Posts Tagged ‘ADHD’

Maharishi University’s Fred Travis talks about the brain and meditation on What Women Must Know

November 21, 2013
Sherrill Sellman

Sherrill Sellman

Sherrill Sellman, host of What Women Must Know, interviewed Fred Travis of Maharishi University of Management on the Progressive Radio Network, PRN.fm, “The #1 Internet Radio Station for Progressive Minds,” on November 21, 2013. Listen to this interesting interview as they discuss different stages of the brain’s development and how it is affected by PTSD, ADHD, and different meditations. Today’s show is titled Your Brain, Rejuvenation and Meditation with Dr. Fred Travis.

Dr. Fred Travis

Dr. Fred Travis

Dr. Fred Travis is Professor of Maharishi Vedic Science, Chair of the Department of Maharishi Vedic Science, Dean of the Graduate School, and Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition, at Maharishi University of Management. He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Maharishi University of Management, and a B.S. in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University. He is also the author of Your Brain is a River, Not a Rock. Visit his website for video presentations, publications and more: drfredtravis.com.

Listen to a Podcast of the show or search for it in the Archives.

Can meditation save us? Fox News Opinion by Tom McKinley Ball

February 20, 2012

Can meditation save us?

FOX NEWS Opinion by Tom McKinley Ball
Published February 19, 2012 | FoxNews.com

Economic uncertainty, political divisiveness—it seems that our nation and many of us individually are now under more stress than we’re designed to handle.

It’s no surprise that increasing numbers of people are turning to meditation for refuge. And why shouldn’t we? It’s just the natural use of our own minds.

An effective meditation technique allows you to dive deep within and contact reserves of peace, energy and clarity to help you more gracefully accomplish what you wish to achieve in life. It dissolves deep-rooted, accumulated stresses that obstruct your health.

But it’s more than that: meditation can show you who you really are. Not just on the surface but deep within—where reside greater possibilities of creativity and intelligence, untapped potentialities of heart and mind.

Resurgence

“If Transcendental Meditation were a new drug, conferring this many benefits, it would be the biggest, multi-billion dollar blockbuster drug on the market.”—former senior NIH researcher Norman Rosenthal, M.D.

In the 1970s, Transcendental Meditation (“TM”) became a widespread cultural phenomenon. Now there’s a rising new wave of interest in TM, but for different reasons: because there’s so much scientific research verifying its effects.

Doctors and therapists are recommending it in growing numbers.

Business owners offer it as a human resource for employees—such as Oprah Winfrey and her company, Harpo Productions.

Prison systems in the U.S. and abroad are implementing programs for inmates. Hundreds of schools around the world are offering TM-Quiet Time programs for students. But mostly, people are learning it because they notice positive change in someone they know who’s learned.

From a health point of view, meditation can save your life: the deep, restorative rest rejuvenates body and mind and facilitates healing.

Research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health has shown that the TM technique reduces heart attack and stroke by nearly 50%. Clinical trails showed that it reduces cholesterol by 30 milliliters. “If you’re on medication for cholesterol,” says Dr. Mehmet Oz, “we hope you can get 30 milliliters lower. But this happened through Transcendental Meditation alone.”

Besides reducing the major risk factors for heart disease, meditation can also save lives by reducing depression and anxiety, as numerous studies on TM have shown.

“It Saved Me”

I’ve met many people who’ve told me that meditation saved their life. People struggling with high blood pressure who were eventually able to get off their meds after learning TM.

I encountered a Native American woman who said her insulin levels normalized for the first time in years, a few months after learning this meditation. A young woman on the verge of suicide learned the technique, pulled herself out of severe depression and found the wherewithal to return to college for a business degree.

There was the boy with ADHD, who after his first meditation never again needed to wear the Ritalin patch that was stunting his growth.

Hopelessness can be turned into hope when you get to that place within yourself that’s strong enough, resourceful enough to overcome challenges.

Even a person fighting for their life can find solace in meditation: it’s something one can do to help oneself instead of surrendering entirely to the care of others.

Calming the Waters

Here’s the beauty of Transcendental Meditation: it’s a stress-reducing practice that transcends personal opinion, likes and dislikes, beliefs and ideologies. It works on the basis of something deeper and more universal—the mind’s natural tendency.

Our minds naturally seek greater freedom and happiness, greater knowledge. The TM technique allows you to use that natural attraction to happiness in a special way by turning attention inward and finding greater happiness and peace inside you, satisfying the mind’s quest.

But it’s not a selfish thing. Even though you do it for yourself, it’s one of the best things you can do for the people around you.

The flight attendant tells us, in case of emergency, secure your own oxygen mask first. If you don’t, you’ll be useless to help anyone. Meditation allows us to save ourselves from the undertow of stress so we can be sufficiently calm and fully functional to help others.

