Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “london”

ADHD and Sport.The Russians Hack into medical records. How many athletes have ADHD and should they receive treatments?


So the result of an almighty hack into the medical records of USA competitors in the Rio Olympics tells us not unsurprisingly that  a few use Oxycodone for pain,  a few use steroids or derivates and Simone Biles the world’s leading gymnast uses Methylphenidate ( which sadly most of the world including The Times, think is synonymous with Ritalin , when a little education would tell folks that there are multiple formulations ).  All these drugs were evaluated by independent doctors and judged to be fit for purpose. Nothing here is new.  In fact Olympic-level athletes must submit a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) form to the Therapeutic Use Exemption Committees detailing the symptoms, diagnosis, and testing criteria utilized in forming the diagnosis of ADHD. So spurious diagnoses are unlikely and uncommon. img_1553

ADHD is likely rife in sport and now that adult ADHD is more often recognised and treated prevalence rates will likely increase. Adult ADHD has a prevalence rate of at least 3-4% of the population.  In fact any football fan will complain weekly about “adhd traits” in their team, without recognising what they are referring to. The key ADHD traits in adults relate to impulsivity and inattention. And often occur together in fact.

Many athletes are already recognised as having ADHD. Louis Smith the UK gymnast and Michael Phelps are two current examples. It is well known that some Premiership footballers are undergoing treatment. Some will decline medication ( regardless of any ruling about medicinal use) , preferring the non-drug treatments ( and yes there are quite a few). Some will also choose to only take medication sporadically for their own reasons.

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Should they be allowed to? Categorically yes. The lack of focus that comes with ADHD is not a good feature in sports where focus is critical. Gymnastics being one such example.

So how many athletes have ADHD? Firstly maybe it needs definition of what exactly is an athlete?  Reported figures suggest that around 8-10% of professional sportsmen have ADHD. It is worth also citing that whereas in childhood forms of ADHD the male-female ratio is around 5-1, in adults the ratio becomes almost 1-1. Some of the more inattentive cases of ADHD in females not getting diagnosed as early as the more over hyperactive males.

Some estimates of ADHD prevalence are even higher. Recent statistics put out by Major League Baseball show the incidence of ADHD  is twice as high as in the general adult population, at about 9 percent versus 4.4 percent in the 14-44 age range (National Institute of Mental Health study, 2006. ). Many also remain undiagnosed and some fear to have a diagnosis made, so prevalence estimates could well be as high as 15%.

I can find no clinical research on prevalence rates in these populations however watching any football game there is usually a few players who are more impulsive and have more inattention than others. Impulsivity may lead to yellow and red cards and unwise passing. Most fans can point to a couple of their players that meet these criteria.

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ADHD paradoxically can also potentially be an advantage in athletes where periods of focus for racing or playing are often short, some times less than 10 seconds. In some cases treatment may have negative effects and not the potentially ” improved” effects that some might believe from usage of stimulants or non-stimulant medications.

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Some of these strengths linked to ADHD which, managed properly , can lead to success in multiple areas of life, and  include: an ability to multitask, deal with chaos, creativity, non-linear thinking, an adventurous spirit, resilience, high energy, risk taking, calm under pressure, and the capacity for hyper focus . Talking to many ADHD experts they report that in many adult ADHD cases hyper focus is prevalent and in certain situations ADHD patients can focus better than the general population.

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Should ADHD be treated then in athletes? Generally it should as most athletes have lives outside of their sport and other facets of their lives including relationships may suffer.

ADHD can manifest in many ways, including lack of focus and concentration, oppositional behavior in team sports, argumentative attitude, frustration, poor self-esteem, and mood lability. In addition, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, each of which directly affects team sports and participant interaction. For these reasons, athletes with ADHD often perform better with medical treatment in life and in their sport.

Some disagree with this and a few papers discuss the ethics of using stimulants based on performance enhancement. My view is different. The medication elevates underperformance where this is found, not in all cases,  and brings it to normal levels. Athletes also deserve a life and relationships and employment. Medication has an important role to play.

 

 

What Does A Fire Really Look Like?


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Photographing NonLeague Football Makes You Smile. Some Quite Curious Photos. Carshalton v Farnham Town FA Cup 2016


Sometimes when you photograph a game you get lucky. The game is exciting, or there are spectacular goals. Sometimes though you just get a series of quite unintentional photos. Here are a few photos from a Preliminary Round game in the FA Cup 2016 Carshalton Athletic v Farnham Town.

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The keeper is punching the ball at the precise moment the shot is taken

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Trail left on a 3G pitch

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Two things I like about this shot. The sign saying “no ball games allowed” and the photographer here imagining nothing interesting will happen.

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Tommy Bradford, a Carshalton forward seems to have become a dwarf

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The guy in the background leaning onto the pitch and gesticulating gives the impression of being not only Voldemort but also a pony tail for this Farnham Town player

Sri Lanka V Australia at Galle 2016


During a recent trip to Sri Lanka we were fortunate enough to have a spare hour at the end of the day to watch the cricket from the Galle Fort that sits high above the ground.

00005440 Many choose to watch from here as it is free and the views are not too bad. Some locals and some tourists. A great experience to see English folks avidly supporting the Sri Lankans. Maybe the most interesting use of a coconut I have seen as a pillow for this slumbering gentleman.

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Brentford 2 Ipswich 0.Early thoughts and opinions on Championship


A sunny afternoon greeted the first Brentford home game of the season played against a team that Brentford normally respect however with the bad taste left in the mouth from the encounter at Portman road a few months ago, this was always going to be an interesting occasion. Even the River Thames at Brentford looked acceptable in the absence of any water.

