Dec 18, 2015 0 Comments in Children, Drugs, Mold, Neurotoxicity by

Neurotoxicity can cause conditions that mimic psychosis and depression in children. I have served as an expert witness in cases where children suffering from neurotoxicity were violent or suicidal. Before treating children with psychiatric drugs, it is important to investigate the environment for possible toxic chemical causes of the mental disorder. For example, mold is a common neurotoxic chemical found in environments with repeated indoor water intrusions. Unfortunately, many doctors are not aware that excessive exposure to indoor mold can cause “neurobehavioral effects”, which describe a wide range of possible neurological or psychiatric disorders.

In an article in the New York Times, December 10, 2015, the journalist reported that “almost 20,000 prescriptions for… antipsychotic medications were written in 2014 for children 2 and younger, a 50 percent jump from 13,000 just one year before, according to the prescription data company IMS Health. Prescriptions for the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) rose 23 percent in one year for that age group, to about 83,000…

“People are doing their very best with the tools available to them,” said Dr. Mary Margaret Gleason, a pediatrician and child psychiatrist at Tulane University School of Medicine. “There’s a sense of desperation with families of children who are suffering, and the tool that most providers have is the prescription pad.”

But Dr. Gleason said that children with ages measured in months had brains whose neurological inner workings were developing too rapidly, and in still unknown ways, to risk using medications that can profoundly influence that growth. She said the medications had never been subject to formal clinical trials in infants and toddlers largely because of those dangers…

Last year, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that health care providers had given a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to at least 10,000 children age 2 or 3 and then prescribed medications such as Adderall outside American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines.

“I think you simply cannot make anything close to a diagnosis of these types of disorders in children of that age,” said Dr. Ed Tronick, a professor of developmental and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts Boston. “There’s this very narrow range of what people think the prototype child should look like. Deviations from that lead them to seek out interventions like these. I think it’s just nuts.”

Prozac is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for depression in children 8 and older and for obsessive compulsive disorder in those age 7 and older. Most antipsychotics, which treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, are indicated only for children 10 and older. Risperdal is approved for children as young as 5, but only for irritability associated with autism.”

In conclusion, it is important to explore the possibility that neurotoxicity may be causing the mental health disorder before prescribing psychiatric drugs to children and infants.



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