The Dubious Increase In ADHD Diagnoses
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About The Author

Paul Enck is Professor of Medical Psychology and Head of Research at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany. His research focus is psychophysiology and neurogastroenterology (i.e. stress research, pain research, biofeedback applications, cortical imaging, eating disorders, functional gastrointestinal disorders and placebo research).

                       

The Dubious Increase In ADHD Diagnoses

Diagnostic figures for ADHD are rising almost everywhere. Are there really more children with "Fidgety Philipp syndrome" today? A Swedish study suggests otherwise. Like an inner drive that never stands still, this is how those affected describe what happens in their heads. It is often almost impossible for people with ADHD to concentrate on one thing. And while the affected person's brain constantly absorbs new external impressions that it cannot ignore, their body is also constantly in motion. Around the...

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To Use Or Not To Use The Term “Placebo,” That Is (Not) The Question

Placebos have been around forever, even if they were not named as such. Just think about the stone age, when healers operated with mostly, if not exclusively, placebos, but did not call them that. Today, the term is rather popular (even a pop band is named that way), but it has a negative taste as well - why? "Like the word dirge, placebo has its origin in the Office of the Dead, the cycle of prayers traditionally sung or recited...

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In Adult Twins, Genes Lose Weight In Weight-Gain 

Published by Paul Enck and Nicole Simon This is part 33 of a series covering twin health provided by Paul Enck from the Tübingen University Hospital and science writer Nicole Simon. Further studies in twin research can be found at TwinHealth website. Translation was done with the assistance of DeepL translator. In a previous posting, we have shown that from childhood to adolescence, the influence of genes increases — but what about when you grow older? Scientists now demonstrate that this trend...

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Science Without Giants: What Drives Placebo Research Since The 1990s?

In previous postings, we have pushed some giants of placebo research off their column, or rather, jumped off their shoulders (to refer to Robert Merton's allegory again), namely Henry K Beecher and Stewart Wolf. We have claimed that they cannot be made responsible for the surge of placebo research in the 1990s, as is made visible by the steady increase of the number of studies published every year, from around 50 per year in 1992 to more than 250 nowadays — a delayed...

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Marriage Can Protect Against Tribulation 

The psyche should also benefit from a bond for life. Researchers have now noticed a certain degree of protection against depression. However, this is by no means true for everyone.   With a marriage certificate, life becomes more relaxed. Anyone who is in a relationship crisis and tired of eternal quarrels may only smile mildly about it. Medically, however, there is much to suggest that marriage offers advantages. It has long been described in numerous studies that lasting relationships are...

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On The Shoulders Of Giants, Part 2: Stewart Wolf And The Pharmacology Of Placebos

In comparison to Henry Beecher's much-cited paper, "The Powerful placebo," of 1955 (1), Stewart Wolf's paper, "The pharmacology  of placebos," of 1959 (2) is today almost forgotten; it came along less spectacularly but more scientifically solid, hiding its implicit provocation (there is a biology underlying the placebo effects) behind a seemingly serious title and in an even more serious journal, the reputable Pharmacological Reviews. While Beecher assumed a specific personality of the placebo-reactor, Wolf's assumption was that the underlying mechanism of...

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Traitorous Eyes

A twin study suggests that DNA also controls how well one can spot thoughts and emotions in the eyes of one's counterpart. The eyes are the mirror of the soul — at least, that's what they say. And indeed, emotions such as joy, surprise, and fear also appear in the pupils. Our fellow human beings (but also animals, e.g. pets) have learned to interpret this over millions of years. That's why we intuitively look our conversation partner in the eye....

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On The Shoulders Of Giants, Part 1: Henry K. Beecher And The Placebo Effect

When Robert Merton (1910 - 2003) dissected the allegory that we all are "standing on the shoulders of giants" — based on a much older saying by Bernhard of Chartres, according to John of Salisbury in 1159, often falsely attributed to Isaac Newton (1643-1727) who popularized it — (On the shoulders of Giants, published 1965), what he meant was that much of what we (scientists) are taking for granted and as starting points for new explorations, discoveries, and interventions are...

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Flavonoids May Help With Weight Loss

British researchers believe that certain plant substances can influence the amount of body fat. There is this simple rule: If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight. That's why weight loss programs are all about saving calories. Nevertheless, the rule is too simple because today, one assumes that not only the food or calorie quantity affects weight. Individual food components also have influence. A current study from Great Britain, for instance, allows us to assume that certain plant...

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Gambling Addiction: The Sensible Years, Studied In Twins

For some young people, the transition to adulthood also means starting a career as a gambler. Researchers have discovered that genes are also involved. In the beginning, it is the profit and the powerful feeling of having defeated the machine, the computer, or the bank. In the end, however, nothing remains but a mountain of debt and pure despair. For between 1 and 5% of the general population, gambling has become a drug (1). If one adds the problematic players,...

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