This Friday and Saturday (14th/15th Sept) there’s a festival celebrating neurodiversity in the arts in Kingston upon Thames – Kingsgate Church (above the Kings Tun) 161A Clarence St, Kingston KT1 1QT (click for map).
It starts at 10 a.m. on both days but goes on until ‘late’. That’s probably why it is on a Friday and Saturday and not Sunday! However, until the watershed it is definitely child friendly. Over the two days there’ll be:
Fine art exhibition
Short film screenings
Vegetarian & Vegan Café
There may even be dancing. And, as well as all this, the cost of entry is… …nothing! yes, free, so you can visit more than once (or stay the whole time). If you’d like to contribute something, they are still looking for volunteer helpers on the day.
More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2133236196912836/ and http://www.adhdkingston.org.uk/events.html and http://www.adhdkingston.org.uk/assets/shout-out-to-fastminds-arts-festival.pdf
Go along and have fun – and perhaps someone could send a report about afterwards to us here at AADD Towers so we can feature it in the blog.
Too far away to get to it? The organisers (contacts in the links above) would be delighted to tell you how they did it to inspire people to create their own local festival of the Neurodiverse.
By popular demand, the central London group is trying out two meetings a month. The old schedule of the first Tuesday will carry on but there will now be a meeting on the Third Thursday of the month. Same time, 7 – 9 pm, same place, Costa Coffee Argyl St by Oxford Circus but on the Third Thursday of each month.
The first of the new meetings will be on Thursday the 16th of April 2015 (this coming Thusday, at time of writing).
More details: click here.
Come along! The more the merrier!
UKAAN is pleased to announce the publication of the
‘Handbook of ADHD in Adults’
Written by the UK Adult ADHD Network
The Handbook is now available to order from Spinger Healthcare and from Amazon, on 30th September. Please see links below.
If you have any problems obtaining a copy, please let me know.
Administrator, UKAAN, www.UKAAN.org
We know little more than this…
“New Malden Adult ADHD Support Group starts Thursday 3rd October 10-12.30pm @ New Malden Baptist Church,1a Westbury Road,New Malden,Surrey,KT3 5BE.
Come along for a coffee and an informal chat and meet like minded people.”
…but if you are on Facebook you can enquire further here:
The link below leads to an interesting article on ethics in the British Medical Journal. The gist of it is that doctors have a duty to act professionally towards their patients, even if they dislike or have negative moral feelings towards their patients. It is good that the BMJ should mention this, but the article starts from the point of view that the doctor has actually met the patient (which is completely understandable). Here at AADD UK we have lost count of the number complaints we have had about doctors and other medical staff acting unprofessionally even without ever having met the patient.
By unprofessional we mean, of course, completely ignoring the evidence, text books, guidelines etc and judging anyone that mentions adult ADHD to be not worthy of their (the doctors’) time. We recently had word of a person who had been diagnosed with ADHD as an adult in another country in Europe. She moved to the UK (we won’t mention which health authority in south-west London in particular!) and asked her GP to refer her for continued treatment of her ADHD. The GP was very helpful and wrote a referral letter right away. All she received from the specialist was a letter claiming that they do not treat adult ADHD in that area. Since we have met several people in that catchment area we at AADD UK know for a fact that they do treat adults with ADHD (quite apart from the NICE guidelines and so on).
A presenter on the BBC’s flagship “Today Programme” has just blithely dismissed ADHD as being the fault of teachers that can’t keep discipline.
We would like to point out to the BBC that this was not presented with any evidence whatever and is quite simply ‘journalism’ of a very poor standard. There is a huge amount of scientific evidence for ADHD, a lot mentioned on this blog in previous posts. But, worse than just poor journalism, the effect that such comments on a supposedly serious programme have is to foster an opinion that there is no such thing as ADHD and thus will lead to the harassment and bullying of people that suffer it. For shame ‘Today’.
We await a response.
A very long running study, 33 years and still going, has been looking at various aspects of how ADHD affects people across life. A new paper in Pediatrics (out now on-line and in the June paper edition) has found that children with ADHD in childhood are twice as likely to be obese as the non ADHD population in later life, even if the ADHD appears to be in remission.
It is a very solid study since it has been going for so long so can be sure of accurate records (some studies rely on people’s memories which is okay as far as it goes, but aren’t nearly as reliable as having contemporary records). One point to note is that, even in a very long running study, because two things correlate, here ADHD and obesity, cause and effect is not necessarily proven. Cause has to precede effect, so obesity in middle age can’t have caused childhood ADHD, but the ADHD may not have caused the obesity, there may be a common cause. This is discussed in a very digestible form for the non-scientist in this article in the Scientific American.
However, whatever the cause, it is yet another burden for those afflicted. Obesity, in common with ADHD is a problem that is often regarded by the general public and even members of the medical profession as a moral failing in the sufferer rather than a medical problem to be treated.
To people with a long-standing knowledge of ADHD the study isn’t entirely surprising. One might think that people with ADHD in remission wouldn’t suffer the side effects, but ADHD used to be considered as ‘just’ hyperactivity and people simply slow down as they get older. The human dynamo nature of hyperactive children may drop off, but there is no reason to suppose the other aspects just go away on their own. Study after study has shown that people with ADHD fare worse in all sorts of measures compared to the general population.
Something to watch out for in discussions of the paper is that the study was only done on boys, so when a headline says that ADHD is linked to obesity in men, it is pretty likely that it is linked to obesity in women too, just that the study only followed boys. 33 years ago ADHD and its various forms was barely recognised in girls (and even in boys it was fairly new and was considered to be mainly hyperactivity).
A very interesting paper in The Harvard Review of Psychiatry looks at the effect methylphenidate has on the brain. This is a link to the original article (the abstract is free).
There is a more layman friendly description in ScienceDaily. (And before anyone writes in, yes, we are aware that the word ‘normalises’ is spelled differently on either side of the Atlantic.)
On line course on ADHD:
Reviews, thoughts, or details of other courses gratefully received.
“ADHD Persists in Adulthood, Ups Mental Illness, Suicide Risk”
Here is an interesting approach to non-drug therapy for adult ADHD. There is an associated book which we’ll review if/when we get a review copy (the list price is over £17 so unless you are very flush we wouldn’t recommend buying without the recommendation of someone who has read it or having had a good look at it yourself).
Here is the book (but read the blog first – it is free!)
We’ll let the organisers of the Cambridge Science Festival speak for themselves:
Re: Cambridge Science Festival promotion
I am writing in the hope of promoting the 2013 Cambridge Science Festival on your website’s event page.
The Festival takes place 11 – 24 March 2013, and bookings for events are now open.
Please see below for information on our talk that may be of particular interest to you:
5.30pm – 7pm, 14 March
Focusing on ADHD
Babbage Lecture Theatre, New Museums Site,
Supported by The Wellcome Trust and the
British Association of Psychopharmacology
Poor concentration, hyperactivity and impulsivity
are common in people with ADHD. These
symptoms may be distressing and cause difficulties
in daily life, but what causes them? How can they
best be treated? This Brain Awareness Week
discussion panel includes Professor Barbara Sahakian,
Dr Ulrich Müller and Dr Sam Chamberlain.
Event: 27, Map: 4, Talk, Ages 14+, Pre book*
With over two hundred events for all ages, the Festival aims to give everyone the opportunity to discover, question and take part in scientific activity at the University of Cambridge and partner organisations. Over the two week period, guests will be able to explore research that is leading the world at events that discuss science and its place in our lives – covering subjects from astronomy to zoology, with hands-on experiments and talks from leading researchers and celebrities.
Highlights this year include: Professor John Gurdon, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine; science comedian Robin Ince; author Simon Mayo; and up-and-coming BBC Science presenter Helen Czerski. We’re also delighted to welcome Benedict Cumberbatch as our Guest Director, whose note on the festival and its importance can be found in the programme and on our website.
