Carlos Hernandez

Possible research topics:
– Looking at students with ADHD and how non medical medication works better than medical medication

Who?: Student with and students without ADHD between the ages of 10 and 16.

What?: Looking at how does non medical and medical medications improve the participants ability to maintain attention.

Why?: This is important to look at because of the way we deal with patients with ADHD is heavily revolved around medicine, which is beneficial but detrimental to the body. Thus, finding an alternative and more effective way to treat ADHD patients that is less deteriorating to the body will benefit people diagnosed with this disorder.

– Finding how students from private versus public schools perform on standardized test

Who?: Students from private and public high schools, potentially adding students from different grade levels as a variable. We can look at city schools and more out of state privately funded schools as comparison.

What?: Looking at hows does the structure and resources affect the students scores across all four years of high school.

Why?: If there is a clear difference, then we are not giving public schools the correct attention or resources required to succeed as much as the private schools. Thus there would need to be a school reform to improve the education structure.


Annotated Bibliography

Angyal, N., Horvath, E. Z., Tarnok, Z., Richman, M. J., Bognar, E., Lakatos, K., Nemoda, Z. (2018). Association analysis of norepinephrine transporter polymorphisms and methylphenidate response in ADHD patients.

This research paper by Angyal et al (2018) looks at the pharmacological effects of methylphenidate on neuronal activity. More specifically, this paper looks at the effects of methylphenidate on neurotransmitter activity, transporter activity, and receptor site effects that methylphenidate has on the brain. This paper recognizes the negative side effects that methylphenidate has on the user; this drug is the main drug being prescribed to ADHD patients.

The researchers are aware that drugs like methylphenidate are being prescribed to people with ADHD although there are several side effects that come with the drug. Furthermore, the researchers are also aware that there is a significant increase in the neuronal activity when taking methylphenidate. This paper is useful when looking in depth at the effects of drugs used to treat ADHD.


Danysz, W., Płaźnik, A., Puciłowski, O., Plewako, M., Obersztyn, M., & Kostowski, W. (1983). Behavioral studies in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

The paper by Danysz et al (1983) looks at a rodent model of assessing ADHD behaviors in response to a number of experiments. The researchers looked at the rodents behavior when assessed in a open field test, a two way active avoidance task, a passive avoidance task, and several shock inducing tasks. Each task is designed to assess the rodents behavior in different ways. ADHD rodents are a good representation of people who are diagnosed with ADHD in that they exhibit similar behaviors. The researchers found that ADHD rodents had more locomotor activity when compared to the control rodents.

This paper indicates that there is an increase in the motor activity in rodents who are representative of the ADHD symptoms. This paper punts into perspective the way people with ADHD react to certain tasks; furthermore, they allow us to interpret how people with ADHD behave when presented with a task. Lastly, this paper is useful when talking about the reoccurring behaviors in people with ADHD.


Cao, A., Yu, L., Wang, Y., Wang, G., & Lei, G. (2013). Composition of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) in different encephalic regions and its association with behavior in spontaneous hypertensive rat (SHR).

This paper looks at the importance of the proteins involved in attention. The authors look at SHRs and their response in a attention set shift task, open field task, and spatial learning tasks. The researchers found that there was increase in the AA and DHA proteins when assessing the SHRs behavior in the tests. Furthermore, this paper reiterated that SHRs, or rodents who exhibit ADHD like behaviors, exhibit less attention and more activity than the controls.

This paper is important when looking at one of the symptoms of ADHD, attention. Pople with ADHD tend to have a shorter attention span than others because of the lack of norepinephrine and dopamine release in the brain. Thus, this paper is important when taking into consideration the causes behind attention. When considering a solution to the lack of attention, one needs to implement a stimulus sufficient enough to produce a counteracting effect to the lack of norepinephrine and dopamine.


Handen, B. L., Feldman, H. M., Lurier, A., & Murray, P. J. H. (1999). Efficacy of Methylphenidate Among Preschool Children With Developmental Disabilities and ADHD.

The authors indicate the behaviors exemplified by the preschool children who have ADHD. This paper takes a look at the in time results of methylphenidate on children who have ADHD. Furthermore, this paper records the teachers rating of the children’s behavior before and after taking the drug, and it is also important to take into consideration that the study looks at how the children react to taking a placebo. The results indicate that the placebo had an effect on the children’s behavior, and there was a significant improvement in the children’s behavior.

This paper is important when taking into consideration the in real time effect that the ADHD drugs have on the children. It is evident that there is a significant improvement in the children’s behavior, but the side effects are still detrimental to the children. Furthermore, there is the dilemma of whether children should be given these drugs. The paper indicates that the preschool children exhibited similar results to older children, so they are responding similarly to children who already have experience with the drug.


