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ADHD Rates Surge Among American Children

ADHD rates rising

ADHD cases have risen at an alarming rate in the United States according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of 2022, one in nine children had been diagnosed with ADHD—an increase of 5.4 million diagnoses since 2016.1 2

ADHD is formally known as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Researchers analyzed data from the 2022 National Survey of Children’s health to measure prevalence of the disorder in children ages 3-17. The research was published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology and was based on more than 45,000 responses. Authors of the study called the ADHD an “ongoing and expanding public health concern.”1

This new report follows an ADHD prevalence report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2023. In that report, authors stated:

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common childhood-onset neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by persistent and impairing inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, with a high prevalence among US children and considerable implications for individuals and families. Studies have found that prevalence of ADHD increased from 1997 to 2016 in US children. An analysis of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) reported that the prevalence of ADHD among children increased from 6.1% in 1997 to 1998 to 10.2% in 2015 to 2016. Similarly, the National Survey of Children’s Health showed a 42.0% increase from 2003 to 2011.3 4

ADHD: A Neuroimmune and Developmental Disorder

ADHD (and the older term ADD or attention deficit disorder) has been described in the medical literature as a psychological, neuroimmune or developmental disorder.5 There is growing evidence that children with ADHD have neuroinflammation and are vulnerable to autoimmune disorders.6 There is also evidence that children and adults with ADHD have environmental, lifestyle and genetic high risk factors that have not been fully identified.7

There have been reports of an association between ADHD and adverse responses to vaccines.8 In 2013, an Institute of Medicine committee published a report concluding that there is not enough scientific evidence to determine if the recommended early child vaccine schedule (birth to age six) is or is not associated with the development of a number of brain and immune system disorders prevalent among children today, including attention deficit disorder.9

Half of Children With ADHD are on Medication

Approximately half of the children diagnosed with ADHD are taking medication for it, and the disorder tends to be more common in boys; children living in lower income households; children with public health insurance, and children living in rural areas.

Melissa Danielson, MSPH, lead author of the study and CDC statistician, said she thinks there are two main reasons for the trend. The first reason is that there is more awareness about ADHD, which makes the cases easier to identify. The second reason is that more children are being tested and diagnosed since there are more treatments available. She added, “It could be a positive finding” because study results suggest more children are being screened.3

Global Market of ADHD Medication May Exceed $45 Billion

ADHD medications are a profitable industry. The global market is estimated to be worth $25.05 billion in 2024 and $45.51 billion by 2034.10

A series of articles in PBS Frontline’s The Business of ADHD contained interviews with several psychiatrists, physicians, and other professionals who study and treat ADHD and are critical of the pharmaceutical industry’s vested interest in diagnosing and treating ADHD.11

Physician Lawrence Diller, MD, author of the book Running on Ritalin, discusses how the business of ADHD is fueled by pharmaceutical industry marketing and influence to doctors. Diller stated:

The makers of Adderall have presented what I consider to be the most disingenuous, elaborate campaign I’ve ever seen or experienced. I’ve been offered $100 if I will sit and listen to someone talk about ADHD, funded by Adderall, for 15 minutes on the telephone and then fill out a five-minute questionnaire.12

Pharmaceutical Industry Lobbying and Marketing “Tilts the Balance” in Favor of Medications

Dr. Diller also criticizes the imbalance of funding that goes toward promoting prescription drug use as opposed to other therapies. Psychiatrist William Dodson, MD echoed these criticisms. He said:

The pharmaceutical companies make profits off the Ritalin or Adderall or Concerta. They’re companies. They can strategize and put out a marketing message. The alternative therapies—such as behavioral therapy or psychotherapy— don’t have that kind of lobbying muscle or marketing muscle. Therefore it tilts the balance in favor of medication over other therapies.11