Bridging the Differences

The TM technique is a secular, non-religious form of meditation involving no beliefs. Many religious people practice it and find that it deepens their spirituality. A physicist friend tells me it refines his appreciation of nature. All the things that define us in the outer world lose their ability to divide us as we familiarize ourselves with that deeper, universal field of order at the basis of the mind—a transcendental level of life that belongs to all of us.

Transcendental Meditation is not a sect. It’s not foreign to our culture because it’s based on natural principles of mind and body that we all share. It’s an effortless technique that anyone can learn, a tool you can use all your life and it gets better with age—it helps you get better with age and stay younger in body, mind and spirit (and yes, there’s research on that).

Tom McKinley Ball is a writer for the David Lynch Foundation. He attended a Transcendental Meditation teacher training course in 1975-76, where he studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and has taught meditation for almost 40 years.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/02/19/can-meditation-save-us

TM improves brain function in ADHD students

July 26, 2011

New study shows Transcendental Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students

A non-drug approach to enhance students’ ability to learn

A random-assignment controlled study published today in Mind & Brain, The Journal of Psychiatry (Vol 2, No 1, pp. 73–81) found improved brain functioning and decreased symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, in students practicing the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique. The paper, ADHD, Brain Functioning, and Transcendental Meditation Practice, is the second published study demonstrating TM’s ability to help students with attention-related difficulties.

The first exploratory study, published in Current Issues in Education, followed a group of middle school students diagnosed with ADHD who meditated twice a day in school. After 3 months, researchers found over 50% reductions in stress, anxiety, and ADHD symptoms. During the study, a video was made of some students discussing what it felt like to have ADHD, and how those experiences changed after 3 months of regular TM practice.

In this second study, lead author, neuroscientist Fred Travis, PhD, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition, joined principal investigator Sarina J. Grosswald, EdD, a George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist, and co-researcher William Stixrud, PhD, a prominent Silver Spring, Maryland, clinical neuropsychologist, to investigate the effects of Transcendental Meditation practice on task performance and brain functioning in 18 ADHD students, ages 11-14 years.

The study was conducted over a period of 6 months in an independent school for children with language-based learning disabilities in Washington, DC. The study showed improved brain functioning, increased brain processing, and improved language-based skills among ADHD students practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique.

A local TV news station reported on the study in-progress during the first 3 months.

What was Measured

Students were pretested, randomly assigned to TM or delayed-start comparison groups, and post-tested at 3- and 6-months. Delayed-start students learned TM after the 3-month post-test.

EEG measurements of brain functioning were taken while students were performing a demanding computer-based visual-motor task. Successful performance on the task requires attention, focus, memory, and impulse control.

In addition, students were administered a verbal fluency test. This test measured higher-order executive functions, including initiation, simultaneous processing, and systematic retrieval of knowledge. Performance on this task depends on several fundamental cognitive components, including vocabulary knowledge, spelling, and attention.

Theta/Beta Power Ratios and ADHD

Using EEG measurements, the relationship of theta brain waves to beta brain waves can be diagnostic of ADHD. Dr. Joel Lubar of the University of Tennessee has demonstrated that the theta/beta ratio can very accurately identify students with ADHD from those without it.

While theta EEG around 4-5 Hz is commonly associated with daydreaming, drowsiness, and unfocused mental states, theta EEG around 6-8 Hz is seen when one focuses on inner mental tasks, such as memory processing, identifying, and associating.

“In normal individuals, theta activity in the brain during tasks suggests that the brain is blocking out irrelevant information so the person can focus on the task,” said Dr. Travis. “But, in individuals with ADHD, the theta activity is even higher, suggesting that the brain is also blocking out relevant information.”

“And when beta activity, which is associated with focus, is lower than normal,” Travis added, “it affects the ability to concentrate on task for extended periods of time.”

“Prior research shows ADHD children have slower brain development and a reduced ability to cope with stress,” said Dr. Stixrud. “Virtually everyone finds it difficult to pay attention, organize themselves and get things done when they’re under stress,” he explained. “Stress interferes with the ability to learn—it shuts down the brain. Functions such as attention, memory, organization, and integration are compromised.”

Why the TM Technique

“We chose the TM technique for this study because studies show that it increases brain function. We wanted to know if it would have a similar effect in the case of ADHD, and if it did, would that also improve the symptoms of ADHD,” said Dr. Grosswald.

Dr. Stixrud added, “Because stress significantly compromises attention and all of the key executive functions such as inhibition, working memory, organization, and mental flexibility, it made sense that a technique that can reduce a child’s level of stress should also improve his or her cognitive functioning.”