Pamplona, F. A., Pandolfo, P., Savoldi, R., Prediger, R. D. S., & Takahashi, R. N. (2009). Environmental enrichment improves cognitive deficits in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR): Relevance for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The authors look at some of the potential alternatives to ADHD medication on a rodent model with SHRs. This paper looks at the behavioral improvements that an enriched environment, or brain engagement, has on the SHR rodents. This paper found that an enriched environment has significant improvements on rodents behavior; rodents were less spontaneous and they performed better on tasks assessing their behavioral deficits.

This paper is important when looking at alternatives to medication for ADHD patients. The fact that the enriched environment helps improve the rodents performance in the tasks assessed means that there is an alternative solution to the ADHD medication. Furthemore, this paper puts into perspective the environment that children and other ADHD patients are in. We can better their symptoms by providing a more enriched and engaging environment for example.


Robinson, A. M., & Bucci, D. J. (2014). Individual and combined effects of physical exercise and methylphenidate on orienting behavior and social interaction in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

The paper by Robinson & Bucci (2014) indicates the effects of exercise on ADHD. The results of this study indicate that continuous exercise improves hyperactivity in SHRs. This means that the exercise has a significant effect on the ADHD behaviors. Furthermore, when compared to the results of methylphenidate, exercise had similar results to the drug.

This paper indicates once again that there is potentially alternative ways to treat ADHD patients that do not require medication. The results to methylphenidate indicates that there is indeed other alternatives as well.


Pezzica, S., Vezzani, C., & Pinto, G. (2018). Metacognitive knowledge of attention in children with and without ADHD symptoms.

The paper by Pezzica, Vezzani, & Pinto (2018) indicates the metacognitive knowledge of children who have ADHD. This paper has an emphasis on the introspective analysis of attention. The results of this paper indicated that children who have ADHD are aware of what attention similarly to children who do not have ADHD. The children with ADHD are aware that attention is something required to have in school, but they are not able to attain it as well as the other children.

This paper also looks at some of the alternative solutions to promote attention within the children who have ADHD. This is important since there are alternative teaching styles and methods that can be implemented before medicating children that can help them improve in their behavior. Furthermore, the metacognitive analysis indicates that the children are aware of what attention is and how it is beneficial for their school activities; thus, this shows that children with ADHD are capable of understanding their symptoms and how they are affecting their behavior.


Botanas, C. J., Lee, H., de la Peña, J. B., dela Peña, I. J., Woo, T., Kim, H. J., … Cheong, J. H. (2016). Rearing in an enriched environment attenuated hyperactivity and inattention in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats, an animal model of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

This paper looks at a rodent model and the behaviors exhibited in SHR rodents when placed in an enriched environment. The SHRs where tested in an open field test, y maze, and in a delay discounting task; these tasks are a good way for the SHRs to exhibit behaviors in a manner that is representative of the ADHD behavior. There was an EEG administered along to assess the brain activity of the rats after the enriched environment. The results of the study indicated that there was an increase in the neuronal activity of the rodents after being exposed to the enriched environment.

This study indicates that an enriched environment can have the potential to influence neuronal activity by increasing the activity. Furthermore, this study opens up the possibility to alternative forms of dealing with solution for ADHD symptoms. Lastly, this study opens up a field of questions on how people with ADHD are living, and how interactive their environments are. Is it possible to improve peoples environment enough to be considered enriched in order to promote neuronal activity?


Knardahl, S., & Sagvolden, T. (1981). Regarding hyperactivity of the SHR in the open-field test.

This paper looks at the legitimacy of the open field test as an assessment of the ADHD symptoms. The paper focuses on the behavior of SHRs in an open field test and how relatable they are to people’s behavior who have ADHD. It is interesting to note that there are similarities in the behavior of SHR’s during resting periods, and the differences are only visible when the open field test is administered.

An open field test is a good way to assess ADHD like behaviors because the test indicates how active the rodents are. Rodents for the most part tend to stick to the edges of the open field test because they are not prone to being in open fields, but the SHRs tend to move towards the middle of the field with ease. This indicates their lack of intuition, and this can be related to the hyperactivity in people with ADHD. These people are more likely to act spontaneously.


Wigal, T., Greenhill, L., Chuang, S., McGOUGH, J., Vitiello, B., Skrobala, A., … Kollins, S. (2006). Safety and Tolerability of Methylphenidate in Preschool Children With ADHD.

This paper looks at the side effects of methylphenidate in children who were treated for a year. The study focused on the teacher and parental observations of their children before and after being administered the drug. They looked for different behavioral changes, and they found that there was a drastic change in behavior after the baseline part of the methods. There was an increase in adverse events and the side effects of the drug were apparent. There was an increase in emotional outbursts, trouble sleeping, repetitive behaviors, and loss of appetite.