ADHD and other neuroimmune, developmental or psychological disorders are diagnosed using criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) written by the American Psychiatric Association. Some of the many criteria that fall under an ADHD diagnosis include fidgeting with hands or feet; running or climbing excessively in inappropriate situations; talking excessively; making mistakes in schoolwork or other activities, and often losing things necessary for tasks.  All criteria fall under either an “inattention” or a “hyperactivity” category.12

Panel Members for Mental Disorders Diagnostic Guidelines Funded by Pharma

A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in January 2024 found that 55 of the 92 doctors in the U.S. who determine diagnoses and treatments in the DSM, collectively received over $14 million funding from pharmaceutical companies. Panel members who received the most compensation were those working in diagnostic areas in which drug interventions are often the standard treatment.13

Processed Foods Linked to ADHD

There is evidence of an association between highly processed foods, which are so prevalent in the American diet, and diagnosis of all disease, including mental illness diagnoses. Research suggests that between 60 to 90 percent of the standard American diet now consists of foods and beverages that are highly processed.14

Artificial food dyes are a more well-known contributor to attention deficit problems. The state of California did its own research on food dyes after concluding that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Acceptable Daily Intake levels (ADIs) for synthetic dyes were based on 35-70 year-old studies that didn’t measure adverse neurobehavioral outcomes in some children, such as ADHD. Discussing the findings, the director of the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Lauren Zeise, PhD, said:

Evidence shows that synthetic food dyes are associated with adverse neurobehavioral outcomes in some children. With increasing numbers of U.S. children diagnosed with behavioral disorders, this assessment can inform efforts to protect children from exposures that may exacerbate behavioral problems.15

Some research has concluded that food preservatives, such as sodium benzoate and carrageenan, are also contributing factors to ADHD-type behaviors. However,  as previously mentioned, large studies on treatments other than pharmaceutical medications are rarely funded and hard to find.

Andrew Kemp, PhD, a professor of pediatric allergy and clinic immunology, wrote:

In view of the relatively harmless intervention of eliminating colorings and preservatives, and the large numbers of children taking drugs for hyperactivity, it might be proposed that an appropriately supervised and evaluated trial of eliminating colorings and preservatives should be part of standard treatment for individual children.16

One common side effect of ADHD medication is suppressed appetite, which can make nourishing children appropriately an even harder task, and can contribute to a vicious cycle of behavioral issues.

A 14-year-long study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders in 2010 concluded that ADHD is largely a Western nation problem and is linked to the Western diet.17 While American children are continuously becoming sick with obesity, chronic illness, fatty liver, and mental disorders18 at an alarming and increasing rate, pharmaceutical companies continue to push medications, and government health agencies continue to champion vaccines, and the “Big Food” industry promotes processed foods.


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Click here to view References:
1 Rudy M. ADHD affects 1 in 9 kids in US, new report reveals: ‘shame and stigma’ Fox News May 24, 2024.
2 Danielson ML, Claussen AH, Bitsco RH et al. ADHD Prevalence Among U.S. Children and Adolescents in 2022: Diagnosis, Severity, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Treatment. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychology May 22, 2024.
3 Bendix A. Why have rates of ADHD in kids gotten so high? NBC News May 23, 2024.
4 Li Y, Yan X, Li G et al. Prevalence and Trends in Diagnosed ADHD Among US Children and Adolescents, 2017-2022. JAMA Netw Open 2023; 6(10).
5 Russo A. ADD vs ADHD Symptoms: 3 Types of Attention Deficit Disorder. ADDitude Sept. 4, 2019.
6 Dunn GA, Nigg JT, Sullivan EL. Neuroinflammation as a Risk Factor for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2019; 182: 22-34.
7 Schnorr I, Siegl A, Luckhardt S et al. Inflammatory biotype of ADHD is linked to chronic stress: a data-driven analysis of the inflammatory proteome. Nature Jan. 18, 2024.
8 Douglas LL, Kobre RA, Richmand BJ et al. Temporal Association of Certain Neuropsychiatric Disorders Following Vaccination of Children and Adolescents: A Pilot Care-Control Study. Front Psychiatry Jan. 18, 2017.
9 Institute of Medicine. The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence and Future Studies. The National Academies Press 2013.
10 Yahoo Finance. Attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) therapeutics market size projected to reach US $45.51 billion by 2034: Fact.MR study. Dec. 10, 2023.
11 PBS Frontline. The business of ADHD.
12 National Library of Medicine. DSM-5 Changes: Implications for Child Serious Emotional Disturbance. June 2016.
13 Cáceres B. Pharma Influences Diagnoses and Treatments in “Bible” of Psychiatric Disorders. The Vaccine Reaction Jan. 16, 2024.
14 Henry Ford Health. Ultra-processed foods are sabotaging your diet. Here’s how to cut them out. Sept. 29, 2023.
15 Berkley Public Health. New report shows artificial food coloring causes hyperactivity in some kids. May 24, 2021.
16 Kemp A. Food additives and hyperactivity. BMJ May, 24, 2008.
17 Flannery S. What we know about ADHD and food. Child Mind Institute Mar. 8, 2024.
18 Hobley N. Fatty liver disease rates increasing in American children The Vaccine Reaction Nov. 13, 2023.