Our family open days are on 16, 17 and 23 March, and there are hundreds of activities running throughout the entire Festival fortnight. With so much going on, there really is something for everyone and we hope you really enjoy it: we invite you to challenge your mind, try something new and join us on a journey of discovery and excitement.
Here are some details of a group that has just started on the Isle of Wight:
The regular central London meeting meets on the first Tuesday of the month. This means that the next one will be on January the First 2013. We still plan to hold the meeting, same time, same place, so please feel free to come along. More details here.
New(ish) article on WebMD:
“Dec. 10 2012 — Teens diagnosed with ADHD are likely to have an array of issues as adults, including problems with physical and mental health, work, and finances, according to new research.”
A very interesting piece of research the ADHD skeptics should be aware of (although we would like to point out that the vast majority of people with ADHD are not and have never been involved in crime!): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20414822
A very interesting study from the Wellcome Trust counteracts some of the negative things the anti-ADHD brigade comes out with. Excerpt below, click link for full article:
15 October 2012
Children living with ADHD tend to feel they benefit from medication to treat the condition and do not think the medication turns them into ‘robots’, according to a report published today. In fact, they report that medication helps them to control their behaviour and make better decisions. The study, which gives a voice to the children themselves, provides valuable insights into their experiences and the stigma they face.
The ADHD VOICES – Voices on Identity, Childhood, Ethics and Stimulants – study has worked with 151 families in the UK and the USA to examine ethical and societal issues surrounding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly the use of treatments such as methylphenidate (Ritalin). The project has been led by biomedical ethicist Dr Ilina Singh from King’s College London and was funded by the Wellcome Trust. Full article here.
This study, from a reputable source, suggests one factor in causing ADHD may be mercury poisoning in the womb, which can be caused by eating too much of certain types of fish.
Those of you who know Professor Nutt may like to listen to this recent BBC programme:
Here’s a nice article from “Fabulous” (a magazine that comes with the Sun on Sunday), Francesca is a stalwart of the Brighton adult ADHD group.
Procrastination is more or less a way of life to people with ADHD, especially those with the inattentive sort, so this programme may be of interest (but we’d be surprised if they mention ADHD – let’s see)…
We had a recent enquiry as to whether medication for ADHD has an effect on heart rate and blood pressure. Intuitively one would think that the stimulant medications, at least, would raise them, and many people are of this opinion, however the research does not always support this idea.
Here is a paper on the subject by researchers at St Mary’s Hospital, London, that suggests there is harldy any effect at all:
You may like this video:
There have been reports of healthcare being rationed in various media. We note, however that the Government has said this is wrong.
From today’s news:
Health minister Simon Burns described such practices as “unacceptable”.
“If local health bodies stop patients from having treatments on the basis of cost alone, we will take action against them.”
Full story here:
The article has a space for readers to write in their own experiences. Please could anyone with ADHD (or suspected ADHD) who has had difficulty or specifically is now having trouble getting a referral write in. It could make a huge difference. No matter that the article doesn’t mention any mental health issues, they are equally valid when it comes to needing treatment and this needs to be said.
Do you ever need someone to e-mail you to remind you of something but have trouble finding someone reliable enough to do it at the right time, or at all?
A web service www.followupthen.com will do it for you. There are several ways to set up reminders, including by e-mail, and you can copy people in. Have a go and let us know what you think, or even let us know your own top tip.
ADHD in the news, but maybe not in the best way…
Our Bristol support group was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Inside Health, part of the ‘Medical Matters’ strand.
Probably nothing vintage students of ADHD won’t already know, but a good introduction to adult ADHD and very good for getting the word out.
And you should be able to find the podcast version here (useful if you want to listen on MP3 player or to keep on your computer and it might be better for people outside the UK.)
Now, does anyone know who we need ot speak to at the BBC to put a link to us on their relevant page?