Susan is a 13 year old 8th grader with behavior problems. Her parents have disciplined her frequently by confiscating her cell phone, restricting her activities, etc. However, none of this seems to help. Susan is frequently inattentive and fidgety in class. Out of desperation, the parents took Susan to a psychiatrist who started her on Prozac after an extreme behavioral outburst. In my office, on examination, Susan’s pupils are dilated and reflexes hyperactive, typical adverse effects from SSRI drugs. Susan’s labs show a low serum cholesterol and low ferritin levels. Above left image courtesy of Curious Mind Magazine “Renouned Psychiatrist Says ADHD is Largely a Fraud.”
I explained to Susan’s parents that SSRi drugs are not advisable, as they may lead to “mania and psychosis” with diagnosis of “bipolar syndrome “.(1) This is a devastating outcome because Susan would then be placed on atypical antipsychotic medication which would destroy any possibility of having a normal life.(1) However, the parents insist the SSRI drugs have calmed Susan down, and her behavior has improved.
The Problem Child- ADD, ADHD
This brings us to the “problem child” whose parents look to the medical system for help with a “behavior problem” and are handed one or more psycho-active drugs for their child. Amphetamines such as Ritalin, Adderal and Vyvanse are commonly handed out for the inattentive, or hyperactive child who is given the “rubber stamp” diagnosis of ADD, ADHD, a manufactured diagnosis used to create massive profits in the criminal marketing of amphetamines to children. In reality, the behavioral outbursts are a “red flag” for an underlying biologic, metabolic or nutritional disorder.Left Image: Psychiatric Testing for ADD ADHD is an unreliable series of questions, Swami with crystal ball courtesy of James Greenblatt MD.
In part one of this series, we examined the criminal activities of the drug industry, marketing amphetamines to children and young adults under the guise of medication for a manufactured disease called ADD, ADHD.
In part two, this article, we present to you the work of James Greenblatt MD, a child psychiatrist in the Boston area with an integrative approach to the ADD, ADHD child with behavior problems.
Dr Greeblatt spoke at the 2017 Toronto Orthomolecular Medicine Conference, and presented his material on the treatment of ADHD with a nutritional supplement called OPC- Pycnogenol.
Dr Greenblatt believes “biological and nutritional factors that often play a role.” in the ADHD child with behavior problems. He draws attention to “food additives and nutritional deficiencies”.
This is what Dr Greenblatt says about ADHD (8)
“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most recent name for a complex neurobiological disorder that occurs in children, adolescents, and adults. Symptoms include difficulty with attention, concentration, memory, organization, and for some, impulsivity, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, and relationship problems. The scientific research has clearly documented that ADHD is a brain-based disorder.
There are many biological abnormalities in individuals suffering with ADHD. It is a medical disorder that affects behavior; it is not a “discipline problem.” Many untreated children with ADHD develop oppositional behavior and become a “discipline problem.” For some individuals, the right choice of medication can be an invaluable asset in treatment. Unfortunately, medications do not treat the biochemical or neurological imbalances underlying ADHD and many medications have side effects. When individuals are off medication the symptoms of ADHD return and frequently are worse than before medication.”(8)
Pycnogenol and the EEG in ADHD
Dr Greenblatt presented his case material on EEG findings in children before and after 3 months treatment with Pycnogenol, an antioxidant polyphenol supplement. (2)(9-11) Dr Greenblatt’s many presentations on this topic can be seen on You-Tube.(3) and in his book available on Amazon.(4)
EEG Finding in ADD, ADHD
On the EEG (electroencehalogram), ADHD kids have increased theta waves associated with day dreaming and inattention. At the same time they have reduced beta waves which are associated with focusing and paying attention. In Dr Greenblatt’s experience these EEG findings normalize after 3 months of Pycnogenol supplementation. In addition, teachers and parents report improved behavior in the child.
