Is bipolar disorder in childhood an emergent plague?

About a month ago, results from a NIMH-sponsored statistical study that determined the rate at which children were being labelled and treated for bipolar disorder were published, and reported widely in the popular press (I initially read about it on September 4th in the Sunday New York Times). Twenty years ago, bipolar disorder was a…

Eating crow

Some months ago, after my grand-daughter Leila’s school in Oakland, California burned down and its rebuilding seems to be drowning in a bureaucratic swamp, I predicted that it would NEVER be rebuilt in time to begin the 2007-8 school year on time. I was wrong. The Oakland Unified School District and the contractors that they…

A connected kid

I know a 16-year-old boy who is addicted to video games. By ‘addiction’, I mean that he is compelled to play them for several to many hours each day, even while he knows that it is in his own best interests to limit his play time, even while his parents continually (ineffectively) try to curtail…

Is “being mentally active” sufficient, for sustaining brain health?

There was an interesting exchange of comments following a July 7th entry (“What’s it all about”) that begins with the argument (by CCb at anom@anom.com) that “brain fitness training” is unnecessary, for someone who is still engaged in reading and scholarship. [CCb, might I suggest that you and other commentors at least identify yourself with…

“What you do matters” ALSO applies (of course) if you’re a young’un!

The extent of confusion about the relationships between what infants and young children spend their time doing, the development of their behavioral abilities, and the genesis of their ‘interests’ and ‘personality’ is massive, both in the lay and scientific communities. l was reminded of this once again when I read the comments of scientists (the…

When you see autism emerging…

I have a wonderful niece (Lea Ann Thompson) who owns and manages a residence facility for autistic and other impaired young people in Salem, Oregon. Lea Ann and her husband Matt are full of good spirits and do-goodness, with two young sons of her own. Here, she asks a question that commonly arises out there…

Old, but good

My wife Diane and I spent a weekend several weeks ago at the National Academy of Sciences center at Woods Hole, in a beautiful coastal location near the southern base of Cape Cod. The National Academies hold several meetings each year for a group of special senior advisor’s (their ‘President’s Club’), and in part because…

Abby has her ups and downs

I thought that I’d give you a brief update on how little Abby is doing. As you may remember, my daughter’s 4-year-old niece suffered from several minutes of asphyxiation in a playground accident. She emerged from a week-long coma with clear physical and behavioral signs of subcortical brain damage. Abby is now a month out,…