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ADHD: A Patient’s Perspective

Written by Greg Buchanan   
Friday, 01 September 2006 00:00
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This article looks at Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD). As there is an increasing tendency for drugs to be prescribed to our children and lately adults for the treatment of this condition, it is timely to provide some information from an upper cervical chiropractic perspective.

I recently watched a tv news show in which a doctor was being interviewed about Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ ADHD). Apart from the increasing numbers of children being diagnosed with these disorders, the doctor claimed that around 4% of the US adult population was also suffering from the disorder. Ah! I thought here we go—yet another market opportunity opens up for pharmaceutical companies. It made me think about current drug advertising. Some of the current drug advertisements make you feel like you are missing out on something and that you should run straight to your doctor to get a prescription! Isn’t it amazing to think that a product that is supposed to help sufferers of diseases is peddled as if it was the latest consumer ‘got-to-have!’? Such are the dynamics of a global multi-billion-dollar drug industry.

ADD a Patients PerspectiveMercola and Droege reported in 2004 that “well over 1 million American children are on drugs for ADHD” and “that drugs for attention disorders bring in $2.2 billion a year” despite evidence that “the effect of treatment beyond four weeks has not been demonstrated. In other words, no one knows what the long-term effects will be.” Mercola and Droege further state that “Although it is estimated that more than 8 million adults in the United States have ADHD, the disorder is typically thought of as something that is outgrown during adolescence. Why, then, would adults need these drugs? Perhaps it has something to do with one pharmaceutical executive’s statement in a Reuters interview, ‘The adult market is three times the size of the children’s market. The market is ripe and is moving in the right direction.’”

A newspaper article recently reported the case of a woman who was incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ADHD and subsequently prescribed medications. According to the article, she “suffered a drug induced psychosis from the range of medications which included Prozac and dexamphetamine.” Additionally, she was told that her 7-year-old son had ADHD, which turned out to be yet another misdiagnosis. The article goes on to say that “doctors are increasingly prescribing drugs to treat an array of conditions including ADHD” and “despite ongoing education campaigns and research into ADHD, debate about the prevalence and treatment of the condition continues.” Further, a report in the lower house of the West Australian parliament “estimated 11,500 children in that state— some as young as two were prescribed psychostimulant drugs, mainly dexamphetamine, for ADHD.” Perhaps even more disturbing is that a survey of parents “found 11 percent thought their child was suffering from the symptoms of ADHD.” The article concludes with figures showing that prescriptions for dexamphetamine (the top-selling ADHD drug) rose from 46,000 in 1994 to 246,000 in 2004 in Australia. Sadly, this trend is increasing.

ADD a Patients PerspectiveAs addressed in a previous article, Dr. Fernandez-Noda’s assertion and findings that Parkinson’s and other diseases (Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy) may well be a consequence of a reduction of oxygenated blood flow to the dopamine producing cells of the brain and compression of the brachial plexus of nerves; the assumption being that the restoration of correct blood flow and nerve impulse amplitude may well have a positive effect on individuals’ health and go some way towards reversing this condition.