The Transcendental Meditation technique is an effortless, easy-to-learn practice, unique among categories of meditation. “TM does not require concentration, controlling the mind or disciplined focus—challenges for anyone with ADHD,” Grosswald added.

There is substantial research showing the effectiveness of the TM technique for reducing stress and anxiety, and improving cognitive functioning among the general population. “What’s significant about these new findings,” Grosswald said, “is that among children who have difficulty with focus and attention, we see the same results. The fact that these children are able to do TM, and do it easily, shows us that this technique may be particularly well-suited for children with ADHD.”

Transcendental Meditation produces an experience of restful alertness, which is associated with higher metabolic activity in the frontal and parietal parts of the brain, indicating alertness, along with decreased metabolic activity in the thalamus, which is involved in regulating arousal, and hyperactivity.

With regular practice, this restfully alert brain state, characteristic of the TM technique, becomes more present outside of meditation, allowing ADHD students to attend to tasks. “In a sense,” Dr. Travis said, “the repeated experience of the Transcendental Meditation technique trains the brain to function in a style opposite to that of ADHD.”

Improved Brain Functioning

During the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, coherence is found across different EEG frequencies. After meditation, the brain utilizes this increased functioning ability to support the performance of a task in an integrated manner.

Three months of TM practice resulted in significant decreases in theta/beta ratios and increased verbal fluency.  This translates into improved executive function and more efficient cognitive processing.

During the first 3 months of the study, the theta/beta ratios of the control group (delayed start) actually increased. After learning, and practicing TM for 3 months, this group experienced dramatic decreases in theta/beta ratios and increased verbal fluency as well.

Student and Parent Surveys

Students reported that the TM technique was enjoyable and easy to do. They felt calmer, less stressed, and better able to concentrate on their schoolwork. They also said they were happier since they started TM. This correlated with reports from the parents.

At the end of the research, the parents completed a questionnaire to assess their perceptions of changes in five ADHD-related symptoms in their children from the beginning to the end of the study. There were positive and statistically significant improvements in the five areas measured: a) Ability to focus on schoolwork, b) Organizational abilities, c) Ability to work independently, d) Happiness, and e) Quality of sleep.

Promising Results

The combined results were significant. There was a 48% reduction in the theta/beta power ratios and a 30% increase in brain coherence after the 6-month period. Studies have shown that pharmaceuticals decrease theta/beta power ratios by 3%, and neurofeedback by 25%.

“These are very encouraging findings,” said Dr. Stixrud. “Significant improvement in the theta/beta ratio without medication and without having to use any expensive equipment is a big deal, as is significant improvement in student happiness and student academic functioning reported by the parents.”

“While stimulant medication is very beneficial for some of my clients with ADHD,” Stixrud added, “the number of children who receive great benefit from medicine with minimal side-effects is relatively small. The fact that TM appears to improve attention and executive functions, and significantly reduces stress with no negative side-effects, is clearly very promising.” Stixrud said he hoped these findings would lead to more research on the use of TM with children and adolescents.

In conclusion, these findings warrant additional research to assess the impact of Transcendental Meditation practice as a non-drug treatment for ADHD, and to track meditating students’ improved academic achievements.

The study was funded by a grant from the David Lynch Foundation.

###

FACT SHEET

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—characterized by inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity—is diagnosed in almost 10% of children ages 4-17 years, representing 5.4 million children.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported among children with current ADHD, 66.3% were taking medication for the disorder. In total, 4.8% of all children ages 4-17 years (2.7 million) were taking medication for ADHD. The majority of them stay on it into adulthood.
  • The rate of prescriptions for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in the U.S. has increased by a factor of five since 1991—with production of ADHD medicines up 2,000 percent in 9 years.
  • The commonly used drugs for ADHD are stimulants (amphetamines). These drugs can cause persistent and negative side-effects, including sleep disturbances, reduced appetite, weight loss, suppressed growth, and mood disorders. The side-effects are frequently treated with additional medications to manage insomnia or mood swings. Almost none of the medications prescribed for insomnia or mood disturbances are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use with children.
  • The long-term health effects of ADHD medications are not fully known, but evidence suggests risks of cardiac disorders and sudden death, liver damage and psychiatric events. It has also been found that children on long-term medication have significantly higher rates of delinquency, substance use, and stunted physical growth.
  • A new study, Study raises questions about long-term effects of ADHD medication, the first of its kind, released February 17, 2010 by the Government of Western Australia’s Department of Health, found that “long-term use of drugs such as Ritalin and dexamphetamine may not improve a child’s social and emotional well-being or academic performance.” The chair of the Ministerial Implementation Committee for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Western Australia said in the Department’s press release, “We found that stimulant medication did not significantly improve a child’s level of depression, self perception or social functioning and they were more likely to be performing below their age level at school by a factor of 10.5 times.”

