Children who start school a year early more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, study shows

Could a child's birthday put them at risk for an ADHD misdiagnosis? The answer appears to be yes, at least among children born in August who start school in states with a Sept. 1 cutoff enrollment date, according to a new study led by Harvard Medical School researchers. The findings, published Nov. 28 in The New England Journal of Medicine, show that children born in August in those states are 30 percent more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis, compared with their slightly older peers enrolled in the same grade. The rate of ADHD diagnoses among children has risen dramatically over the past 20 years. In 2016 alone, more than 5 percent of U.S. children were being actively treated with medication for ADHD. Experts believe the rise is fueled by a combination of factors, including a greater recognition of the...

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Fearing fear itself

Once parents felt children needed a little fear to grow up well. Today they are desperately protective. What went wrong? How much fear, anxiety and risk can children handle? Until the late 19th century, most people thought that the answer was quite a lot. Aristotle himself said that education might be defined as teaching us to fear aright. It was widely believed that a sense of fear made a positive contribution to the formation of a child's character. That fear was regarded as essential for the education of children was spelled out by the Church Missionary Society in 1819, when it stated that 'it is necessary, that children fear the Schoolmasters'. Children's experience of fear was sometimes portrayed as essential for developing their powers of imagination and creativity. For example in 1848, the Christian Register advised parents that a 'child...

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SOTT FOCUS: The Health & Wellness Show: Chronic pain: Is it all in your head?

Do you have low back pain? Do your joints ache? Do you experience the persistent pins and needles feeling of neuropathy? Or maybe you have fibromyalgia and hurt all over? If you do, you're one of the 39 million Americans who suffer from persistent pain. Being on the pain train is bad enough without the added insult of being told that it's 'all in your head'. But what if it is -- at least partly? There are some types of pain that are obviously linked to an actual physical insult and other types that cannot be traced to an easily identifiable medical condition. Research is now showing us that some pain really is in the brain. Join us for this episode of The Health and Wellness Show where we'll discuss different types of pain and their co-factors, treatment modalities, the...

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Ian Stevenson: Birthmarks and birth defects corresponding to wounds on deceased persons

Abstract Almost nothing is known about why pigmented birthmarks (moles or nevi) occur in particular locations of the skin. The causes of most birth defects are also unknown. About 35% of children who claim to remember previous lives have birthmarks and/or birth defects that they (or adult informants) attribute to wounds on a person whose life the child remembers. The cases of 210 such children have been investigated. The birthmarks were usually areas of hairless, puckered skin; some were areas of little or no pigmentation (hypopigmented macules); others were areas of increased pigmentation (hyperpigmented nevi). The birth defects were nearly always of rare types. In cases in which a deceased person was identified the details of whose life unmistakably matched the child's statements, a close correspondence was nearly always found between the birthmarks and/or birth defects on the child and...

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How does our diet affect circadian rhythms?

Over the past hundreds-to-thousands of years, peoples around the world have thrived on a wide variety of diets. Food has changed a lot seasonally, geographically, etc. What hasn't changed? The 24-hour light/dark cycle to which our circadian rhythms are constantly entrained. Circadian "Phase" Shifts In general, your circadian phase is based on the 24 hour day, roughly 12 hours in the light, 12 hours in the dark (varies seasonally and geographically). Many hormonal and biochemical effects are influenced by this. Light, darkness, and food are what, in part, determines your circadian phase. ...

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What’s in a name? The surprising ways your name affects your life

From dating to job prospects, a name has remarkable power over the path of its owner's life. I was at a party for Bastille Day in Paris a few years back, and we were leaning over the balcony to watch the fireworks. A cute French girl sat next to me, but after a few flirty glances the moment was entirely ruined with the most basic of interactions: "What's your name?" she asked in French. "Cody," I said. That was it. We were done. "Co-zee?" she said, sounding out the entirely foreign name, looking more disgruntled with each try. "Col-bee?" "Cot-ee?" ...

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Immune system-boosting nutrients we’re in more need of during fall and winter

During the darker and colder months of fall and winter, it is tempting to hunker down in our warm homes with big blankets and comfort food. Who doesn't want to cozy up with a big cup of hot tea, comfy slippers, and a good book? Hibernating works for bears, bees, and bats, but unfortunately, is not ideal for humans. We require sunlight, year-round physical activity, and a steady supply of seasonal nutrients. Fall and winter bring with them many joys (no more mosquitoes! the holidays are coming!), but they also bring with them conditions that make staying healthy a bit trickier. For many of us, the shorter, colder days of fall and winter mean less sunlight exposure, less exercise, and less access to fresh produce. We tend to get sick more often during fall and winter, but there are things...

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Not in front of the kids: Children can detect their parents’ emotional suppression

"Not in front of the kids." It's an age-old plea for parents to avoid showing conflict and strong negative emotions around their children. But new research from a Washington State University scientist disagrees, showing that it's better to express negative emotions in a healthy way than to tamp them down. After people suppress compassionate feelings, they lose a bit of their commitment to morality. Sara Waters, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development on the WSU Vancouver campus, and co-authors from the University of California, Berkley and the University of California, San Francisco, write about their findings in the journal Emotion. "We wanted to look at how we suppress emotions and how that changes the way parents and kids interact," Waters said. "Kids pick up on suppression, but it's something a lot of parents think is a good...

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Muscle tension caused by trapped emotions

Your body is a map and storage house of every experience you have ever had. So many of us carry repressed and trapped emotions within multiple areas of our bodies, without even knowing it. In fact, we can go for years, even decades, completely oblivious to the blocked energy our muscles are holding on to. This repressed energy is responsible for countless ailments and chronic health conditions that cause us great suffering. The fact is that your body doesn't forget. Your body is the most honest and obvious way to access trapped feelings and even traumatic memories. No matter how much you try to ignore, intellectualize or suppress how you feel, your body knows the truth. If you are struggling with chronic tension in your neck, shoulders, back, thighs, legs, or any other area of your body, this article may...

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Cancer treatments linked to cognitive decline and significant DNA damage

Cancer treatments can lead to declines in cognitive function a few later, research suggests. A study published in the journal Cancer looked at a cohort of 94 women who had undergone radiation treatments and chemotherapy for breast cancer between three and six years earlier, and found significant damage to their DNA, including to the repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromosome, known as telomeres. In one sense, this finding was not surprising. Standard cancer treatments work by damaging the DNA of tumour cells, and collateral damage to normal cells is often unavoidable. Reduced telomere activity and loss of DNA vigour are also markers of biological ageing. ...

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