For Immediate Release: March 21, 2005
Bright Minds Institute: (415) 561-6755
Bay Area Neurologist Takes
Extraordinary Step to Treat Children with
Common Brain Disorders
(San Francisco, CA) Concerned about the skyrocketing amount of psycho stimulants consumed by children and the lack of accurate diagnosis and public awareness, Dr. Fernando Miranda, a neurologist and leading expert, founded Bright Minds Institute, a San Francisco based state-of-the-art center for excellence, one of the only learning facilities in the country qualified to properly diagnose, treat and monitor children with brain disorders like ADHD.
Congress calls Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder a public health concern. At least one in 20 children is diagnosed with ADHD. 85 % of the world's supply of Ritalin is used in the U.S. Prescriptions for psychiatric drugs have increased five fold since 1991. Many of these drugs are not proven safe on children and can cause serious side effects. In February, Canada pulled the popular ADHD drug Adderall XR from the market after 20 deaths worldwide.
Although Dr. Miranda does prescribe medication to help kids focus, he questions the alarming trend of pouring psycho stimulants into children whose brains are not yet fully developed without proper diagnosis. "As many as half of these cases are misdiagnosed by busy, well-meaning medical practitioners who are often not qualified to identify a brain disorder. If your child has a heart problem, you see a cardiologist. But if he or she is exhibiting signs of ADHD, too often, parents rely solely on their pediatrician to prescribe a pill to fix it and there is no quick fix."
Dr. Miranda heads a team of medical professionals that specializes in cognition and brain development. They have developed a proven approach combining behavioral and medical intervention. The first step is a neurological exam that uses the latest diagnostic tools (includes EEG, MRI scan, event related potentials and I.Q. tests) to determine what works well in the brain and what doesn't. Therapies are tailored for the individual and often include behavior modification, learning how to focus and counseling. And, since a child's brain grows 20-thousand new brain cells each month, the sooner the intervention, the better.
The facts are scary. As many as one in five children has a diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral disorder (The Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Many children go undiagnosed and therefore go untreated. As Dr. Miranda sees it, "30 to 40% of school budgets are spent on children with special needs. These kids fail in school, get depressed, drop out and turn to drugs on the street. Our children deserve better! Society needs to know when it comes to treating brain disorders there is no magic bullet. But if done right, the payoff is a child who can learn and lead a happy, successful life... priceless! If we don't intervene, we all pay a price."
Bright Minds Institute treats ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Learning Disabilities and provides cognitive guidance for high achievers.