Majid Ali, M.D.
Hyperactivity Triggered By Paint
Some years ago, I saw a boy with a severe form
of ADHD (hyperactivity/attention deficit disorder).
He had been assigned to a special class for children
with learning disabilities in school. Like almost
all children with ADHD l have seen, the tests showed
allergy to molds and other inhalants and sensitivity
to several foods. His mother, an intelligent woman
fully committed to doing the best for her son,
assured me that she was going to follow rigidly our
program for her son. The boy responded well and
within some months he was readmitted to regular
Then one day I received a distress call from his
mother telling me that there had been a complete
breakdown and her son was back to where he had been
when I first saw him. I asked the usual questions
looking for the usual answer in
overload, straying off his prescribed diet, viral or
bacterial infections, and exposure to dust during
renovation work at home. The mother assured me that
she had diligently looked for all those factors but
had failed to identify the culprit.
I prescribed liquid Nystatin for the boy because
that had worked well in the past in similar
situations. The mother called two days later and
said he was 90% better. I asked one of our nurses to
call the mother to see if she had any clues to what
had triggered the relapse. There were none.
The next week the mother called and told me of
"I know what caused Tommy's [not his real name]
relapse," she said excitedly.
"What?" I asked, my interest piqued.
"House paint," she replied.
"Paint? But didn't I ask you last week if he had
been exposed to any chemicals?"
"Yes, you did. But I didn't know then."
"Where was it?"
"Tommy was at his grandparents for the weekend
and slept in a freshly painted room."
"How do you know it was the paint?," I expressed
"I called to tell you he was 90% better in two
days. Well, he went there again last weekend and had
another relapse, though not so bad. He slept in the
same room. You know they kept the windows in the
room closed during the week. Interesting, isn't it?"
"Yes. Very interesting!" I concurred.
The lesson in this case history is that
chemicals can trigger hyperactivity in children with
hyperactivity and attention deficits syndrome.
Furthermore, such chemical exposures are frequently
not recognized by parents.
List of Related Tutorials
Breathing for Children With Anxiety and Asthma
Rising Prevalence of Autism Spectrum
Autism Epidemic in China - A
Shocking Rise in Autism
Incidence in Los Angeles
k The Toxic Womb State
Water Do in Metabolism?
Sinsusitis and Sinus Polyps