Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ADHD, Heart Risks, Kinko and Jetblue

©2012 Am Ang Zhang 

On April 21, 2008 A News Release came through:
“Children with ADHD should get heart tests before treatment with stimulant drugs”
This is not from any anti-stimulant web-site but from America’s most respected American Heart Association. Full guidance is here. This did not surprise me because a couple of years ago, CNN Money, not CNN Health reported:

“FDA eyes heart risks of ADHD drugs”.

Such news would obviously affect the share prices of the major pharmaceutical companies involved.

In the same month,
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry issued a statement :
“……The FDA voted to require black box warnings on methylphenidate (Ritalin). The committee had reviewed reports of 25 deaths, 19 of them under age 18…..”
Those who are interested can read the
full FDA report.

In 2003, a
BMJ article warned that:
“Europe is being targeted by the drugs industry as the next major market for increasing the use of stimulant drugs such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) and dexamfetamine, a Californian doctor specialising in behavioural paediatrics warned at a recent meeting of the President's Bioethics Council.”
The same article gave us a rough picture of the use of stimulants for ADHD round the world:
"In the 1990s the United States led the world in the use of these stimulants, with 90% of global use. In recent years this has fallen to 80% ‘That's because other countries are catching up,’ he said.”

It should not take a genius to start questioning a condition on planet earth that is mainly concentrated in North America. What about the rest of the world? Was there some specific cosmic event? Some unknown virus?

Why has Italy still not approved of stimulant use? Are they smarter than we thought? Perhaps they did not want to give up their lead position in the world of producing the most creative designers?

Why was there such a warning?

What are the risks of not using stimulants?

In the face of an unruly, over-energetic child, the parent might risk being seen as “bad” parents, and teachers as “incompetent” teachers.

The other risk is of course your child might turn out to be the likes of Kinko or Jetblue founders. As the
Wall Street Journal pointed out,
“Clearly, ADHD didn't cripple such noteworthy sufferers as JetBlue founder David Neeleman or Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea.”

Here are their stories:

Jetblue founder, David Neeleman:

“Mr. Neeleman's family refused to regard his hyperactivity as an impairment. ‘We always thought ADD was a plus,’ says his father, Gary, a retired media executive. He advises ‘looking at the kid as somebody who has a different way of looking at things, and maybe a more creative way. ‘Then, put your arms around them and say, Boy, you're sure smart. You can handle this.' "

“He is credited with inventing electronic airline ticketing, he founded two airlines and is working on a third start-up in Brazil. He still has trouble sustaining a conversation for more than a few minutes, must delegate administrative tasks and ultimately got fired as JetBlue's CEO after service foul-ups.”

Kinko founder, Paul Orfalea:
“……Mr. Orfalea's mother came home in tears after he was expelled from school for the fourth time; a school official told her he'd do well to become an unskilled laborer, says the Kinko's founder, who also has dyslexia. But she didn't allow it to shape her regard for Paul. ‘My mother had a good saying: Look at your five fingers. All five are different for a reason. School wants to make you all the same…..'
……Her support instilled his faith in himself. When he got the idea, while waiting in line for a copy machine in college, to start his own copying business, he trusted it in the face of criticism from others. The company he opened in a storefront, named for his kinky red hair, later grew to the 1,200-store giant that was acquired in 2004 by FedEx……”

I will leave the last words to
Judith Warner, who writes a weekly column in the New York Times on modern parenting:

“There’s a sense that greater powers, profit-driven and amoral, are pulling the strings in our children’s lives. There’s a sense that those who should best protect us — our government and our doctors — are so corrupted that they can no longer do the job. There’s a sense that childhood has, in many ways, been denatured, that youth has been stolen, that the range of human acceptability has been narrowed for our kids to a point that it has become soul-crushingly inhuman.”

ADHD:All Posts.

Feb 19, 2013
Adult A.D.H.D. is open to faking and more so by medical students. In children, it was my experience that often parents would report symptoms in order to secure disability benefits.
Aug 14, 2012
Over the last ten years or so, I kept meeting friends in the U.S. whose children seemed to progress from one psychiatric diagnosis to another with frightening regularity, the most common being from ADHD to Bipolar.
Aug 03, 2012
It has long been held that there is no alternative treatment to ADHD! Stimulant in its various forms is the answer. In life nothing is easy or indeed straightforward.
Sep 18, 2011
“According to data obtained exclusively by Education Guardian under Freedom of Information legislation, there has been a 65% increase in spending on drugs to treat ADHD over the last four years.

Sep 23, 2011
First came ADHD. The use of stimulants benefits mainly teachers during school hours. Parents and doctors soon find a quick fix in antipsychotics, and for good measure the newer ones, believing that they have fewer side ...
Sep 20, 2011
Is the piano China's answer to the problem that is facing many parents in the west, i.e. ADHD? Could it be a novel substitute for Ritalin and other stimulants?
Oct 21, 2008
Results: Children with ADHD concentrated better after the walk in the park than after the downtown walk or the neighborhood walk. Effect sizes were substantial and comparable to those reported for recent formulations of ...
May 15, 2008
On April 21, 2008 A News Release came through: “Children with ADHD should get heart tests before treatment with stimulant drugs”
Jul 28, 2008
I have in my travels met other psychiatrists who often ask why there is such a discrepancy in the diagnosis of ADHD in the US and the rest of the world. WHY! Perhaps it is something they have in the diet.
Sep 26, 2011
Has everything got to be ADHD, Bipolar or psychosis. Especially ADHD for a 39 year old?! In this week's ... But why should the patient not have pheochromocytoma and ADHD and paranoid psychosis and a touch of bipolar.
Aug 31, 2012
Over the last ten years or so, I kept meeting friends in the U.S. whose children seemed to progress from one psychiatric diagnosis to another with frightening regularity, the most common being from ADHD to Bipolar.

Jul 24, 2008
So Sharon brought this boy to see him. It happened to be his first ADHD assessment. He came out to see me after an hour. He did not think the boy suffered from ADHD but every answer Sharon gave on Conners would point ...

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