What is Attention Deficit Disorder?
- It is a neurobiological disorder
- People with ADD have subtle differences in the structure of certain parts of the brain, namely, the cerebellum and the prefrontal cortex
- Research also suggests that attention deficit disorder is caused by a lack of certain chemicals, such as dopamine and norepinephrine that assist with the flow of information through the neurons in the brain
- It has been medically documented for more than two centuries
- It has nothing to do with intelligence
- It is a chronic condition
- It can be mild or more severe
- It presents in three different types, depending on the symptoms
- It does not exhibit itself in the same way for everyone
Is it Hereditary?
- Most of the time ADHD is a genetic condition that is inherited
How common is it?
- 5%-12% of children
- 2%-5% of adults
What are the symptoms?
There are three core symptoms:
Can it be treated, and, what treatment possibilities are available?
- Attention deficit can be treated
- The best way to treat attention deficit is a multi-model approach using a combination of different types of treatment, which could include:
Are medications appropriate treatment?
- Medications have been around for over 50 years without any long term side effects
- Not everyone with attention deficit disorder requires medication
- Medication will not cure attention deficit order, but it has been shown to help with attention and decrease hyperactivity and impulsivity
- Medication alone is less successful than using a combination of different types of treatment
Do medications have side effects?
- All medications have side effects
- Some side effects are short term and go away
- Some may affect appetite
- Some side effects affect some individuals but not others
- Given the choices available, it is important to understand the side effects of the medication and to deal with your doctor to find the right medication, or combination of medications, and the right dose, to ensure the least amount of side effects
How long do they last?
- Some medications last a short time, 3-4 hours
- The newer medications last 8-12 hours
Are these medications addictive?
- These medications are not addictive
- In fact, medication can help to overcome impulsive behaviours that could lead to addiction
Do these medications have to be taken all the time, everyday?
- Not all people with attention deficit disorder need to take their medication every day
- This is something to discuss with your doctor
How important is Good Nutrition?
- Eating properly, at the right time and the right foods, is an important part of ADD management