The Transcendental Meditation Technique

  • The Transcendental Meditation technique is an effortless technique practiced 10-20 minutes twice a day sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.
  • TM is not a religion or philosophy and involves no new beliefs or change in lifestyle.
  • Over 350 peer-reviewed research studies on the TM technique confirm a range of benefits for mind, body and behavior.
  • Several studies have compared the effects of different meditation practices and found that Transcendental Meditation provides deeper relaxation and is more effective at reducing anxiety, depression and hypertension than other forms of meditation and relaxation. In addition, no other meditation practice shows the widespread coherence throughout all areas of the brain that is seen with Transcendental Meditation.
  • The Transcendental Meditation technique is taught in the United States by a non-profit, educational organization.

Source: EurekAlert!

Some Media Coverage: PhysOrg.com: New study shows Transcendental Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD Students, PsychCentral.com: Transcendental Meditation Lessens Kids’ ADHD Symptoms, eMaxHealth: Transcendental Meditation Improves ADHD Symptoms, Academic SkillsADHD/ADD Natural Remedy Report: New study shows Transcendental Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students, GGN-Education News: New study shows Transcendental Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5; The Times of India: Transcendental meditation for the brain, Health24: Meditation boosts brain functioning, RedOrbit: New Study Shows Transcendental Meditation Improves Brain Functioning In ADHD Students, The Behavioral Medicine Report: Transcendental Meditation Improves Brain Functioning In Students With ADHD, Science News Line medicine, Science Codex, Transcendental Meditation Blog: New study finds TM boosts brain functioning and helps students with ADHD, GoodTherapy.org: Children with ADHD May Benefit from Transcendental Meditation, and many others.

Pathways Magazine: Taking Care Of The Student – The Forgotten Element In Education

February 18, 2011

Taking Care Of The Student – The Forgotten Element In Education

The surgeon general said that America is swimming in an ocean of stress. If this is true, our children are drowning in it. ~ Robert Roth, Vice President of the David Lynch Foundation

A teacher of a Montgomery County high school describes the 7:30 AM morning: kids with hoods pulled over their eyes, practically sleepwalking. At their desks, students are slumped over, exhausted – sleep deprived.

A school counselor describes a student whose deep anxiety constricts her ability to understand a basic math concept, and another student whose pressure to succeed is so intense that anxiety escalates into insomnia, depression, and feelings of suicide.

In most schools in our country, the student himself, and his instrument of learning – his physiology – are being ignored. We are experiencing – possibly promoting – epidemics of sleep deprivation and stress in our schools, and in the general public. Not only do we not pay attention to students’ physical health, we do the opposite: impose physical and mental strain – sometimes to the breaking point – often with serious, long-term results for both physical and emotional health.

In this article, we look at some recommendations and programs addressing this problem. We begin with refreshing our understanding of the goal of ideal education. Next we look at sleep deprivation, stress, anxiety, and related problems of ADHD and depression, and the impact on student health and learning. Next, advice by professionals who work in this field of stress and adolescence will be presented. Finally, we look at promising examples where recommendations are successfully implemented: a school in D.C., the Ideal Academy Public Charter School, experiencing remarkable results by incorporating “Quiet Time” into the daily routine; and breakthrough research on ADHD and “Quiet Time” from several middle schools.

WHAT DOES EDUCATION REALLY MEAN?

All that lies before us and all that lies behind us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~ Emerson.

Education comes from the Latin root ‘educere’, meaning to ‘draw out from within’ or to ‘lead forth’. ‘Education’ means something other than filling up the mind with information. Socrates said, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” It involves cultivating the
student’s inner genius, innate intelligence, creativity, consciousness.

Quite clearly the two great things for which we aim are the improvement of intelligence and the deepening and the extension of the feeling of friendliness and love. ~ Aldous Huxley

A student truly being educated is not merely learning information. He is cultivating the quality of his awareness: becoming more awake, clear, creative. He is developing his character: virtues of friendliness, helpfulness, compassion. And cultivating a love of learning and sense of vitality: feeling interested, enthusiastic, capable, confident.

The qualities we often find in great people – flexibility, curiosity, energy, receptivity to new ideas, and lovingness – are first found in children and then maintained through adulthood. ~ Dr. Melanie Brown, Attaining Personal Greatness: One Book for Life

But what are we doing to cultivate these qualities in our students? It seems clear that we often forget the meaning and goal of education.

Click on the above title for a Google docs quick view of the entire article, including photos, and/or download the PDF of Taking Care Of The Student – The Forgotten Element In Education, originally printed in the Winter 2009 issue of Pathways Magazine, Washington, DC.