11 Responses

  1. To refer to ADHD and Autism spectrum disorders, as well as many other developmental disorders, as a purely “immunological disorder” tells only part of the story. The whole story is immunoexcitoxicity-which is how immune activation triggers excitotoxicity in the developing brain as well as the older brain. It is mainly the excitoxicity arm that produces most of the neuropathophysiolgical effect, not “autoimmunity” alone. Several have proven this connection in a number of studies and I have written of it in quite a few articles and a recent book. This reaction has been shown in the ASD brain by microglial activation imaging and CFF studies. Pathological microglial activation was seen over 40 years in ASD.

    1. Great to see you posting Dr Blaylock. Chris Exley has said one of the most toxic influences of fluoride is its ability to enhance the absorption of ingested aluminium.
      If you’re a kid in the USA getting the full pediatric schedule of shots and your water is fluoridated your neurodevelopment will be highly compromised. Al enters directly via the jabs and in addition through anti acids and fast acting baking powders etc.
      Somewhat related: have there been any safety studies of fluoride varnishes as applied by dentists? There is no mention of safety at Wikipedia’s page on this material. I could not find it anywhere. I’m trying to put a stop to this!

    2. Oh boy. Intelligent commentary on these boards. Refreshing! Dr Blaylock and David are both spot on, great takes. As they say; You are what you eat. That would include the act of eating a pharmasuetical pill or taking any other supposed ‘medicine’, flouride, etc, etc. David you are referring to the process of synergistic responses and potentiation. That is when substances react with each other and exponentially increase their potency and effect. And in some cases even create new effects which the substance individually alone was not initially capable of, until it came in contact with the other substance.

      This is how the liability game is played with big corporations. Because there is so much toxicity on all sides from every industry. They can all point to each other and say it’s not our fault. In all honestly, you guys are using words which are a little too big for the average corporate executive or every day American politician to even understand or comprehend in the first place.

      The regulatory systems in this country are broken beyond measure, corrupted incrementally to such a degree and for so long there is now far more corruption than honest or legitimate process through the entire apparatus of government and allegedly supportive private companies whom follow. The most important lesson here is simple; We exist under the never ending unbearable yolk of taxation without representation. The only way to get this in check is to stop funding the movement, by way of demanding fair representation for the use of our tax money, and to pay less taxes in the first place.

      Because if people had to spend their own money and were not lulled into complacency with the false hope of institutional protections, things would never have gotten this bad. We’re funding our own destruction by agreeing to still pay taxes to these industries whom clearly are riddled with incompetency and greed. They’re actually delivering poisons directly into people and denying the outcomes. One in ten children now harmed. No big deal. Kids love it anyways, they smoke the adhd meds for a super rush. It’s really intense. Training future drug addicts, that is the primary outcome of the medical industrial complex these days.

