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Dr. Jeffery G. Beavers, DC


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Long-Term Ritalin Use May Change Brain

The December 2003 issue of Biological Psychiatry reports on three animal studies that show long-term use of Ritalin may cause negative changes in brain response and behavior.

Ritalin is the drug of choice for the treatment of the dubious condition known as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

The first of the three studies found that low doses of Ritalin in rats caused changes in brain cells that made them more sensitive to the effects of cocaine (Ritalin and cocaine are similar in structure and action). The second study found that pre-adolescent rats given Ritalin increased behaviors that could indicate depression once they reached adulthood.

The final study found that adult rats given Ritalin as pre-adolescents were more sensitive to stressful situations and less responsive to natural rewards, such as those derived from sugar and sex. They also showed increased anxiety behaviors and elevated blood levels of stress hormones.

Dr. Daniel L. Coury of Columbus Childrens' Hospital in Columbus, Ohio says that children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a higher risk for serious injury. The researchers reviewed 8 years of injury data on more than 61,000 children ages 3 to 17 and found that those with ADHD were nearly 80% more likely to be involved in a serious accident resulting in hospitalization for trauma.

While the debate over the disorder`s epidemic status rages, some long-term data on whether the drugs are actually helping ADHD children, however, have begun to trickle in. A study by William Fankenberger and Christine Cannon at the Human Development Center at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire published in 1999 found that 13 ADHD children on medication performed progressively worse over 4 years on standardized tests when compared with a group of 13 normal children with similar IQs and other characteristics.

EVERYONE HAS ADD Getting your body to function at its maximum potential, is the best way to express your true health and function.

Children with ADHD and coordination problems were more than twice as likely to have a mother who smoked during gestation, compared with children who did not have ADHD. Many subjects with ADHD also experienced language problems (65% compared to 16% of children without the disorder). The study evaluated 113 6-year olds, including 62 who had been diagnosed with ADHD plus deficits in motor control and perception.

Source: Landgren M, Kjellman B, Gillberg C. Attention deficit disorder with developmental coordination disorders. Arch Dis Child 1998; 79(3):207-12 / Medline ID: 99092173

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological and Therapeutics 1989; 12:353-363. In a study done by J. Martin Giesen PHD., David B Center, PHD., and Robert A. Leach, DC., it was stated that,"…the majority of the children in this study did, in fact, improve under specific chiropractic care. The results… suggest that chiropractic manipulation has the potential to become an important non-drug intervention for children with hyperactivity.

What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

ADHD is a disorder characterized by three behaviors:


You may see one or more of these behaviors. It is not necessary to have all three to have ADHD: e.g., one does not have to be hyperactive. http://www.kidsource.com/LDA/adhd.html RITALIN RESEARCH

Did you know that if Thomas Edison were alive today he would have most likely been labeled as having ADD? At age eleven he was taken out of school because his teachers considered him difficult and he "could not be taught." If that did happen today in our "treat the symptom" world, doctors would have prescribed Ritalin for him. Ritalin is a drug used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder. Doctors prescribe it to adults and children alike. Studies find that Ritalin causes a high in the brain similar to cocaine. Under the Federal Controlled Substance Act, Ritalin is listed as a "Schedule II " controlled substance along with cocaine, methadone, opium, morphine and amphetamines.
Ritalin has many side effects including: stunting of growth, depression, insomnia, nervousness, skin rash, anorexia, nausea, dizziness, headaches, abdominal pain, blood pressure and pulse changes and Tourette`s Syndrome (a permanent irreversible condition characterized by body tics, spasms, screaming, saying Obscenities and barking sounds). If Thomas Edison were treated with Ritalin, do you think he would have been able to invent anything?

Source: Today`s Chiropractic, March/April 1997, by Eric H. Plasker, D.C. Researchers Locate Key Area of the Brain Impacted by ADHD; Use New MRI Technique to Measure Ritalin`s Effect

The McLean study involved six healthy boys with no history of ADHD or psychiatric disorders, and 11 boys diagnosed with ADHD according to the standard DSM-IV criteria. All 17 boys also were given a computer test that uses an infrared motion analysis system to objectively measure activity, movement and attention. Six of the 11 boys…were also confirmed to be hyperactive by the objective computer test.

Martin Teicher, MD, PhD. said, "It (this study) also shows that Ritalin may not be effective for all children diagnosed with ADHD using only DSM-IV criteria."

