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November 1, 2010

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NPR today – Training Brains

NPR today - Training Brains - Pacific Quest: Wilderness Therapy for Teens & Young Adults

I heard an interesting news segment on NPR today that I thought I would share.  Scientists are experimenting with using neurofeedback as a therapy for ADHD- something the speaker referred to as “meditation on steriods.”  The feedback is simple, as the aim is condition the brain to remain focused through a reward system.

An individual sits in front of a laptop screen and sensors are connected to the participants brain.  The computer software monitors brainwaves.  When the brainwaves are calmer and more focused the lap top screen reflects pleasant colors, flowers, and one hears birds singing.  This is the positive reward for the calmer and focused brainwaves.  When the brain becomes distracted or wanders, the participant will see the flowers wilt and the screen fade to greyish color.  I see why the speaker in the NPR segment coined the term “meditation on steroids!”

This form of neurofeedback therapy is a fascinating approach for conditioning the brain.  While still early in the development, the development of high-tech software such as this shows that scientists are searching out alternative treatments to ADHD.


June 2, 2010

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Recent study linking pesticides to ADHD

A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics links common pesticides found in food to increased incidence of ADHD.  The study surveyed children with high levels of pesticides in their urine.  Results indicate that kids with higher levels of pesticides also had higher diagnoses rates of ADHD.  This is yet another study pointing toward the importance of diet on health.

The study was conducted by Maryse F. Bouchard, a researcher at the University of Montreal in Quebec.  According to media source MSNBC, this was the largest study to date that has looked at the effect of pesticides on child development and behavior.  Her research shows that the organophosphate pesticides (comprising 70% of pesticides used in food production) have adverse effects on the nervous system specifically.

This type of information is valuable for parents and children alike.  Organic food production and consumption is the best means to ensure ones safety from dangerous pesticides and chemicals.  Go organic farmers!

Recent study linking pesticides to ADHD - Pacific Quest: Wilderness Therapy for Teens & Young Adults