      We’ve come a long way from the justification for forming institutions like FDA NIH CDC (and all the rest) in the first place. Yet, we have more snake oil in our cabinets than ever. We’d be better off with a return to legal opium than this. At least we could get the concentration levels down as prohibition is yet another factor which also supports higher potency. In a for profit model, patent expiration rules now work against peoples health, rather than for peoples health. Guess whom the biggest customer on the planet is for high profit patented medicines; The government. Your tax dollars hard at work.

      Repeat after me; No taxation without representation. You’ll never reach through the system to change anyone’s hearts or minds with those big intelligent fancy words, even if you do legitimately know what you’re talking about. Which you guys obviously do. Back to the basics. We don’t need the government, we’re capable ourselves. Therefore we will pay less taxes and get the job done ourselves instead. Who will be left to fund the corrupt systems and pull the levers of power behind the scenes then? How will special favors be doled out? Who will pay who to look the other way and ignore the real problem? The root cause of all these issues being discussed is the excess of tax money being channeled into the systems, which creates only exponential increases in problem quantity, and solves nothing.

    1. Children at 15 MONTHS are given 25 vaccines, and about 75 by the time they are 18. Autism was one in tens of thousands when I became aware of it 30 – 40 yrs ago now it’s one in 30 or so. It seems to me while I’ve heard/read that it is ‘not’ from the vaccines given much research.
      But with each new vaccine, Autism got worse. to care for one of these children is costing the parents a fortune in care which enriches the doctors who injected the ‘stuff.’ Sounds like a plan/scheme for the medical/pharma industry. And whats happen to the children if the parents cant care for them & those that do what becomes of them when the parents die? Robert Kennedy Jr. has been advocating against overuse of vaccines for several yrs and has a website that is worth following.

    1. Julie. The recommendation is simple; Do not accept any more vaccines for any reason. Then clean up the diet and eat organic non processed foods. Get all the chemicals out of your life as possible, which includes external; soaps, toothpastes, cleaning products, fire retardant substances in carpets furniture, plastic bottles which leech chemicals into your foods, etc, and includes internal; foods themselves, medicines, vaccines, drinks, etc. Get a very high quality water filter. We use Berkey brand.

      Think bio accumulation of chemicals within your body. If we take them in faster than our body can process them out, that’s when people lose their homeostasis and various cascading negative health effects happen. Hyperactivity being just one of the more common results. Stages of autism representing legitimate brain damage are not far behind, increasingly common. Then think bio cleansing and detox. Something that is a pointless exercise unless a person first takes careful and attentive steps to know what’s in their food and alleged medicines, and takes care to not consume dangerous substances anymore.

      It’s out there everywhere, one can hardly step out of a grocery store without having grabbed something with toxic substances, genetically modified materials, chemicals, pesticides, dangerous processed foods and preservatives. There is far more than people realize too. The things they list on the box are only what they’re required to disclose, because they’re toxic. And not everything gets disclosure rules either. Like milk for example, non organic milk has a mix of diet and regular sugars, often in higher concentration than soda pop, but there is no rule for the milk industry to have to disclose any of that. Go to Cornicopia Institute and read their milk egg meat and other food score cards very carefully, then change your shopping habits immediately. Read labels, if the ingredients listed are not something you personally cook with, do not buy the product. Eat more red meat, rice, organic vegetables. Drink more tea and organic juices. Never buy soda pops again, that sort of approach. You don’t need specific recommendations for non pharmasuetical treatments when you realize it’s the presence of pharmasuetical and chemicals which causes the problems in the first place. Simply get all of that stuff out of your life.

      Better living WITHOUT chemicals. Do your best to stay away from plastic anything. If a substance you would consume in your body is contained within a plastic container, simply do not buy the product. Never get vaccines. Research more holistic approaches. Get used to paying substantially more for a higher quality food, drink, and vitamin spectrum of items.

