WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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fitness & health "medication can play a significant role" in managing symptoms. But for the vast majority of those diagnosed, the number one recommended remediation is stimulant medication. "Medication, when used properly, is a godsend," says Dr. Hallowell. All stimulants work by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a brain chemical (or transmitter) associated with pleasure, movement, and attention. In particular, these medications, known by various names such as Ritalin, Adderall, or Concerta (among others), increase these neurotransmitters in areas of the brain OXLOCK / PBS that play a part in controlling attention and behavior. These areas seem to be underactive in those with ADHD. "Often medication can play a significant role. It helps 70 to 80 percent of those who try it," observes Marla Stone. Those interviewed for this story report a positive uptick in managing symptoms when on medication. "I feel better on the medication because I am not great for her," says Elizabeth, "it has been running around," says Megan Olszewski, a fifth grade student. She adds that when she is not on really noticeable." But experts agree that her medication, she has trouble calming her body down. Her mother concurs. "It has been medication should only be part of a larger protocol, one that offers practical, hardheaded strategies to cope with the chaos that ADHD can confer. "Pills don't teach skills," says Marla Stone. John Nesbitt concurs: "You are going to miss out on opportunities if you just try to solve ADHD through medication." Additionally, stimulant medication comes with its share of warnings and side effects, the most notable being appetite suppression and the most significant warning concerning its potential for abuse. Headline grabbing stories have gotten notice of late because of widespread reporting We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 3 of abuse of stimulants in high schools and on college campuses. "The medication is being abused by significant numbers of college students who are using it to keep them focused," says Marla Stone. However, studies show that when stimulant medications are taken 152

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