According to Peter R. Breggin, M.D., director of the international Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology and associate faculty at The Johns Hopkins University Department of Counseling, "Ritalin does not correct biochemical imbalances - it causes them." Source: The Chiropractic Journal - February 2000

Controversy surrounds the medical treatment, indeed the very existence, of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Psychiatrist Peter Breggin wrote, "Hyperactivity is the most frequent justification for drugging children. The difficult-to-control male child is certainly not a new phenomenon, but attempts to give him a medical diagnosis are the product of modern psychology and psychiatry. At first psychiatrists called hyperactivity a brain disease. When no brain disease could be found, they changed it to `minimal brain disease` (MBD). When no minimal brain disease could be found the profession transformed the concept into `minimal brain dysfunction.` When no minimal brain dysfunction could be demonstrated, the label became attention deficit disorder. Now it`s just assumed to be a real disease, regardless of the failure to prove it so. Biochemical imbalance is the code word, but there`s no more evidence for that than there is for actual brain disease." [1]
The use of psychotropic drugs in children has exploded in recent years [2]. The number of prescriptions written for methylphenidate (Ritalin) has increased by a factor of five since 1991. The production of Adderall and Dexedrine, also used to treat ADHD, has risen 2,000% in nine years. The increased use of these drugs in the U.S. is at variance with the rest of the world. According to the U.N., the U.S. produces and consumes 85% of the world`s production of methylphenidate. [3]
The use of Class II controlled substances to alter the behavior of children is disconcerting to many parents and chiropractors, as is the issue of whether ADD/ADHD can be properly considered a disease.
While chiropractors do not "treat" ADD/ADHD, the effects of chiropractic care on children diagnosed with learning disorders and hyperactivity have been described in a growing body of scholarly publications.
A study published in 1975, compared chiropractic care with drug treatment in children with learning and behavioral impairments due to neurological dysfunction. It was reported that chiropractic care "was more effective for the wide range of symptoms common in the neurological dysfunction syndrome in which thirteen symptom or problem areas were considered." The author also reported that chiropractic care was 24% more effective than commonly used medications. [4]
Giesen at al conducted a study involving seven subjects. All subjects were of school age and had clinical findings evidencing vertebral subluxation complex. Following chiropractic care, 57% showed an improvement in chiropractic radiographic findings; 71.4% showed a reduction in overt behavior activity; 57% showed improvement in level of autonomic activity, and 57% showed improvement in parental ratings of hyperactivity. [5]
In addition to these small studies, case reports have been published which describe improvement of objective and subjective findings in children with ADD/ADHD and related disorders. [6-14]
More research exploring the relationship of subluxation correction to brain function is needed. Yet, the dramatic changes that have been reported in children medically diagnosed with ADD/ADHD following chiropractic care must not be ignored.
Every child with a vertebral subluxation needs chiropractic care, regardless of whether or not symptoms are present. By correcting nerve interference, function is improved, with greater expression of human potential. Many report terminating drug therapy, and seeing the personality, will, and soul of the child unfolding.
As Maria Montessori wrote, "It is easy to substitute our will for that of the child by means of suggestion or coercion; but when we have done this we have robbed him of his greatest right, the right to construct his own personality." [1]
1. Breggin PR: "Toxic Psychiatry." St. Martin`s Press. New York. 1991. Chapters 12 and 13.
2. Zito JM, Safer DJ, dosReis S, et al: "Trends in the prescribing of psychotropic medications to preschoolers." JAMA 2000;283:1025.
3. Statistics confirm rise in childhood ADHD and medication use. http://www.education-world.com
4. Walton EV: "The effects of chiropractic treatment on students with learning and behavioral impairments due to neurological dysfunction." International Review of Chiropractic 1975;29:4-5:24-26.
5. Giesen JM, Center DB, Leach RA: "An evaluation of chiropractic manipulation as a treatment for hyperactivity in children." JMPT 1989; 12:353-363.
6. Arme J: "Effects of biomechanical insult correction on attention deficit disorder." Journal of Chiropractic Case Reports, 1993:1(1).
7. Hospers LA: "EEG and CEEG studies before and after upper cervical or SOT category 2 adjustment in children after head trauma, in epilepsy, and in `hyperactivity.`" Proceedings of the National Conference on Chiropractic and Pediatrics (ICA) 1992;84-139.
8. Barnes TA: "A multifaceted approach to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a case report." International Review of Chiropractic Jan/Feb 1995; pp. 41-43.
9. Phillips CJ: "Case study: the effect of utilizing spinal manipulation and craniosacral therapy as the treatment approach for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder." Proceedings of the National Conference on Chiropractic and Pediatrics (ICA), 1991:57-74.
10. Langley C: "Epileptic seizures, Nocturnal enuresis, ADD." Chiropractic Pediatrics April 1995, Vol. 1, No. 1.
11. Thomas MD, Wood J: "Upper cervical adjustments may improve mental function." J Man Med 1992;6:215.
12. Araghi HG: "Oral apraxia: a case study in chiropractic in chiropractic management." Proceedings of the National Conference on Chiropractic and Pediatrics (ICA), 1994, beginning p. 34.
13. Manuelle JD, Fysch PA: "Acquired verbal aphasia in a seven-year-old female: case report." J Clin Chiropr Ped 1996;1:89-.
14. Peet JB: "Adjusting the hyperactive/ADD pediatric patient." Chiro Pediatr 1997;2(4):12

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