ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Is a developmental disorder. It is characterized primarily bythe “co-existence of attentional problems and hyperactivity, with each behavior occurring frequently alone” and symptoms starting before seven years of age.
The Neuroscience of ADHD
Affects boys 8 x more than girls• Reduced Brain Activity in ADHD Patients• ADHD affects from 5-10% of children and adolescents, with boys 8 times more likely than girls to have it. The disorder is marked by an inability to focus attention and hyperactive/impulsive behavior. Often these symptoms are paired with poor social skills and difficulties at school, which makes for a very complex situation. One early study in 1990 discovered that brain activity was 8.1% lower in 30 of 60 brain region in adults who suffered from ADHD (measured by global glucose metabolism). The regions with the most significant decreases in activity were the premotor cortex and the superior prefrontal cortex (shown below, circled), which are regions which (among other things) mediate impulse control. That same year Biederman et al. reported that 28.6% of parents who are diagnosed with ADHD have a child who also has the disorder; the cautious suggestion was made that ADHD may have some genetic underpinnings. The next 17 years would lend much evidence to that effect.
To medicate or not
• Types of medicine • Side effects of medicine• Concerta• Ritalin • Upset• Adderall stomach, decreased• Strattera appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, tiredn• Natural Remedies ess, decrease in appetite, some weight loss, and mood swings were the most common side effects.
What causes ADHD• Unfortunately, no one knows for sure what causes ADHD. Studies show that genes from the parents play a factor. But more research is being done to see if there are other possible causes including:• •Environmental exposure to toxins• •Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy• •Premature delivery• •Low birth weight• •Brain Injury• Research has ruled out a lot of other possible causes. Although the following factors dont cause the symptoms of ADHD in children, they could make them worse in certain children:• •Eating too much sugar• •Watching a lot of television• •Parenting styles• •Social and environmental issues like poverty or family chaos
Is it preventable?• There is no known way to prevent attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Avoiding alcohol, drugs, and smoking during pregnancy may help prevent a child from developing behavior similar to ADHD as well as many other health problems.
Things you can do to help your child have fewer learning and attention problems• Having good medical care and practicing healthy habits during pregnancy.• Learning and applying good parenting skills, including setting consistent behavior limits.• Maximizing preschool learning and attention skills by reading to your child and providing new learning experiences such as puzzles and board games. The development of attention skills can be increased with these types of activities rather than by watching television.• Also, nurturing techniques that begin at birth and continue throughout childhood will help your child reach his or her potential regardless of whether ADHD is a concern
DietFoods to avoid Foods to Give• Sugar • Calcium• Caffeine • Trace Minerals• Hydrogenated oils • Calcium and• Salt Magnesium• Additives • Protein • Vitamin B Complex • Essential Fatty Acids
DietFoods to feed Foods to avoid• Fish • Additives• Flax seeds • Hydrogenated oils• Nuts • Caffeine• Vitamin B complex • Salt• Calcium• Zinc• Iron
If you know a child with ADHD• Be a best friend - “Every child needs one adult who is crazy about him or her,” says Mary Fowler, author of 20 Questions to Ask if Your Child Has ADHD. “That is what keeps us going in life.”• Plan ahead- “Involve your child in this decision as much as possible.”
• Keep it short but yet fun
• Extracurricular activities- although these can be fun they may be stressful to the child. Don’t enroll them in anything that is to high demanding for them. Martial Arts tends to be the best activity.
Review the rough spots• Always communicate with the child. Let them know that you are there for them and it is ok to talk out feelings. Children enjoy knowing that there is someone out there that cares about them and is willing to take the time to show them.