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ADHD in Children Health Center

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Alternative Treatments

What about behavioral interventions for kids with ADHD?

Research has shown that children as young as preschool-age can benefit from behavior programs. Programs that involve parents have the best success.

Can going to the chiropractor help ADHD?

Some chiropractors believe that chiropractic medicine can treat ADHD. But no research has been done to see if it works. Many ADHD doctors do not support it.

One theory is that an imbalance in muscle tone causes an imbalance in brain activity. According to this theory, when chiropractors adjust the ADHD patient's spine, balance is restored in the brain. The children are also exposed to different light and sound frequencies.

Applied kinesiology, or neural organization technique, is another theory some chiropractors use with people who have ADHD. It's based on the thought that the bones of the skull can become misaligned, causing unequal pressure on different parts of the brain. They say this causes the brain to work improperly.

To treat it, the chiropractor does adjustments that put the skull bones back to their proper position. But most doctors believe the bones of the skull do not move, so they cannot be misaligned.

Are neurofeedback and working memory training effective alternative treatments for ADHD?

Neurofeedback teaches a person with ADHD how to change brain waves to focus better. Scientists can study these to look for patterns. There are four waves the brain makes: alpha (medium), beta (fast), theta (slow), and delta (deep sleep).

Neurofeedback is based on findings that people with ADHD have more theta waves than other people. They also have fewer beta waves. Supporters believe that training the brain to increase the fast beta waves and decrease the slow theta waves can lower ADHD symptoms.

To train them, a medical professional watches the brain waves of the person with ADHD. When their brainwaves reach the right frequency, the health professional lets them know. Through training and practice, they can ultimately learn how to change brain waves on their own.

While there has been some promising research in this area, more research is needed to see how well neurofeedback works on ADHD symptoms. A big drawback is the high cost of the treatment.

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