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Dr. David W. Goodman “Ask the Expert” Webinar for the National Resource Center for ADHD, “The Representation of ADHD in the Media”


On February 5, 2014 Wednesday at 3:00pm, I will be providing a webinar on “The Representation of ADHD in the Media”. The webinar is sponsored by the National Resource Center for ADHD, supported by a grant for the Centers of Disease Control. The topic was chosen after a number of recent articles on ADHD in national publications. Given my media experience, I was invited to provide an educational overview to how articles are developed, discerning the subtext, and advocating for input for those who deal with ADHD everyday.

I hope to provide the participants with a “behind the curtain” insight to the positive and negative representations in local and national press. My presentation with slides will be 25 minutes followed by 30 minutes of Q and A. Please join us.

You may wish to view transcripts of previous “Ask the Experts” presentations by leading experts. This is a treasure trove of information.

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Dr. Goodman interview on Dan Rodricks show on WYPR Jan 27 at 1pm


I have been invited as an expert on ADHD to participate in an interview on the Mid-day with Dan Rodricks show on WYPR on January 27 1-2pm. This is a live panel discussion that will include Dale Archer M.D., a psychiatrist and writer, to discuss the use of medication and treatment options for ADHD. The discussion is moderated by Dan Rodricks who is a distinguished journalist in Baltimore with a regular feature in the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

Dr. Archer wrote an article online for Forbes on January 6, 2014 on his perspective of ADHD and the overuse of medication and the over-marketing of ADHD. His article highlights and echoes the sentiments of Alan Schwatz in his New York Times article “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder” published December 15, 2013.

This one-hour program will give me the opportunity to highlight the national and international  scientific literature and research on ADHD. I hope to highlight the  well documented negative consequences over the course of one’s life with untreated ADHD as reflected in several international prospective studies following ADHD children into young adulthood.

This program promises to be a lively discussion and offers listeners the opportunity to call in with questions.  I encourage you to mark your calendar. I believe the program can be accessed online. If you listen, please leave me your comments for feedback.

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“The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder” The New York Times December 15, 2013


The New York Times article “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder” published December 15, 2013 had quoted me towards the end of article. As I had previously written in my blog posting, the quote was taken out of context and deliberately misrepresented my professional article with Medscape. I did send a letter to the editor in order to have this quote placed in appropriate context, however, in the letters to the editor, it went unpublished. So, I’ve posted my letter to The New York Times here.

The New York Times

Letter to the Editor

December 14, 2013

Dear Editor:

Let me congratulate Alan Schwartz on his extensive review of ADHD in his article “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder”, December 14, 2013.  He highlights the increased identification of people with ADHD and the growing use of medication as a treatment option. Unfortunately, he presents information that malign physicians and researchers who have committed their life’s work to investigating the causes of ADHD and pursuing research to prove treatments effective. Mr. Swartz would have served his readers well by revealing his a priori agenda in writing this article. A case in point, Mr. Schwartz quotes me in regards to an article I authored for Medscape on adult ADHD. In this article, he knowingly and deliberately eliminated my notation that the six-minute video accompanied a 2000 word article with 86 scientific references that extensively detailed the clinical evaluation process for ADHD in adults.  Therefore my quote, out of context, misrepresents my work and misleads your readers.  Perhaps his article would have been better placed in the Op-Ed section of The New York Times.

David W. Goodman, M.D.

The moral: Discern the agenda of the journalist before you make sense of the information provided. As I like to teach my psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins, the credibility of the information is a function of the intent of the provider.

Dr. David W. Goodman featured as ADHD expert in The Washington Post article’s December 17, 2013


The Washington Post took the initiative to write an article in today’s (December 17) paper on ADHD in adults ages sixty and older. This article is also accompanied by a sidebar article discussing adult ADHD Older adults with ADHD are a group that has not been specifically researched and about whom very little is written. The Washington Post article includes two or three people with ADHD who were diagnosed much later in life. They speak about their lifetime experiences with untreated ADHD and the positive change they and others have noticed with treatment.

Imagine that you spent 60 years of your life distracted, disorganized, forgetful, and chronically tardy.  Imagine that you have dropped out of school, lost jobs, or were divorced as a direct consequence of that state of mind.  Imagine that you seek help from  a professional and you are told that you have a disorder that can be effectively treated.  Imagine your reluctance and hopefulness that these experiences can diminish. Imagine that you agree to treatment and discover that all of these experiences were symptoms of the disorder and not you as a person.  I know, that’s a lot to imagine. At this age, the goal of treatment is not only to treat ADHD  but to help a person understand the difference between what they have (disorder) versus who they are (person).  In my experience helping people, this process helps resurrect a person’s self-image.

