutions was the title of the conference held on November 4-7, 1999 at the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Virginia. Program participants presented a balanced view of conventional and non-conventional approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD and related developmental disorders of the central nervous system.
The role of genetic, nutritional, food allergy and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of these disorders were discussed by nationally and internationally known authorities. Audience participation was an integral part of the program.
The conference was sponsored by the Georgetown University Medical Center, Office of Continuing Professional Education, Washington, DC, and co-sponsored by the International Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Immunology (Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC) and the International Health Foundation (Jackson, Tennessee).
Following brief introductory remarks by Joseph A. Bellanti and Dr. William G. Crook, a videotape by Tipper Gore was presented to the conference participants. Here's an excerpt of her remarks: <
"This conference is important because it brings together health care providers, researchers, educators and parents...Out of these discussions will come a set of recommendations important in the total management of ADHD. All of this information is important because parents need to be able to make treatment choices for their children based on the most current information."
Click Here for Dr. Crook's presentation at the ADHD conference.
Many Pediatricians Support the Increasing Use of Ritalin and Ignore the Diet/Behavior Connection
A cover story article, "Medical experts defend against Ritalin charges," in the May 1996 issue of AAP News (the official newspaper of the American Academy of Pediatrics) reported on the concerns of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) about the rapid increase in prescriptions for Ritalin in the United States*
According to this article the INCB is the latest group to charge that ADHD is overdiagnosed and methylphenidate (Ritalin) is overprescribed. And Ambassador Herbert Okun (US representative to INCB) said, " there is 10 times as much usage in the U.S. as in the rest of the world."
In replying to these charges the article cited the comments of three "medical experts" who supported the increasing use of Ritalin in the U.S. as compared to other countries. One of these experts, Mel Levine, M.D., F.A.A.P., said that INCB " should be even more worried that other countries are not prescribing morethat they're not taking advantage of this treatment and are writing off children who are not succeeding in life."
The article also cited a study published in the November 1995 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Obtaining responses from 380 pediatricians in a random sample, researchers reported that pediatricians noted a number of common but inaccurate beliefs." Included among these was a statement that parents' observations that poor diet causes ADHD was a "misperception."
*AAP News, Vol. 12 No. 5. Used with permission.
An Urgent Plea to Leaders of the American Academy of Pediatrics
The AAP News article, "Medical experts defend against Ritalin charges," prompted me to respond and my comments were published in the "Second Opinion" section of the July 1996 issue of AAP News under the heading "ADHD dietary factors overlooked." Here are excerpts:
'Based on my own experience and scientific reports in the medical literature, I am unable to accept the recommendations of those who appear to suggest that millions of American children are suffering from what might be termed 'a Ritalin deficiency.'
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