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Let’s Reconsider ADHD

Definition of ADHD

        Web MD defines ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) as a chronic condition marked by persisting inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Males are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, with a male to female ration of 4:1. ADHD starts in childhood and more often than not continue on to adulthood. ADHD patients are diagnosed as either inattentive, hyperactive or both.

Behavioral symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Lack of focus
  • Inattentiveness
  • Not following social norms and rules
  • Distracted by trivial noises that others wouldn’t notice
  • Fidgeting
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Distinct memory (only remembering specific things)
  • Excess energy
  • Quickly losing interest in things

The severity of ADHD symptoms vary in each child, some have extreme inattentiveness and some are slightly less attentive then normal children of their age group. Naturally these symptoms are stressful for child as he isolates him or herself from their peers. These symptoms are also scary for most parents because in the current educational system these personality traits severely hinder success and work output. Children with ADHD are also predisposed to have other mental health complication

Biological Basis of ADHD

        In a study conducted in 2016 Hoogman and colleagues analyzed MRI scans for more the 3200 children from nine different countries, half of the children tested had ADHD and the other half was normal. The studies confirmed previous belief that brain development is delayed in children with ADHD. Hoogman and his colleagues also found that there were five brain regions the in the brain of children with ADHD that are smaller than normal children. These brain regions are the caudate nucleus, putamen, nucleus accumbens, amygdala and the hippocampus.

Studies have also showed that children with severe ADHD symptoms have smaller frontal lobes and less temporal gray matter content in the brain. Biological studies have also gone on to show abnormalities with white matter and other essential parts of the brain and its connectivity system. These abnormalities cause deregulations of dopamine and norepinephrine which then cause mood changes.

 On the other hand, one might argue that these finding are insignificant considering the fact that in most cases these underdeveloped brains catch up and become normal by adulthood. It is not that their brain is smaller, it is simply that they need more time in the process of development.