A number of other interventions have been described by other authors. Dr James Greenblatt reports a case of a child with absent lithium on a hair analysis who responded to low dose lithium orotate, a nutritional supplement. Others have found useful iron supplementation for low ferritin useful.(5) As mentioned in part one, diet modifications such as avoiding food colorings, and sugar foods can often be helpful. Other causes to look for: Lead toxicity, Food Allergies, Vitamin deficiencies, organo-phosphate exposure, BPA depletes zinc, celiac disease, malabsorption, wheat gluten intolerance, sensitivity to red dyes
Neuropeptides in Food
Dairy – Casein – Casomorphin – morphine analog
Wheat- Gliadin- gliadorphin- morphine analog – found in OCD
urine testing available for casomorphin and gliadomorphin.
Oxidative Damage in ADD ADHD Children
What if I told you that breathing oxygen is harmful to our health? You would say that is crazy because we breath oxygen 20 times a minute. The reality is that the by-products of energy production (oxidative phosphorylation) are harmful. We make energy by oxidation of carbon in the electron transport chain in our mitochondria. The byproducts of this reaction are called reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can damage our cell membranes and our DNA. We are protected by our anti-oxidant system which quenches these free radicals before they damage our cell structures. What if our anti-oxidant system is defective ? Research shows that this is the case for ADD, ADHD kids who have increased markers of oxidative damage.(10) In a research study, the anti-oxidant pycnogenol reduces these markers of oxidative damage in ADD ADHD kids. (10) Perhaps this is the mechanism by which anti-oxidant polyphenols exert health benefits in these kids with behavioral problems.
Dr Greenblatt finds these forms of testing useful:
Food Allergy Testing (IgG)
Organic Acids (Great Plains, William Shaw)
Hair Analysis (may show mineral deficiency)
Routine lab blood work (may show low ferritin, lead,gluten sensitivity)
Electroencephalogram (abnormal ratio of theta to beta waves)
Chinese Skullcap is a botanical flowering plant which is antiviral, anticancer, anti-inflammatory. It is beneficial for the brain and nervous system. In a mouse animal model of ADHD, chinese skullcap showed remarkable benefits. (6-7) Left Image: Chinese Skullcap flowering plant.
Buy Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) on Amazon
Buy Pycnogenol on Amazon
Buy Lithium Orotate on Amazon
Articles with Related Interest:
Mania and Psychosis from SSRI drugs
1) Preda, Adrian, Rebecca W. MacLean, and Malcolm B. Bowers. “Antidepressant-associated mania and psychosis resulting in psychiatric admissions.” The Journal of clinical psychiatry 62.1 (2001): 30-33.
Prozac is the only SSRI drug approved for use in adolescents and children, and carries a black box warning. None of the others are approved for use in children. The long term effect of this drug on the developing brain is largely unknown, which means that administration of such a drug to an adolescent or child represents an uncontrolled medical experiment, the outcome of which is largely unknown.
Mania and psychosis are known adverse effect of SSRI antidepressant drugs resulting in 8% of admissions to a general hospital psychiatric ward over 14 month study period. “Forty-three (8.1%) of 533 patients were found to have been admitted owing to antidepressant-associated mania or psychosis”.
2) Video: “Integrative Therapies for the Treatment of ADHD” by Dr. James Greenblatt from The Great Plains Laboratory
According to the CDC, Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) currently affects approximately 14% of American children. This webinar will provide the information to understand, treat, and prevent ADHD by addressing the biological and nutritional factors that often play a role in causing and sustaining this disorder. This webinar will draw connections on how food additives and nutritional deficiencies can exacerbate ADHD symptoms. With increasing concerns of medication side effects, alternative treatment options to treat ADHD will also be reviewed.
Adhd and the EEG
theta slow day dreaming – inattention
beta – paying attention-focus
Pycnogenol studies in ADHD
3) Videos on You Tube ADHD James Greenblatt
4) BOOK on Amazon Finally Focused: The Breakthrough Natural Treatment Plan for ADHD That Restores Attention, Minimizes Hyperactivity, and Helps Eliminate Drug Side Effects Paperback – May 9, 2017 by James Greenblatt M.D. (Author), Bill Gottlieb CHC (Author)
5) dela Peña, June Bryan, et al. “Updates on the Use of Natural Treatments for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).” ADHD-New Directions in Diagnosis and Treatment. InTech, 2015. Natural Treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD dela Pena June Bryan InTech 2015
Oroxylin A – Chinese Skullcap -Baical
6) Yoon, Seo Young, et al. “Oroxylin A improves attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-like behaviors in the spontaneously hypertensive rat and inhibits reuptake of dopamine in vitro.” Archives of pharmacal research 36.1 (2013): 134-140.
oroxylin A improves ADHD-like behaviors in SHR via enhancement of DA neurotransmission and not modulation of GABA pathway as previously reported.