This  paper is essential when looking at the side effects of drugs on children. When we administer drugs that are supposed to help ADHD symptoms they always have  negative side effects that are more harmful to the person than the benefits. In this  study there is clear evidence of how people’s behavior changes when they are on these drugs. This is important to keep in mind because these side effects are already happening to children who are being treated with these drugs.


dela Peña, I. J. I., dela Peña, I., de la Peña, J. B., Kim, H. J., Sohn, A., Shin, C. Y., … Cheong, J. H.(2017). Transcriptional profiling of SHR/NCrl prefrontal cortex shows hyperactivity-associated genes responsive to amphetamine challenge: Transcriptional profiling shows hyperactivity genes.

This paper’s goal is to find genetic evidence of the lack of attention in ADHD. The researchers focused on the prefrontal cortex as the region of the brain to look at in SHRs to assess their neuronal activity. Furthermore, while on amphetamines , the SHRs showed a decrease in spontaneous behavior. There was an increase in spontaneous behavior when the SHRs where not administered a drug. Lastly, the researchers found that there are genetic risks when treating ADHD with amphetamines.

This paper is important when looking at the genetic effects of drugs as opposed to the behavioral effects of the drugs. This paper in particular opens up questions of the long term effects of drugs on people. There is clearly a hazard for future genetic disfunction when taking these drugs and an alternative to this medication can save people from future problems.


Chen, Y.-Y., Chen, Y.-L., & Gau, S. S.-F. (2019). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and suicidality: The mediating effects of psychiatric comorbidities and family function.

(Chen, Chen, & Gau, 2019) This paper looks at the perspective of children who are suffering from ADHD and their thoughts on the disorder. The children assessed in this study tended to have a greater rate of suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, the authors of this study propose parental interventions to ensure their children do not have these thoughts.

This paper is a good representation of the other side of ADHD. For the most part we think of trying to control and fix ADHD but there is more to the disorder. There is also the person with the disorders thoughts and behavior. It is important to keep in consideration the other persons perspective when treating and finding alternative treatments for ADHD.


Chen, Y.-Y., Chen, Y.-L., & Gau, S. S.-F. (2019). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and suicidality: The mediating effects of psychiatric comorbidities and family function.

The authors of this paper look at family structure and function as a means to mediate the ADHD behaviors. This study indicated that children with ADHD were about four times more likely to feel suicidal than children without ADHD. Despite the family’s mediating effects, the suicidal rate for children with ADHD is still relatively high when compared to children without ADHD.

This paper is important when looking at suicidal prevention for children with ADHD. We do not think of children with ADHD as being suicidal, especially as being four times more likely than children without ADHD; thus, it is important to consider alternatives to medication that do not hinder the children’s thoughts and emotions.


Campeño-Martínez, Y., Santiago-Ramajo, S., Navarro-Asencio, E., Vergara-Moragues, E., & Santiuste Bermejo, V. (2017). Efficacy of an Intervention Program for Attention and Reflexivity in Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Intervention for Attention and Reflexivity in ADHD.

This paper looks at the potential that intervention programs have on children with ADHD. As apposed to treating ADHD with medication, these authors look at the benefits and potential success of intervention programs on ADHD patients. The results indicated that there was a reduction in the ADHD symptoms across children. Along with the intervention programs, this paper also looks at potential solutions in school as well.

This paper takes an alternative to medicating children, and the results indicate that there is potential for alternative solutions. When we think of treating ADHD we do not take into consideration the effects it can have on children during their school day, and this paper takes that into consideration. Thus, this paper is essential when looking for alternatives to medicating children.


Sinzig, J., Vinzelberg, I., Evers, D., & Lehmkuhl, G. (2014). Executive function and attention profiles in preschool and elementary school children with autism spectrum disorders or ADHD.

This paper looks at the lack of attention and executive function in children with ADHD. The results of this study found that there is a clear association between aggressive behavior and social problems in children with ADHD. It is important to keep in mind that the children used for this study were preschool and elementary school students. Lastly, the authors of the study found that children with ADHD had more deficits in inhibition tasks than children without ADHD.

This is important when assessing behavior from children who are taking medication, since the side effects of the drugs are apparent through their behavior. Furthermore, it is important to take into consideration the side effects of the drugs being prescribed to children since it can impact their social behavior, especially in the school environment.


Poulin, C. (2007). From attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder to medical stimulant use to the diversion of prescribed stimulants to non-medical stimulant use: connecting the dots.

This paper looks at the risk of having children with methylphenidate in schools. This paper found that there is the risk of children selling their prescribed medication to other students in their school. There is also the positive correlation between the number of prescribed drugs to children and the number of drugs being illegally sold to students; thus, there is the increase in methylphenidate being released into the streets because of the increase in medication being prescribed.

This is important when looking at the secondary effects of prescribing methylphenidate or any other drug for ADHD. Furthermore, these drugs are being sold the most in schools which is affecting the school climate as well as the miss use of drugs. By implementing a non medicated solution to ADHD, there is the potential to reduce the number of drugs available on the streets for other students.

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