Mar 08, 2012
Immaturity Mistaken for ADHD
By Jon Barron on 09/11/2010
Could your child’s birthday be to blame for his ADHD diagnosis? Maybe, especially if he’s one of the youngest students in the class.
In soon-to-be published research in the Journal of Health Economics, health economist Todd Elder, PhD, of Michigan State University, East Lansing, says as many as 1 million children in the U.S. may have been misdiagnosed with ADHD, simply because of their age and maturity level.
That ought to be terrifying news, when you consider that the "cure" for ADHD is one of the most commonly overprescribed drugs in America — Methylphenidate, the generic name for a group of drugs that includes Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate CD and others. About 29 million prescriptions were written last year in the United States for Ritalin and similar drugs to treat attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, 23 million of them for children.
While kids around the country are popping them like candy, few parents know the very real risks associated with these psychotropic medications such as:
A 2005 study showed that Ritalin and other stimulant drugs given to children might increase their risk of cancer later in life.
In a 70-week study, preschoolers on Ritalin, grew about half an inch less and gained about 2 pounds less than expected.
A University of Buffalo study proved that Ritalin has the potential for causing long-lasting changes in brain cell structure and function.
Hostility, aggression, anxiety, depression, and paranoia and suicide are potential side effects of Ritalin.