Girls with ADHD more prone to depression, anxiety than boys; meditation helps

February 23, 2010

DAVID LYNCH FOUNDATION
Office of ADHD and Learning Differences
70 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004
Tel: (703) 823-6933 • sgrosswald@tm.org

Girls suffer from delayed ADHD diagnosis, more prone to depression than boys
Meditation helps alleviate stress, reduce symptoms

A growing number of experts say the number of children with ADHD is greater than estimated because girls are often under-diagnosed. There are also differences in symptoms between the genders. “Girls are more likely to have the attentional type of ADHD, which can lead to difficulty in paying attention and focusing, rather than to disruptive behavior, which is more indicative of the behavior of boys with ADHD,” says Sarina J. Grosswald, Ed.D., a George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist who heads up the David Lynch Foundation’s education and health outreach to girls. “As a result, the ADHD diagnosis may be missed in as many as 50% to 75% of girls. On average, girls are diagnosed 5 years later than boys. As girls move into adolescence, those with ADHD are more likely to have clinical depression or anxiety disorders.”

A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry’s online edition of January 15, 2010 followed 187 6- to 18-year-old girls with and without ADHD over an 11-year period. Reporting on this long-term study, Reuters Health pointed out that girls with the disorder were more likely than their peers to develop depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or other psychiatric problems by the time they reached adulthood.

Concerns about ADHD medications

While in some cases a child cannot function without medication, there is growing concern about the health risks and side-effects associated with the common ADHD medications, including mood swings, insomnia, tics, slowed growth, and heart problems.

A new study, the first of its kind, released February 17, 2010 by the Government of Western Australia’s Department of Health, found that “long-term use of drugs such as Ritalin and dexamphetamine may not improve a child’s social and emotional well-being or academic performance.” The chair of the Ministerial Implementation Committee for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Western Australia said in the Department’s press release, “We found that stimulant medication did not significantly improve a child’s level of depression, self perception or social functioning and they were more likely to be performing below their age level at school by a factor of 10.5 times.”

“Medication for ADHD is very effective for some children, but it is marginally or not effective for others. Even for those children who show reduced symptoms with the medication, the improvement is often insufficient or accompanied by troubling side-effects,” said William Stixrud, Ph.D., a Silver Spring, Maryland, clinical neuropsychologist.

Stress interferes with ability to learn

“Virtually everyone finds it difficult to pay attention, organize themselves and get things done when they’re under stress,” explained Stixrud. “Stress interferes with the ability to learn—it shuts down the brain. Prior research shows ADHD children have slower brain development and a reduced ability to cope with stress.” added Stixrud.

The Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique may be an effective and safe non-pharmaceutical aid for treating ADHD, according to a recent study published in the online peer-reviewed journal Current Issues in Education.

The pilot study was conducted in a private K-12 school for children with language-based learning disabilities. Participation was restricted to 10 students, ages 11-14, who had pre-existing diagnoses of ADHD. About half of the students were on medication. The students meditated at school in a group for 10 minutes, morning and afternoon. After three months, researchers found over 50% reduction in stress and anxiety, and reduced ADHD symptoms in the entire group.

Stixrud, co-author on the TM-ADHD study, said, “It stands to reason that the TM technique, which reduces stress and organizes brain function, would reduce ADHD symptoms.”

Meditation improves classroom experience

“The effect was much greater than we expected,” said Sarina Grosswald, lead researcher on the study. “A 50 % reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms is dramatic,” she explained. “This can be especially valuable for girls who are more prone to these types of symptoms. The children also showed improvements in attention, working memory, organization, and behavior regulation. After the in-school meditation routine began, teachers reported they were able to teach more, and students were able to learn more because they were less stressed and anxious.”

Grosswald added, “There is substantial research showing the effectiveness of the TM technique for reducing stress and anxiety, and improving cognitive functioning among the general population. What’s significant about these new findings is that among children who have difficulty with focus and attention, we see the same results. TM doesn’t require concentration, controlling the mind or disciplined focus. The fact that these children are able to do TM, and do it easily, shows us that this technique may be particularly well suited for children with ADHD.”

Parents pleased with results

Andy and Daryl Schoenbach’s daughter was diagnosed with ADHD in second grade. Like most ADHD children she was taking medication. “The medication helped but had mixed results—she still lost focus, had meltdowns, and the medications affected her sleep and appetite,” said Andy, who lives with Daryl in Washington D.C. “She was not performing close to her potential and we didn’t see the situation improving. So at the end of seventh grade when her doctor recommended increasing the medication, we decided it was time to take a different course—stopping the medication and using Transcendental Meditation.”

“The results were quite remarkable,” Daryl said. “The twice daily meditations smoothed things out, gave her perspective, and enabled her to be in greater control of her own life when things started falling apart. It took some time, but it gradually changed the way she handled crises and enabled her to feel confident that she could take on greater challenges—in her own words, ‘climb a mountain.’”

