Depression in preschoolers

Joan Luby helps identify depression in children with “interview puppets.”Although all children are sad sometimes, preschoolers tend to be inherently joyful. But Joan Luby, director of the Early Emotional Development Program at the School of Medicine, has found that, like adults, very young children can experience depression. Her research team has developed a checklist to help clinicians identify young children at risk for developing the disease.

Kids with ADHD may smoke to treat their attention problems

From the 2000 debate at WUSTL, then Gov. Bush answers a question while V.P. Gore looks on.Studying twins, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found a link between attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cigarette smoking. There are two major subgroups of children with ADHD. One group combines attention problems with hyperactivity and impulsivity. The other principle type of ADHD involves only attention problems. While looking for genetic factors that might be related to these two subtypes of ADHD, the research team, led by Richard D. Todd, M.D., Ph.D., the Blanche F. Ittelson Professor and director of the William Greenleaf Eliot Division of Child Psychiatry, found that children who suffer from the form of ADHD that includes only attention problems are less likely to receive treatment for the disorder and much more likely to smoke cigarettes. The researchers believe the nicotine in cigarettes may help these children improve their ability to pay attention.