Trend: Growing interest in (and questions around) brain training centers for kids with special needs

___ Parents pay thousands for ‘brain training’ to help kids with ADHD and autism. But does it work? (NBC News): “…As the number of children diagnosed with ADHD and autism surges in the U.S., according to federal data, and as parents become exasperated with treatments that don’t work or involve medications that carry the risk of side effects, neurotechnology industry analysts predict the demand for programs like these will only grow… Much of the growth in brain training is in apps and games that people use at home or in school, said Alvaro Fernandez, CEO of SharpBrains, a research firm that tracks the neurotechnology industry. The global market for direct-to-consumer technology grew from $475 million in 2012 to $1.9 billion last year, Fernandez said. Those numbers don’t include franchises like Brain Balance or LearningRx, which Fernandez says are more difficult to track financially. But these centers are now in most major U.S. cities. Brain Balance has 108 locations and said it brought in $51.3 million last year. LearningRx has 70 centers in the U.S. as well as 85 centers called BrainRx around the globe. The company declined to provide revenue numbers but says it hopes to add eight U.S. centers and 20 international centers next year… Why do some families see benefits from brain training programs while others don’t? Experts say there could be lots of reasons — all interventions, including medicine, affect children d...
Source: SharpBrains - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Cognitive Neuroscience Education & Lifelong Learning Technology adhd autism Brain Balance brain training brain training centers BrainRx Direct-to-Consumer LearningRx Neurotechnology Source Type: blogs

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People living with autism are sensitive to the social world and the environment in general. They could experience great difficulties in social situations, have anxieties, fears, phobias, or sensory sensitivities. On the other hand, they could be on good terms with technologies: social stories apps can navigate them in difficult situations, virtual and augmented reality can offer a safe space for them to exercise, and artificial intelligence helps in early detection. We scoured the ground carefully and hereby present you the intersections of autism and digital health. Raymond Babbitt’s heritage and the chronicles ...
Source: The Medical Futurist - Category: Information Technology Authors: Tags: Future of Medicine AI app AR artificial intelligence autism digital digital health digital technology games genetics health app health apps Innovation virtual reality VR Source Type: blogs
Conclusion: Fun seeking on the BAS and frustration intolerance should be considered as targets in prevention and intervention programs for IA among adolescents with ADHD.IntroductionThe negative effects of internet addiction (IA) have become a concern in the past decades. IA is characterized by persistent internet use despite negative consequences, loss of control, preoccupation with internet use, increasing amounts of time spent online, and withdrawal symptoms (1). Internet gaming disorders are listed in the “Conditions for Further Study” section in the Fifth Edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Men...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
Conclusions: Results suggest that the presentation of externalizing problem behavior and internalizing symptoms associated with GI problems differs between young children and older children with ASD. Therefore, behavior may have different relationships with GI symptoms at different ages, which may have implications for the treatment of and clinical approach to GI disturbances in ASD. Introduction Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and acti...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
Conclusions: Sleep patterns in children and adolescents were related to the psychiatric diagnosis of their parent(s). Future follow-up of these results may clarify the relations between early sleep differences and the risk of developing mood disorders in individuals at high familial risk.IntroductionSleep disturbances are core symptoms of mood disorders including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder (1). Additionally, sleep problems have been associated with more severe symptoms, greater functional impairment, and increased risk for relapse among individuals with mood disorders (2). Over 40% of children and youth...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
CASE: Sam is a 6-year-old boy with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who recently relocated and has an appointment with you, his new pediatric clinician, to establish care. He was previously followed by a psychiatrist for 2 years for additional diagnoses of insomnia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and intellectual disability. He has tried and (apparently) failed multiple psychotropic trials including stimulants, nonstimulants, mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics, and nonbenzodiazepine hypnotics. He has a delayed sleep onset and frequent night awakenings each night f...
Source: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics - Category: Child Development Tags: Challenging Case Source Type: research
Two extremely upsetting statistics came out not too long ago. Reports have found that not only is there a link between absenteeism in school and mental illness, but there is also a correlation between suspensions from schools and children who have mental or neurological health concerns. These include personality disorders, depression, ADHD, autism and spectrum disorders, and other mental health issues, both treated and untreated. This is a major concern. Rather than recognizing symptoms and reaching out to provide support to the students who need it most, those children are being thrown out of the very environment that wou...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: ADHD and ADD Caregivers Children and Teens Parenting Personal Personality Research Stigma Stress Student Therapist Students Success & Achievement Suicide Coping Skills defiant oppositional Discipline Emotional Disabilities Source Type: blogs
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism can look a lot alike. Children with either one can be very active and impulsive, and can have trouble focusing and interacting with other people. In fact, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two. But telling the difference is very important. In a study just published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers looked at about 1,500 children between the ages of 2 and 17 who had a current diagnosis of autism (as reported by their parents). They found that those who got an ADHD diagnosis before they got an autism diagnosis were diagnosed with autism an averag...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Children's Health Mental Health Source Type: news
Conclusion Given emerging evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction, particularly in the electron transport chain needed for cellular energy production, is an underlying pathophysiological mechanism for some varieties of ASD, clinicians should have a high index of suspicion for mitochondrial disease, especially when they encounter a patient with unusual neurological or constitutional symptoms. The prevalence of mitochondrial disease in ASD patients may be as high as five percent, which means that it is not the “zebra”[27] diagnosis that it might be in a non-ASD patient, where prevalence is about 0.01 percent.10 R...
Source: Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Anxiety Disorders Asperger's syndrome Autism Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Case Report Current Issue Intellectual Disability Neurologic Systems and Symptoms Pervasive Developmental Disorders ASD autism spectrum disorder dysauton Source Type: research
My dad's voice drifted gently through the cell phone, quieting the zip-zapping of my mind, "He was my only friend with Alzheimer's -- sort of my best friend. And now he's dead." Rain pattered outside the tall kitchen window next to me. I'd been chopping colorful vegetables for dinner, and my knife froze. Our family schedules, the child therapy, writing projects, and checklists dissolved for a moment, allowing me to hear my father who suffers with Alzheimer's. Sometimes his mind wanders and frets. He repeats himself. People dismiss his feelings. But lately I've found wisdom when I listen to him, so I inhaled. &quo...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
Introduction The muscular dystrophies (MD) are a group of genetically heterogeneous muscle diseases marked by progressive wasting and weakness of the skeletal and cardiac muscles1. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common and most severe form. It is an X-linked disorder affecting 1 in 5000 live male births2,3. DMD is caused by mutations in the DMD gene, which encodes the muscle fiber membrane protein dystrophin. Deficiency or complete absence of dystrophin makes muscle fibers sensitive to damage upon contraction, leading to plasma membrane leakage and muscle fiber degeneration, which eventually leads to progres...
Source: PLOS Currents Muscular Dystrophy - Category: Neurology Authors: Source Type: research
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