“Everyone noticed the change,” Andy added.

Ongoing research

A soon-to-be-published second study on TM and ADHD shows that after 3 months of practice the TM group demonstrated more efficient brain functioning (as measured by EEG) compared to the control group during a difficult visual-motor task. The TM group also showed improvements in language skills on a cognitive performance test.

Students reported that they felt calmer, less stressed, and better able to concentrate on their schoolwork. They also said they were happier since they started TM.

###

For interviews, contact Dr. Grosswald
Bio available upon request

Sarina J. Grosswald, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Office of ADHD and Learning Differences
David Lynch Foundation
(703) 823-6933
sgrosswald@tm.org
sfschools@tm.org

FACT SHEET

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

· The Center for Disease Control reports that nearly 50% of the 4.5 million children (ages 4-17) in the United States diagnosed with ADHD are on ADHD medication—and the majority of those on medication stay on it in adulthood.

· The rate of prescriptions for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the U.S. has increased by a factor of five since 1991—with production of ADHD medicines up 2,000 percent in 9 years.

· The commonly used drugs for ADHD are stimulants (amphetamines). These drugs can cause persistent and negative side-effects, including sleep disturbances, reduced appetite, weight loss, suppressed growth, and mood disorders. The side-effects are frequently treated with additional medications to manage insomnia or mood swings. Almost none of the medications prescribed for insomnia or mood disturbances are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use with children.

· The long-term health effects of ADHD medications are not fully known, but evidence suggests risks of cardiac disorders and sudden death, liver damage and psychiatric events. It has also been found that children on long-term medication have significantly higher rates of delinquency, substance use, and stunted physical growth.

The Transcendental Meditation Technique

· The Transcendental Meditation technique is an effortless technique practiced 10-20 minutes twice a day sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.

· TM is not a religion or philosophy and involves no new beliefs or change in lifestyle.

· Over 350 peer-reviewed research studies on the TM technique confirm a wide range of benefits for mind, body and behavior.
· Several studies have compared the effects of different meditation practices and found that Transcendental Meditation provides deeper relaxation and is more effective at reducing anxiety, depression and hypertension than other forms of meditation and relaxation. In addition, no other meditation practice shows the widespread coherence throughout all areas of the brain that is seen with Transcendental Meditation.

· The Transcendental Meditation technique is taught in the United States by a non-profit, educational organization.

· More information can be obtained by calling 888-LEARN-TM or visiting www.ADHD-TM.org, www.AskTheDoctors.com, or www.TMEducation.org.

###

NB: After posting this article, a new study came out on July 26, 2011: New study shows Transcendental Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students: A non-drug approach to enhance students’ ability to learn.

A random-assignment controlled study published today in Mind & Brain, The Journal of Psychiatry (Vol 2, No 1) found improved brain functioning and decreased symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, in students practicing the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique. The paper, ADHD, Brain Functioning, and Transcendental Meditation Practice, is the second published study demonstrating TM’s ability to help students with attention-related difficulties.

See TM improves brain function in ADHD students, also reported in the TM Blog: New study finds TM boosts brain functioning and helps students with ADHD.

And this new important related article posted in The Huffington Post on meditation helping kids get off ADHD drugs came out in Jan 6, 2012: ADHD Drug Shortage: Can Meditation Fill the Gap? 

Alternative to ADHD Drugs

October 16, 2009

care2

Alternative to ADHD Drugs

 

posted by Mel, selected from Natural Solutions magazine Oct 15, 2009

care2photo

By Diana Reynolds Roome, Natural Solutions

Josh Goulding was diagnosed with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in second grade, after his impulsive and disruptive behavior frequently landed him in the school principal’s office. “Over several years, I was put on a whole gamut of drugs, and nothing worked well,” says Goulding, now 24. By his second year at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Goulding was still struggling to concentrate in classes and complete his work, and his medications were causing mood swings and irritability.

The Conventional Rx: Stimulant drugs, such as Ritalin and Adderall. Almost 4.5 million children between ages 4 and 17 are diagnosed with ADHD, and nearly half of them take prescription medications, often for years. Long term, these drugs may be physically and psychologically harmful, and side effects such as sleep disturbances, poor appetite, weight loss, and mood disorders can require further medication.

The Alternative Rx: Transcendental Meditation (TM). In the first study on ADHD and TM, middle-school-age children who did twice daily nonreligious meditations for 10 minutes reduced their stress levels by over 50 percent–resulting in fewer ADHD symptoms. “TM helps children focus on a special mantra or sound, which helps the child transcend mental busyness and stress,” says Sarina Grosswald, EdD, coauthor of the study. “This allows the child’s body to completely relax and his mind to stay fully awake without effort. The results are improved behavior, grades, creativity, and inner stability.”

