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An Introduction to Attention Deficit Disorder

Mar 25, 2008
One of America's most commonly misunderstood neurological conditions is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Many people lack a full understanding of the disorder, and would not be able to identify it if they met a person with the condition. This article provides introductory information about ADD.

People diagnosed with ADD find it difficult to pay attention and focus on a given task. Motor restlessness and impulsive behavior are other indications of the disorder. Reports suggest approximately 4.4% of adults possess some degree of ADD.

ADD generally affects three or four parts of the brain. This causes multiple 'profiles' or 'styles' of diagnoses in children and adults with the condition. ADD is understood as a neurobiological disorder, caused in the brain by malfunctioning dopamine neurotransmitter systems. Genes play a big part in most cases. There is a 30% chance of a child having ADD if a parent has the disorder. In cases of twins, if one of the pair has ADD, the other's chances of being struck by the disease increase by 50%. There was once a belief that ADD is caused by poor nutrition, but this has since shown to be a myth. In the same vein, allergies, drugs and bad parenting have been discredited as causing ADD.

An individual with ADD is not getting sufficient neuro-chemicals. In simpler terms, the sufferer lacks normal stimulation of the brain. As a result, the brain attempts to increase the release of the chemicals with physical activities. This is not a conscious decision from people diagnosed with ADD. They really cannot help themselves; hyperactivity becomes a reflex.

Difficulties arise when sufferers face circumstances that do not stimulate them, like school work, and try to shift their attention to something that is stimulating to them. Of course the school work is completely hampered by this, and school-age ADD typically don't perform well in their studies.

Consider, for example, a friend's experience. This incident happened when research into the disease was in its infancy. Her child who would suddenly get up on his desk at the start of class, and would begin to tell jokes. Initially people thought he was trying to be funny and consciously disturb the others. But with time and awareness, the child was diagnosed with ADD.

Personal relationships and permanent employment also become a cause of concern for people with ADD. Legal issue also crop up when ADD causes people to take dangerous chances with themselves and end up doing careless things to stimulate themselves.
About the Author
Tony Sinclair provides an in depth interview on the causes of ADHD, and simple tips to work with the family challenges ADHD creates. See adhd-secrets-uncovered.com
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