      In the real world it’s beyond obvious the parents food choices are a major part of the problem. All but only a handful of young children being dropped off at school are clearly on a super sugar rush from having consumed those fun looking cereals which the parents do not consume with them. Perhaps the only food parents allow in the house which they do not also partake in; Cereals. And baby foods… Complete with elevated concentrations of pesticides, gm substances, heavy metals, and non digestible ‘added vitamins and minerals’. In terms of the cumulative long term ability of those food items to cause bio accumulation of dangerous substances within the body, there is not much difference between a childs every day breakfast diet and contaminated vaccines. Both should be avoided.

  2. “Relative Incidence Of Office Visits and Cumulative Rates of Billed Diagnoses Along the Axis of Vaccination” by James Lyons-Weiler and Paul Thomas compares vaxxed to non-vaxxed in his practice. ADHD was prevalent in 5.3% of the vaxxed group. The number of ADHD cases in the unvaxxed group was ZERO. That’s zero cases and zero percent.

    Hyperactivity, as we used to call it, is on Dr Chris Exley’s list of 37 diseases strongly associated with aluminium poisoning.

  3. ,Just adding to Dr. Russell Blaylock’s excellent comments, with many factors involved, the most recent major change is the high exposure to wireless electromagnetic radiation experienced by children. Combined with vaccination and modified RNA shots a perfect storm storm is produced within the mitochondria and RNA response. It is a direct invasion of the body’s defenses and EMR especially goes deep within to the very essence of DNA and ultimately expressed as disease, harm and ill health.

    1. Correct again. How did this particular article attract this many intelligent people? Much appreciated guys. Yes, yes, yes, cellular, wireless devices, emf fields, flouride, aluminum, heavy metals, plastic material leeching, toxic additives, preservatives, undisclosed levels of preservatives and sweeteners, outright falsely disclosed other substances people don’t expect to be present, genetically modified substances, chemicals raining from the sky in failed efforts to engineer the weather, in our water, our foods, always building at a faster pace in our body than we can expel them, and so on and so forth.

      What keeps me up at night is the thought of spontaneous transmutanegetic trait cross over of genetically modified substances into other lifeforms, possibly crossing the genome. And now apparently we’re going to worry about the future of humanity because genetic contamination clearly happened with the covid vaccine. Here I am worried about pollens in the wind… We’ll simply have to wait a few generations to see how damaging the effects of the rnma manipulation were. That and get the tyranny in check and stop the abhorrent notion of vaccine passports and forced compliance with ‘health mandates’. When crispr9 comes to life and no longer needs a human. And how long before AI systems tinker with that without a humans permission? We’ve let the genie out of the bottle and it may already be too late. Repeat after me; Safe AND Effective.

  4. Jullie Stander. Chris Exley has been working on the biology and chemistry of aluminium for almost 40 years. This included examining brains of people who have died with Alzheimers, autism, and Parkinsons. They all had very high levels of brain aluminium. Al is very likely to be high in ADHD kids. Right from the start of his research he found that drinking spring water high in silicon helped some people to pee out high levels of aluminium. About 20% might reverse symptoms (?)The bottle label might say “silicic acid” or “orthosilicic acid” or “soluble silica” etc. In Germany it’s “kieselsaure”. In the USA this can be found in Fiji water. Europe has Volvic and Acilis (the best in the UK) there is a brand in Germany called Bad Brambacher which is high in silicic acid but low in fluoride. We can also get Spritzer but it’s pricey. “Imagine You Are An Aluminum Atom” is Exley’s book which goes deeper into what happens in the brain, why silicic acid binds to aluminium hydroxide and the biggest government cover up in history. He also has a substack. If possible measure aluminum in the pee before and after starting. Drink at least 1 L per day if possible. A healthy diet of course. I have been advising a lady diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s: Fiji water + MIND diet + exercise + read all food labels + no jabs. It’s helping!

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