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Griffin Park

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River Thames at Brentford

Thankfully football prevailed and there no side shows provides, Alan Judge did not make a visible appearance, Luke Hyams “injured” and Mick McCarthy played a decent role as the pantomime villain cheekily acknowledging the applause that greeted Dean Smith, as if for him.

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The game was played mostly in good spirit and refereed well. In the first 30 minutes Brentford might well have been behind, the post saving us from an opening Ipswich goal, as the large sized Ipswich team marauded forward and at that stage my massive £1 bet on a Brentford win looked very much in doubt. in fact most Bees fans would have taken a draw if offered. But the Ipswich dominance became less as the half went on and it was no great surprise when Brentford took the lead early in the second half with an excellent attacking header from John Egan and soon after a close range superb finish that Hogan would have been proud of, made it 2-0 and effectively the game ended there. Sam Saunders should have added to the score and 2-0 did not flatter Brentford.

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What did we learn? Firstly Ipswich will struggle this season to be a play-off contender. They were well beaten by Brentford who many take to be a mid-table side. The Ipswich style of play is a long way from the Sir Bobby Robson era and frankly I would not want their style transposed on Griffin Park too often. They may also want to consider signing a goalkeeper with more presence.

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Romaine Sawyers

Brentford in contrast were surprisingly good. The new players all settled quickly. Callum Elder looks a good left back and very much in the Bidwell style. John Egan grew into the game and will be a superb centre back. Harlee Dean had a great game and I dont say that often. It is unclear how Barbet or Bjelland will get into the side apart from injury or suspensions. Romaine Sawyers was simply superb and my man of the match. Looking like a Clayton Donaldson lookalike he ran the midfield and grew into the game increasingly. Lewis Macleod was the only player I have some early reservations over lacking physical presence and missing an excellent opportunity. Dan Bentley had little to do but did suggest that his kicking game had been stoled from David Button. 1K4A4633

A good start to the season and many encouraging signs for Brentford but maybe not for Ipswich. How long will Mick McCarthy remain as their manager? My bet is not for long at this rate.

 

The Animals of Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka


Many travellers to Sri Lanka have heard of and visit Yala National Park however far more visit Udawalawe.Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka 165 kilometres (103 mi) from Colombo. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.

Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan elephants.

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The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir  and covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land  and was established in 1972.

Other than than the more exotic animals such as elephants , a whole plethora of birds, water monitors and other lizrd creatures seem to appear from nowhere.

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The New Coca-Cola advert?


Prahran. Street art and art in Melbourne. The Cullen boutique hotel


Prahran is a fairly inauspicious suburb in Melbourne . It is however home to The Cullen hotel one of the worlds top 100 boutique hotels. The Cullen is an artistic hotel with fairly bright prints on every wall and rooms decorated in unusual styles that include donkeys and mules staring down at the bed as you sleep.


Prahran is also home to a fair number of street art designs including one of the best I have seen worldwide . This excellent piece of work is down a dismal alley and one can only presume the artist chose this site for some very precise reason.


There are street art paintings on many walls and garage doors. Even brightening up some of the more miserable looking alleys where rubbish bins line the walls.

Street Art In Ljubljana. An Exciting City


Ljubljana is Slovenia’s capital and largest city. It’s known for its university population and green spaces, including expansive Tivoli Park. The curving Ljubljanica River, lined by outdoor cafes, divides the city’s old town from its commercial hub. Ljubljana also has many museums, including the National Museum of Slovenia.

What however is less well known is the street art that covers walls in many parts of the city.  Here is a selection of some of the variety you can see, all from the city centre. Some are works of art whilst some border almost on the graffiti border. Would you want a half eaten fox on the wall of your restaurant?

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MLK seems to be wondering which bicycle he might use?

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Cannot make up my mind if this half eaten fox is a good thing to see against the wall of a restaurant? 

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An unusual mixture of street art to observe whilst drinking coffee or beer

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Painted door. I think I like this

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A real mixture of street art

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I suppose this is street art but some might say just graffiti

 

A few thoughts on a few hours in Madrid


I have posted a few articles this year on Madrid. A great city but a warm one. Recently I had a few hours to myself to walk around and that goes quickly in Madrid. Who cares where I walked but it was on the edge of Gran Via.

IMG_4299A few things struck me:

  1. This is a seriously hot city. Temperatures that day were a medium 30c at maximum but it felt hotter, what we call dry heat. In the summer I am told 45c is not unusual. Now that is too hot to be walking aroundFullSizeRender-5
  2. Prices for ice creams are a disgrace. In general Spain is not an expensive city at all, in fact relatively cheap, but to be asked for 3.20 euros for an ice cream cone is criminal.
  3. Everyone still seems to smoke here. This is not backed up in the official statistics of course, but just take a walk and take a look. FullSizeRender-6
  4. Spanish food is curious frankly. They never seem to want to heat it up properly and seem to regularly recycle in buffets food that maybe in UK would have been removed. IMG_4322
  5. The people generally are smiling. People are talking to each other. They tried talking to me, as most think I am Spanish, but at a conversation speed that appraoches the speed of re-entry into the Earth atmosphere.
  6. I like the city, the country and mostly the people.
  7. There is no word in the spanish language for Queue. This does not happen. They are not being rude ( well maybe they are) but people do not queue. Not anywhere. Old ladies are the most dangerous species with their bags and coats at strange angles and heading directly towards where they want to get to. If they knock you then so be it ( its your fault of course, not theirs),
  8. Lastly there is a reason why the abbreviation for Madrid Barajas airport is MAD. A really confusing and complex airport. Do allow time there to negotiate your way through.

 

When can I go back please? But dont mention the football. Euro 2016.

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