I invite you to read these two articles and seek professional help if these  symptoms resonate with your experience. If you are an older adult with possible ADHD, I recommend that you see an expert in ADHD who will be able to make an accurate diagnosis. Because older adults may have both medical and psychiatric disorders in addition to taking medications, it’s critical that an expert be able to distinguish multiple disorders and  evaluate the presence of ADHD accurately. Effective treatment is completely dependent on the accuracy of the diagnosis.
Thank you for your interest.
David W. Goodman, M.D.

Dr. David W. Goodman quoted in The New York Times Today (December 15, 2013)


Today the New York Times published an article “The Selling of  Attention Deficit Disorder” by Alan Schwarz. This is a lengthy article highlighting the increased identification of people with ADHD and  the concomitant increase in the prescriptions of effective medications.  The article is a feature story on the New York Times website today.

Toward the end of this article I am  quoted for the authorship of a continuing medical education article I wrote for Medscape.com in August 2012. In the Times article, he references a six-minute video clip of an interview between physician and patient I had included in my Medscape article.  He uses my quote “That was not an acceptable way to evaluate and conclude that the patient has A.D.H.D.” to  indict me for using  the short video as an example of how to evaluate adult ADHD. He sat with me for 30 minutes in Washington DC and recorded our interview.  However, what he failed to mention in his New York Times article was that the video clip he referenced accompanied a 2000 word continuing medical education article with 86 scientific references that was estimated to take physicians 2.5 hours to complete.  It would appear that Mr. Swartz had an a priori agenda in presenting his information. His remarks in the article malign and misrepresents physicians’ and researchers’ commitment to exploring causes and effective treatments for ADHD.  Unfortunately this is not my first experience with journalists dispensing with facts that don’t support their biased premise.

This evening I composed my  Letter to the editor and have forwarded it to them.   Let’s wait and see what develops. And now you have the back story to my quote.  Thank you for your interest.

David W. Goodman M.D.

 

Brain test for ADHD-Expert does not endorse for diagnosis


As a follow-up to my blog on the new brain EEG “test” for diagnosing ADHD in children, a 2013 meta-analysis ( a review of all studies) research publication reviewed the individual studies on the use of EEG in children with ADHD. The NEBA study was included. The leader author of this study, Dr. M Arns at the University of The Netherlands concludes that EEG testing for ADHD is not a clinically useful test at this time. He explains his thoughts in a very recent piece for CHADD on their website.

Although the theta/beta wave ratio is different in ADHD children, there is too broad a range in this patient population to make the EEG test useful.

So, as I mentioned in my previous blog, be cautious if someone recommends this test “as a helpful way to make an accurate diagnosis.”  As I have said before, let science be the designated driver on the highway of opinions.

David W. Goodman, M.D.

Brain wave device for ADHD approved by the FDA


If you get ADHD alerts or listen to the media, you may have heard of the FDA approval for a brain wave test to aid in the diagnosis of ADHD. The study involved 275  children between ages 6-17. The test is an EEG and they say that the ratio of specific brain waves (theta and delta) increase the accuracy of making the ADHD diagnosis.

Here are my reservations:

1. The FDA has not released the study data so there is no way for researchers and clinicians to review the merits of the study.

2. Study methodology can strongly influence the data and subsequent interpretation.

3. We don’t know the threshold of benefit that was used by the FDA to merit the approval. The threshold was not indicated in their approval statement.

4. I’m unable to locate the study as a scientific publication at the NIH publication database (www.pubmed.com)

5. What you may be reading in the media is simply a combination of the FDA’s statement of their approval and the press releases by the company who sought the approval.

6. Historically, attempts to find diagnostic tests like this for ADHD have been very elusive and ultimately of little added benefit in clinician practice.

7. Resist the “sales” pitch of practitioners to use and bill for this “test”. The prescribed treatment will still be the same, regardless of the “test” results.

Until the study or studies are publically available for scientific review, please be skeptical.  If it proves to useful, the studies will clearly indicate it.  Until then…..

David W. Goodman, M.D.