The Outcome: Just before turning 21, Goulding attended a talk on TM and signed up to learn the technique. First, he started sleeping better. Then, finding it easier to focus and relate to others, his grades improved. When Goulding returned to his doctor, his blood pressure was lower (it had been borderline hypertensive before he started TM) and, even after he stopped taking ADHD medications, his grade-point average continued to rise.

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/alternative-to-adhd-drugs.html

For more details on TM & ADHD visit: http://www.adhd-tm.org/

Meditation: Effective New Aid for Students with ADHD

September 14, 2009

David Lynch Foundation
Office of ADHD and Other Learning Differences

714 19th St. S. • Arlington, VA • 703-823-6933 • ADHD-TM.org • sgrosswald@tm.org
Contact: Ken Chawkin, 641-470-1314, kchawkin@mum.edu

Meditation: Effective New Aid for Students with ADHD

National conference to showcase research and classroom experience during National ADHD Public Awareness Month

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 • 12:00 NOON (ET)
Webcast online at ADHD-TM.org http://adhd-tm.org

A panel of physicians and scientists will report on the benefits of a simple meditation practice for aiding students diagnosed with ADHD during a national medical webinar, which will be hosted by the David Lynch Foundation on Wednesday, September 30, 12 noon (ET).

The webinar, which comes on the final day of National ADHD Public Awareness Month, will report on published research on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique for improving academic achievement and executive brain function while reducing learning disorders, anxiety, depression, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease.

Conference panelists

Sarina Grosswald, Ed.D. George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist; lead researcher on a pioneering study on the Transcendental Meditation technique and ADHD; and Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation’s Office of ADHD and Other Learning Differences.

Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D. Senior Researcher in Psychiatry and Psychobiology for 20 years at the National Institute of Mental Health; currently Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University; and Medical Director of Capital Clinical Research Associates in Bethesda, MD.

William Stixrud, Ph.D. Clinical Neuropsychologist and Director of William Stixrud and Associates, specializing in the evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with learning, attention, and/or social/emotional difficulties; Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center.

Over 50% reduction in stress and anxiety, and improvements in ADHD symptoms

One recent study, published in the December 2008 issue of the peer-reviewed Current Issues in Education followed a group of 10 middle school students with ADHD who were practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique twice a day in school. After three months, researchers found over 50% reduction in stress and anxiety, and improvements in ADHD symptoms.

“The effect was much greater than we expected,” said Sarina J. Grosswald, Ed.D., a George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist and lead researcher on the study. “The children also showed improvements in attention, working memory, organization, and behavior regulation.”

Grosswald said that after the in-school meditation routine began, “teachers reported they were able to teach more, and students were able to learn more because they were less stressed and anxious.”

Prior research shows ADHD children have slower brain development and a reduced ability to cope with stress.

Stress interferes with learning

“Stress interferes with the ability to learn—it shuts down the brain,” said William Stixrud, Ph.D., a Silver Spring, Maryland, clinical neuropsychologist and co-author of the study.

“Medication for ADHD can reduce the symptoms for some children, but it is marginally or not effective for others. Even for those children who show improved symptoms with the medication, the improvement is often insufficient,” Stixrud said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost 50% of the 4.5 million children (ages 4-17) in the United States diagnosed with ADHD are on ADHD medication—and the majority of those on medication stay on it in adulthood. Stixrud said there is growing concern about the health risks and side effects associated with the common ADHD medications, including mood swings, insomnia, slowed growth, and heart problems. In 2006 the FDA required manufacturers to place warning labels on ADHD medications, listing the potential serious health risks.

These high risks and growing concerns are fueling parents’ search for alternatives that may be safer for their kids.

“There is already substantial research showing the effectiveness of the TM technique for reducing stress and anxiety and improving cognitive functioning among the general population,” Dr. Grosswald said. “What’s significant about our findings is that among children who have difficulty with focus and attention, we see the same results. TM doesn’t require concentration, controlling the mind or disciplined focus. The fact that these children are able to do TM and do it easily shows us that this technique may be particularly well suited for children with ADHD.”

