Research Update: Co-morbidity, Yoga, and Environmental Design

Nearly One-Third of Children with Autism Also Have ADHD

A new study from Kennedy Krieger Institute researchers found that a significant number of children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder also have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They found that 31% of children with an ASD also had significant symptoms for ADHD. This is especially relevant because the new Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM-5) has revised the diagnostic criteria for these conditions, and a dual-diagnosis is now permitted. The researchers also found that the children with this dual-diagnosis tended to have more negative outcomes in regards to cognition, social participation, and activities of daily living, as well as more severe symptoms of ASD.

More Fresh Air in Classrooms Means Fewer Absences

This is a great piece of research to share with your classroom teachers! Scientists at the Berkley Lab looked at data from California classrooms. They found a correlation between levels of ventilation in the classroom and student illness. The higher the rates of ventilation, whether by the use of fans, vents, or open windows, the number of absences due to illness declined. The study did not look at causation, but provided information related to the educational and family cost of student illness/school absence, and the much smaller comparative cost of improving ventilation.

A 20-minute bout of yoga stimulates brain function immediately after

This study from the University of Illinois looked at the comparative impact of Hatha yoga and aerobic exercise on performance on a test of cognitive function. Study participants were healthy, female undergraduate students. Researchers found that 20 minutes of yoga had a greater impact on reaction time and cognitive measures. Although this was not a causative study, possible reasons for these results could be yoga’s emphasis on self-awareness and stress relief.

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