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Basic Guide To Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Aug 28, 2008
It is estimated that from 3 to 10 percent of the population suffers from what is known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This disorder is found more often in boys than girls. This disorder is characterized by inability to concentrate.

Normal attention span seems to develop in three stages:
1. Exclusive Attention: This is a term used by experts to describe attention that is focused on a single object for a long period of time. An example of this would be a baby who focuses totally on a print or button on the clothing of the person holding him. A child whose attention becomes stuck at this stage of development might be diagnosed as having autism.

2. Inclusive Attention: This refers to a very wide span of attention that is constantly changing from one object to another for example a toddler who is running from one toy to the next never able to stay with any one toy even for short period of time. A child who is stuck at this stage develops attention deficit disorder.

3. Selective attention: This refers to a stage where child is able to shift focus at will from being inclusive to being very exclusive. This pattern of attention and concentration is required to be successful in a classroom-learning environment.

Causes
Slow psychological development
Learning disabilities
Anxiety
Depression
Low thyroid
Poor nutrition
Boredom due to lack of challenge

Problems faced
1) A high level of frustration causes impatience. They want it to finish every thing quickly.
2) Unable to filter out normal background "noise". Thus finding it difficult to concentrate on a task before them.
3) Disorientation to time and space is often a problem.
4) They may have difficulty following a set of instructions or reading a map.
5) They are disorganized. They have trouble making and carrying out plans.
6) They are hyperactive.
7) Because they're always in a hurry, delays of any kind make them restless.

1.Medications
Medications used to treat ADHD stimulate the production of two neurotransmitters dopamine and norephinephrine. These are necessary to carry a nerve impulse (message). When this neurotransmitter is under supplied, a message may not reach its destination. Brain circuits, like those of a computer are either on or off. When some circuits are on they make something happen such as helping a person to focus on a situation.

Some circuits prevent emotional reactions to situations. If the circuit is not on or only partially on, the person may react too quickly to a minor incident which causes anger reaction. These medicines are not sedatives in fact they stimulate certain parts of brain, so it becomes more active leading to better attention and concentration and self-control.

2. Diets
A diet high in L-Tyrosine, an amino acid (protein), has been demonstrated to be effective in some cases. The body to produce norepinephrine a neurotransmitter uses L-Tyrosine. A diet rich in L-Tyrosine may work well to certain extent.

3. Psychological Treatment
Psychotherapy like behavior modification, cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation training can have a positive effect.

4. Psychoeducational Program
Focus is a psychoeducational program that designed so that it can be used as either an adjunct or as an alternative to medication.
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