The David Lynch Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), which has provided more than $7 million in scholarships to teach Transcendental Meditation to over 100,000 at-risk students throughout the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

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Additional resources

1. Transcendental Meditation reduces ADHD symptoms among students: New study Dissatisfaction with medication spurs interest in meditation

2. Transcendental Meditation buffers students against college stress: Study Research at American University shows meditating students react better to stress, are less fatigued, have more ‘integrated’ brains

3. New study shows Transcendental Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students A non-drug approach to enhance students’ ability to learn

4. Girls with ADHD more prone to depression, anxiety than boys; meditation helps

5. TM improves brain function in ADHD students

David Lynch Foundation Honored

September 10, 2009

Picture 40

Naturalheroes

THE 
DAVID LYNCH 
FOUNDATION

Promotes a Peaceful World  For Our Children

By Tom Citrano

NATHEROSDavidLynch“In today’s world of fear and uncertainty, 
every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself and experience the field of silence – bliss – the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us. This is the way to save the coming generation.” David Lynch, founder and chairman of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and 
World Peace.

This month’s Natural Heroes are Mr. Lynch and the people at the David Lynch Foundation. Director and Producer David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Elephant Man, Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive) started his foundation to provide funds for students to learn meditation through Transcendental Meditation centers, hospital-sponsored wellness programs, boys and girls clubs, before-and-after school programs and in schools when invited by the administration.

Instruction is voluntary and provided to children after parental permission has been granted and at no cost to the family, organization or school. This year the David Lynch Foundation granted millions of dollars guaranteeing thousands of students, teachers and families a chance to learn meditation.  The Foundation also funds independent research to study the effects of meditation on creativity, intelligence, brain function, academic performance, ADHD and additional learning disorders, substance abuse and depression.

Lynch believes that stress is taking a big toll on children today. He looks for a day when developing student’s creative potential is part of every school’s curriculum. David Lynch has been a TM practitioner for over 30 years and explains, “There are hundreds of schools, thousands of students, who are eager to relieve stress and bring out the full potential of every student by providing this Consciousness-based education.”

The David Lynch Foundation targets the benefits of TM for students in the following areas:

CLASSROOM STRESS

Children need to feel safe in school because pressure, stress and fear undermine learning. Dr. William Stixrud, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist in Silver Spring, Maryland, specializing in work with children and adolescents, has studied the effects of stress on the developing brain and had this to say about the David Lynch Foundations programs, “Educators have long known the optimal mind/body state of a student is one of relaxed alertness. The question has been how does the student get there? The answer is The Transcendental Meditation Program.”

CLINICAL DEPRESSION
Ten million children in America have been diagnosed as clinically depressed and take antidepressant medications. Most of these medications are categorized as having serious side effects. A study (funded in part by the Daimler/Chrysler Fund and the General Motors Foundation) on meditating children at an inner-city Detroit middle school confirms what previous gathered data and research has documented: The Transcendental Meditation program increases happiness, self-esteem, and self-worth, while also reducing anxiety and depression.

LEARNING 
DISORDERS
If left untreated, ADHD impacts the child in several ways – causing impulsivity, distractibility, hyperactivity and inattentiveness. ADHD is also associated with sleep disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and other disorders. Almost 90% of children diagnosed with ADHD are on medications. Linda Handy, Ph.D., educator and principal of The Waldorf School in Silver Spring, Maryland believes it’s easier for teachers to hold the attention of students who meditate, “Transcendental Meditation has a great effect on students’ learning ability. Teachers can teach more – so students can learn more.”

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

High blood pressure is no longer an adult disease. Studies show adolescence is a critical time for the development of hypertension and other coronary disease risk factors. Increasing rates of childhood obesity are further driving up the numbers of children and teens living with hypertension. Vernon Barnes, Ph.D., research scientist at the Georgia Prevention Institute of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta studied the effects of TM on a random sample selected from a group of 5,000 teens with hypertension. Barnes had this to say about the results, “Decreases in blood pressure observed in the present study have clinical significance. The decreases, if maintained into adulthood, are enough to potentially decrease a child’s long-term risk for heart disease and stroke.”

FULL BRAIN POTENTIAL

Science has confirmed that our brains are not fully developed at birth. As we grow and mature, the brain is being recreated to support all of our new and changing thoughts, decision and behavior. There are different areas of the brain for seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling, etc. The part of the brain that is most critical for evaluating all the information is the frontal lobes. Stressful experiences keep the frontal lobes from developing. Research verifies the TM technique is unique in its ability to exercise this critical part of the brain – to make the brain healthier and better able to work together as a whole.

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

In his book, A Record of Excellence, Ashley Deans, Ph.D., director of The Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa recounts the achievements of his school, which is accredited by the State of Iowa and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, “Hundreds of scientific studies on Transcendental Meditation program and more than 30 years of classroom experience should be enough to convince anyone that Consciousness-Based education can make education complete, healthy, harmonious and productive.”

For more information about 
the David Lynch Foundation 
and its programs, visit davidlynchfoundation.org.

If you have a Natural Hero in 
your life, send an email to: heroes@nugreencity.com and tell us about that special someone who’s making our city and the planet a better place.

http://www.nugreencity.com/2009/09/naturalheroes-3/


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