Why more children and teens are overdosing on ADHD drugs, science heats up the summer season and using your legs to strengthen your brain.

Unnecessary and accidental use of ADHD drugs on the rise

(Chicago Tribune, 5/21/2018, Christen A. Johnson)

The opioid crisis ravaging America has understandably become the biggest public health story of the past few years. But it isn’t just pain medication that we need to be concerned about.  An American Academy of Pediatrics study published Monday revealed that the rate of adolescent exposure to ADHD medication reported to U.S. poison control centers increased 71.2 percent from 2000 to 2011, with a 6.2 percent decrease from 2011 to 2014. Exposure could include children finding and ingesting the medication, accidental dosage errors or an intentional overdose for the purpose of getting high or committing suicide. The study looked at how people up to age 19 encountered the medication and was not limited to those with a prescription.

10 Slices of Summer Science

(NBC News, 5/2018, John Roach)

Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season. Did someone say summer? From the Perseids meteor shower to salmon runs and shark attacks, check out these interesting examples of the “science season.”  

Leg exercise is critical to brain and nervous system health

(Science Daily, 5/23/2018, Frontiers)

Groundbreaking research shows that neurological health depends as much on signals sent by the body’s large, leg muscles to the brain as it does on directives from the brain to the muscles. Published today in Frontiers in Neuroscience, the study fundamentally alters brain and nervous system medicine—giving doctors new clues as to why patients with motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and other neurological diseases often rapidly decline when their movement becomes limited. The study involved restricting mice from using their hind legs, but not their front legs, over a period of 28 days. The mice continued to eat and groom normally and did not exhibit stress. At the end of the trial, the researchers examined an area of the brain called the sub-ventricular zone, which in many mammals has the role of maintaining nerve cell health. It is also the area where neural stem cells produce new neurons.

 

—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola