Upstate News

November 30, 2005
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Russell Barkley, Ph.D., one of the nation’s leading authorities on ADHD, joins faculty of SUNY Upstate Medical University

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Russell Barkley, Ph.D., a clinician, scientist and educator and one of the nation’s leading authorities on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), has joined the faculty at SUNY Upstate Medical University as research professor in the Department of Psychiatry. Barkley formerly was professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Considered by many to be the leading expert on ADHD, Barkley has made the disorder his chief research focus for more than three decades. His research has helped illuminate the genesis of the disorder and has provided clinicians with a new understanding of the best treatment options for ADHD sufferers.

To parents of children with ADHD, Barkley is a household name. His research, treatment and parenting tips are presented on more than 30,000 websites and his mass market manuals for how to parent an ADHD child, “Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents (Guilford Press, 2000. 2nd edition) and “Your Defiant Child: Eight Steps to Better Behavior” (Guilford Press, 1998), top the list of essential reading for parents of children with ADHD.

Individuals with ADHD, which is diagnosed in both children and adults, usually suffer from inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. While these symptoms can occur in normal youngsters, they occur frequently in children with ADHD in a variety of settings and often interfere with a child’s ability to function normally.

Barkley’s research, along with that of others, has helped debunk what was a common perception in 1950s and 1960s that ADHD was a result of bad parenting or immature personalities and that children would grow out of this “bad habit” as they became adolescents. Today, much more is known about the disorder, namely that biology and genetics contribute to the disorder and that second to autism, it is one of the most inherited psychiatric disorders.

Barkley said ongoing research indicates that brain function-or lack of-is bearing out to be a significant factor in ADHD. Recent studies show that the brain in children with ADHD does not respond to certain kinds of stimulation, particularly unresponsive is the area of the brain that provides the stimulus to stop or halt a behavior or action.

“It is gratifying to be involved in the study of ADHD today, because we are making progress on so many fronts,” Barkley said. “Each day we understand more about the disorder and can be that much more helpful to the parents and their children afflicted with this disorder.”

Barkley, a member of the Attention Deficit Disorder Hall of Fame, has been honored for his work on ADHD by numerous organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the American Board of Professional Psychology.

As a professional advisory board member of the Attention Deficit Disorders Association, he has worked closely with parent support groups for families with ADHD children, and in 1987 founded the New England Attention Disorders Association.

In 1989, Barkley was named chairman of a American Psychological Association task force examining the appropriate role of psychologists in prescribing psychoactive medications to children.

Prior to joining the Medical University of South Carolina in 2002, Barkley served as professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Massachusetts (1985 to 2002), where he founded and supervised the university’s ADHD clinical research program. He also was on the faculty of the Medical College of Wisconsin and served as a child neuropsychologist at Milwaukee Children’s Hospital (1977 to 1985).

Barkley’s research, funded largely by the National Institutes of Health, has looked at many issues related to ADHD, including treatments, interventions, family conflicts with ADHD adolescents and the adult outcome of ADHD children. He also has served as principal investigator on a number of studies assessing the driving skills of ADHD teens and adults.

Barkley is a prolific writer on ADHD, having authored dozens of book chapters and 17 books. The aforementioned “Taking Charge of ADHD,” has been cited as one of the most valuable resources on this subject. In addition to his books, Barkley has published more than 100 scientific papers.

“Dr. Russell Barkley is arguably the world’s expert Attention Deficit

Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),” said James Hudziak, a leading ADHD researcher and professor and director of the child and adolescent psychiatry and behavioral genetics at the University of Vermont. “Dr. Barkley is a great clinician, researcher, and author who will add expertise to an already strong child division, particularly in concert with his long time colleague, Dr. Micheal

Gordon. He will undoubtedly generate new research projects and findings, but almost more importantly will serve as a mentor for young scientists on the SUNY Upstate campus.”

Barkley’s appointment to SUNY Upstate and that of Stephen V. Faraone, announced Jan. 14, brings to campus two of the most celebrated minds in ADHD. They join a psychiatry department that is already seen as a leader in the field.

“To have Dr. Barkley, Dr. Faraone and Dr. Gordon on the faculty of the same department enhances our research focus by leaps and bounds,” said Mantosh Dewan, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate. “These researchers, working in collaboration, are poised to make even more significant progress in understanding and treating ADHD.”

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