Newsgroups: bit.listserv.autism
Subject: Re: Attention Deficit Disorder Lists?

Date: Thu, 01 Aug 1996 19:29:24 GMT
From: Ron Hoggan
Originally written: Sat, 22 Jun 1996 22:05:01 -0700 (MST)

I haven't heard of the cancer connection before, but I have read two 
studies that demonstrate cortical atrophy (brain damage) in adults in 
their mid twenties who underwent long-term treatment with stimulants for 
their attention deficits. 
The first is:
Hechtman, L et. al. "Genetic and Neurobiological Aspects of Attention
Deficit Hyperactive Disorder: A Review" _Journal of Psychiatry &
Neuroscience_ vol. 19, no 3, pages193 - 200, May, 1994

This study cites Nasrallah et. al. "Cortical Atrophy in Young Adults"
_Psych Research_ 17:2241-43, 1986, as showing *ALL* of 24 subjects showed
cortical atrophy. It then goes on to say that many of them had histories
of substance abuse, and suggests that the substance abuse might be the
cause of the problem. Now, if I found 24 dead ducks, and many of them
had shotgun pellets in them...... but not all.... and I offered a possible
explanation for their deaths as "gunshot wounds," I would be laughed at. 
Perhaps the fact that I don't have an M.D. after my name might make the 
difference, because the logic of such a suggestion is laughable. 

The second is:
Semrud-Clikeman, et. al. "Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Morphometric Analysis of the Corpus Callosum"
_J. AM. ACAD. CHILD ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY_ 33:6, pages 875 - 881, July/Aug,

In this study, cortical atrophy in young adults who have undergone 
long-term stimulant therapy is cited in 58% of the subjects. Whatever the
cause, I would be very suspicious of stimulant therapy.

On the other hand, I would also be more inclined to accept the opioid 
theory, as it applies to attention deficits, because the causative factor
might well be at the root of such cortical atrophy. We will probably never
know, though, if we keep treating the symptoms by drugging children.

Ron Hoggan


Date: Sat, 03 Aug 1996 00:35:25 -0700 (MST)
From: "Ronald Hoggan, Queen Elizabeth High School" 

I actually didn't intend to suggest that ritalin was the problem. I think
that the opioids are at the root of the damage. It's just that the logic is
so flawed. If all of one group of shows evidence of cortical atrophy, and
only some have a history of substance abuse, then there is a real problem
with asserting that the cortical atrophy came from the substance abuse. 

Hechtman compared the subjects with 27 matched normals, which doesn't meet 
the standard that Jack is setting. I am inclined to agree with him there,
as morphological abnormalities have been shown numerous times in attention
deficit persons, at all stages of development. Still, the fact remains that
these folks are publishing this stuff. 


Date: Fri, 02 Aug 1996 23:59:43 -0700 (MST)
From: "Ronald Hoggan, Queen Elizabeth High School" 
Subject: Re: more comments on that ADD post in autism group

My problem with the logic was that *ALL* had cortical atrophy, but only
some had histories of substance abuse. Yet they suggest that substance
abuse is at the root of all the cortical atrophy. It is the logic, or lack
thereof that I am attacking. I think that Candace may well have a good
point, with respect to the pathways used by ritalin, and would welcome 
more information on that point. Even a reference would be very valuable to
me. In fact, it fits very well with the theory I am supporting. 

Best Wishes,