7) dela Peña, Ike C., et al. “5, 7-Dihydroxy-6-methoxy-4′-phenoxyflavone, a derivative of oroxylin A improves attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-like behaviors in spontaneously hypertensive rats.” European journal of pharmacology 715.1 (2013): 337-344.
Pycnogenol -OPC for ADHD
8) Assessment, E. E. G. “Female, 47 years of age Case history: First consultation.” James Greenblatt MD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most recent name for a complex neurobiological disorder that occurs in children, adolescents, and adults. Symptoms include difficulty with attention, concentration, memory, organization, and for some, impulsivity, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, and relationship problems. The scientific research has clearly documented that ADHD is a brain-based disorder.
There are many biological abnormalities in individuals suffering with ADHD. It is a medical disorder that affects behavior; it is not a “discipline problem.” Many untreated children with ADHD develop oppositional behavior and become a “discipline problem.” For some individuals, the right choice of medication can be an invaluable asset in treatment. Unfortunately, medications do not treat the biochemical or neurological imbalances underlying ADHD and many medications have side effects. When individuals are off medication the symptoms of ADHD return and frequently are worse than before medication.
9) Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins for the Treatment of ADHD
by James Greenblatt | May 1, 2017 | Integration, Magazine
10) Chovanová, Zuzana, et al. “Effect of polyphenolic extract, Pycnogenol®, on the level of 8-oxoguanine in children suffering from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” Free radical research 40.9 (2006): 1003-1010. Pycnogenol in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Chovanová Zuzana Free radical research 2006
11) Trebatická, Jana, et al. “Treatment of ADHD with French maritime pine bark extract, Pycnogenol®.” European child & adolescent psychiatry 15.6 (2006): 329-335. Treatment of ADHD with Pycnogenol Trebaticka Jana European child adolescent psychiatry 2006
12) Saad, Jacqueline F., et al. “Is the theta/beta EEG marker for ADHD inherently flawed?.” Journal of attention disorders (2015): 1087054715578270.
12) Poil, S-S., et al. “Age dependent electroencephalographic changes in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).” Clinical Neurophysiology 125.8 (2014): 1626-1638.
Age dependent electroencephalographic changes in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Poil SS1, Bollmann S2, Ghisleni C3, O’Gorman RL4, Klaver P5, Ball J6, Eich-Höchli D7, Brandeis D8, Michels L9.
Objective biomarkers for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could improve diagnostics or treatment monitoring of this psychiatric disorder. The resting electroencephalogram (EEG) provides non-invasive spectral markers of brain function and development. Their accuracy as ADHD markers is increasingly questioned but may improve with pattern classification.
METHODS: This study provides an integrated analysis of ADHD and developmental effects in children and adults using regression analysis and support vector machine classification of spectral resting (eyes-closed) EEG biomarkers in order to clarify their diagnostic value.
RESULTS: ADHD effects on EEG strongly depend on age and frequency. We observed typical non-linear developmental decreases in delta and theta power for both ADHD and control groups. However, for ADHD adults we found a slowing in alpha frequency combined with a higher power in alpha-1 (8-10Hz) and beta (13-30Hz). Support vector machine classification of ADHD adults versus controls yielded a notable cross validated sensitivity of 67% and specificity of 83% using power and central frequency from all frequency bands. ADHD children were not classified convincingly with these markers.
CONCLUSIONS: Resting state electrophysiology is altered in ADHD, and these electrophysiological impairments persist into adulthood.
SIGNIFICANCE: Spectral biomarkers may have both diagnostic and prognostic value.
13) Mazaheri, Ali, et al. “Differential Oscillatory EEG between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Subtypes and Typically Developing Adolescents.” Biological psychiatry 76.5 (2014): 422.
14) Verlaet, Annelies AJ, et al. “Effect of Pycnogenol® on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.” Trials 18.1 (2017): 145.
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