Brand New Brain-Based Resource


#1 in a Series on Brain-Based Resources

Introducing BrainFacts.org

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC


There’s a new kid on the block!

It’s not brand-spanking new, but new enough you may not have been aware of it’s existance — until NOW.

It’s also not ADD-specific, but it does include some ADD content you will want to read.

Ahem, BRAIN-FACTS, for those who’d love another place to send some of their Doubting Thomas friends and family members for an update to their [lack of] information base.

BrainFacts.org brings a lot to the block party, so I want everybody on Team ADD to know they’ve moved into the ‘nabe.

I also want you to remain aware of a couple of conventions they have to follow, so that, when you read about ADD, you don’t think they’re saying more than they are.

1. Don’t let the “H” mislead you!

Since the site represents a gathering of neuroscientists, they don’t have the freedom I enjoy to protest the inclusion of the “H” by refusing to use it.

They have to use the “official” name — which is whatever the current DSM caucus thinks is a good idea, even if the members of the caucus DID disregard the high likelihood of collateral damage, over outspoken objection from the trenches.

We can work with that, right?

ADD vs. AD(h)D NEWS that isn’t

Just remember to remember that “hyperactivity” is not only NOT the defining ADD presentation for a great many of us with legitimate ADD diagnoses but, in those cases where it IS part of the profile, it won’t always present as gross-motor hyperactivity.**

**which, if history repeats itself, is what most of the doctors who don’t specialize in ADD will be looking for. Unless you are seeking treatment for an extremely “hyperactive” little boy, you will probably have to “shop around” to find an ADD-literate diagnostician after the publication of the much maligned DSM-V (more about that in a future article).

2.  Remember to remember the current definition of “FACT” in the science field

BrainFacts.org seems to be positioning themselves to present “just the facts” – meaning those items that fit the current agreement of what constitutes “scientific” credibility: peer-reviewed journal published, replicated, double-blind, placebo controlled research!

That means, primarily, substance studies, because the model doesn’t translate easily when you’re looking at something like neurofeedback, mindfulness, EFT, etc.  At least, not yet.

It also means they probably won’t be free to theorize about what they think is going on (with ADD or anything else) — which is exactly the point of their site — brain FACTS.

And I believe that will prove to be pretty darned useful for those of us trying to keep up with the research, as long as we remember to remember to read with our brains engaged!  It does NOT necessarily follow that something is NOT true just because we can’t yet provide satisfactory, “scientific” PROOF that it is.  

Must I remind us all how long it took to prove that once crackpot
“round earth” theory to the satisfaction of the parties in power?

By the way, BrainFacts.org understands this too.  They even have a section that addresses what they call NeuroMyths, where they take on more than a few cherished ideas that just happen to be inaccurate or flat-out wrong (but refuse to die).

Who ARE these guys?

Don’t forget: the easiest way to find the links is to run your mouse over the article.
(Links on this site are dark gray to reduce distraction potential – they turn red on mouse-over.)

BrainFacts.org is a non-profit public information initiative, with a formidible group of partners.

The Gatsby and Kavli Foundations donated a generous $1.53 million over six years to build and sustain BrainFacts.org.  The site already features nearly 1,000 accessible, scientifically reviewed resources about the brain and mind – with more to come. (UNLESS you are reading this the very DAY I web-published it, there are, no doubt, more than a thousand articles already!)

The information on BrainFacts.org is regularly fact-checked and updated. All site content is reviewed for accuracy, either by Society for Neuroscience (SfN) members or by content partners approved by the BrainFacts.org editorial board.

Leading neuroscientists from around the world form the BrainFacts.org editorial board.

Pretty impressive, huh?

But wait . . . there’s more!

Recognizing that exceptional public information material is created in research organizations around the globe, BrainFacts.org features content not only from its Founding Partners, but also (at launch alone) from six initial Content Partners.

  1. The Dana Foundation
  2. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research — Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction
  3. The International Brain Research Organization
  4. The National Institute of Mental Health
  5. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and
  6. The Wellcome Trust (established as an independent charity in 1936, funding research to improve human and animal health)

In addition, the site features a dedicated discussion about the role of responsible animal research in advancing scientific understanding of diseases and potential treatments, and explains the oversight of such research, funded by a grant from the Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Fund.

Why another Brain-based Website?

As regular readers of this blog know, the study of brain structure and function is called neuroscience, and those who do the studying are referred to as neuroscientists.

BrainFacts.org has been developed to share what neuroscientists know,
to explore what they don’t yet know fully, and
to discuss how today’s research advances understanding.

The site’s content (reviewed for accuracy, remember) seeks to do a number of things:

  • To Inform the Public about exciting discoveries related to brain structure and function, and dispel common “neuromyths.”
  • To Provide Science Educators with easy-to-use, fun, scientifically valid resources, to use in — and beyond — the classroom. (Site-info is linked to National Teaching Standards in the United States, so content easily supports teaching needs and requirements).
  • To Explore Growing Understanding about the biological foundations of neurological and psychiatric diseases that affect about one billion people worldwide.
  • To Spark Dialogue about the progress, potential, and importance of neuroscience research.

Bottom line: they’ve put their collective shoulders to the wheel of education

Those of us who have not spent our lives keeping abreast of neuro-advances generally find it difficult to jump in mid-stream.

As BrainFacts.org says in some of their press releases –

  • Like other scientific disciplines, the path to understanding the brain is long and complex.
  • It can twist and turn unexpectedly, revealing both new knowledge and, sometimes, surprising results.
  • It demonstrates how science makes progress through continuous inquiry, testing, debate, and refinement.

BrainFacts.org shares the excitement of scientific discovery with ALL of us.  It illuminates the fine points of the scientific process as it provides information about the neuro-field’s understanding of causes, symptoms, and outcomes of brain disorders. Click a link and check ‘em out!

Their Caveat and My Suggestion

BrainFacts.org is not intended to give specific medical or other advice to patients.
Visitors interested in medical advice should consult with a physician.

Print information you find on BrainFacts.org that seems relevent to your situation (headers and footers intact to cite the source) — and take it to your next appointment with your doctor. Summarize the content verbally and ask for comment.

Whether they agree or not, leave the print-out behind and request that they read it (which they may or may not), and that it be placed in your file  (which you know you are entitled, by law, to access, right?).

The great ADD docs will appreciate the gesture as well as the content (they’re busy, not lazy!). The not-so-great “ADD” docs will find it difficult to maintain archaic positions in the face of credible reasearch.  As a result, you will get better care personally, and will be extending a helping hand to those “behind” you on the ADD trail.

It takes a village to educate a world!

As always, if you want notification of new articles in the Brain-based Resources series – or any new posts on this blog – give your name and email to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right.  (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too)  STRICT No Spam Policy

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with Executive Functioning struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

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