Coherence training in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: cognitive functions and behavioral changes.
ABSTRACT Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most prevalent behavioral diagnosis in children, with an estimated 500 000 children affected in the United Kingdom alone. The need for an appropriate and effective intervention for children with ADHD is a growing concern for educators and childcare agencies. This randomized controlled clinical trial evaluated the impact of the HeartMath self-regulation skills and coherence training program (Institute of HeartMath, Boulder Creek, California) on a population of 38 children with ADHD in academic year groups 6, 7, and 8. Learning of the skills was supported with heart rhythm coherence monitoring and feedback technology designed to facilitate self-induced shifts in cardiac coherence. The cognitive drug research system was used to assess cognitive functioning as the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcome measures assessed teacher and student reposted changes in behavior. Participants demonstrated significant improvements in various aspects of cognitive functioning such as delayed word recall, immediate word recall, word recognition, and episodic secondary memory. Significant improvements in behavior were also found. The results suggest that the intervention offers a physiologically based program to improve cognitive functioning in children with ADHD and improve behaviors that is appropriate to implement in a school environment.
SourceAvailable from: Rollin Mccraty[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The ability to alter one's emotional responses is central to overall well-being and to effectively meeting the demands of life. One of the chief symptoms of events such as trauma, that overwhelm our capacities to successfully handle and adapt to them, is a shift in our internal baseline reference such that there ensues a repetitive activation of the traumatic event. This can result in high vigilance and over-sensitivity to environmental signals which are reflected in inappropriate emotional responses and autonomic nervous system dynamics. In this article we discuss the perspective that one's ability to self-regulate the quality of feeling and emotion of one's moment-to-moment experience is intimately tied to our physiology, and the reciprocal interactions among physiological, cognitive, and emotional systems. These interactions form the basis of information processing networks in which communication between systems occurs through the generation and transmission of rhythms and patterns of activity. Our discussion emphasizes the communication pathways between the heart and brain, as well as how these are related to cognitive and emotional function and self-regulatory capacity. We discuss the hypothesis that self-induced positive emotions increase the coherence in bodily processes, which is reflected in the pattern of the heart's rhythm. This shift in the heart rhythm in turn plays an important role in facilitating higher cognitive functions, creating emotional stability and facilitating states of calm. Over time, this establishes a new inner-baseline reference, a type of implicit memory that organizes perception, feelings, and behavior. Without establishing a new baseline reference, people are at risk of getting "stuck" in familiar, yet unhealthy emotional and behavioral patterns and living their lives through the automatic filters of past familiar or traumatic experience.Frontiers in Psychology 09/2014; 5:1090. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01090 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective Behavioral interventions are recommended as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatments. However, a recent meta-analysis found no effects on core ADHD symptoms when raters were probably blind to treatment allocation. The present analysis is extended to a broader range of child and parent outcomes. Method A systematic search in PubMed, Ovid, Web of Knowledge, ERIC, and CINAHAL databases (up to February 5, 2013) identified published randomized controlled trials measuring a range of patient and parent outcomes for children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD (or who met validated cutoffs on rating scales). Results Thirty-two of 2,057 nonduplicate screened records were analyzed. For assessments made by individuals closest to the treatment setting (usually unblinded), there were significant improvements in parenting quality (standardized mean difference [SMD] for positive parenting 0.68; SMD for negative parenting 0.57), parenting self-concept (SMD 0.37), and child ADHD (SMD 0.35), conduct problems (SMD 0.26), social skills (SMD 0.47), and academic performance (SMD 0.28). With probably blinded assessments, significant effects persisted for parenting (SMD for positive parenting 0.63; SMD for negative parenting 0.43) and conduct problems (SMD 0.31). Conclusion In contrast to the lack of blinded evidence of ADHD symptom decrease, behavioral interventions have positive effects on a range of other outcomes when used with patients with ADHD. There is blinded evidence that they improve parenting and decrease childhood conduct problems. These effects also may feed through into a more positive parenting self-concept but not improved parent mental well-being. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 2014;16(x):xx–xx. Key Words: ADHD, parenting, intervention, conductJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 06/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jaac.2014.05.013 · 6.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common single gene cause of intellectual disability and it is characterized by a CGG expansion of more than 200 repeats in the FMR1 gene, leading to methylation of the promoter and gene silencing. The fragile X premutation, characterized by a 55 to 200 CGG repeat expansion, causes health problems and developmental difficulties in some, but not all, carriers. The premutation causes primary ovarian insufficiency in approximately 20% of females, psychiatric problems (including depression and/or anxiety) in approximately 50% of carriers and a neurodegenerative disorder, the fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), in approximately 40% of males and 16% of females later in life. Recent clinical studies in premutation carriers have expanded the health problems that may be seen. Advances in the molecular pathogenesis of the premutation have shown significant mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in neurons which may be amenable to treatment. Here we review the clinical problems of carriers and treatment recommendations.01/2014; 3. DOI:10.4172/2168-975X.1000119