Tuesday, August 14, 2012

ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

Since my article "The world of ADD/ADHD" published in 2009, the condition's updated clinical term is now solely referred to as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).  As a general clinical rule the concept ADD is no longer used in the industry.  ADHD has spread across the country affecting our youth and adult population as well.  ADHD is real.  It's not simply boys being boys, or a phase that children grow out of.  ADHD has a firm grasp on 5 million of our children in the United States.

The 3 basic subtypes of ADHD are as follows:

1)      Inattentive

2)      Hyperactive/impulsive

3)      A combination of numbers 1 and 2.

Specific symptoms of the condition are as follows:

    Difficulty in focusing.
    Trouble with staying seated.
    Trouble following directions.
    Interrupting classroom activities.
    Trouble with homework organization.
    Frequently being impatient.

For a child to be diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms must continue persistently for a period of no less than 6 months.  There are parents that undeservingly accept responsibility for their children's behavior.  They may ask themselves, "What did I do or not do to allow this to happen to my child?"  The accepted responsibility and sense of guilt is misdirected.  ADHD is not a result of poor parenting and isn't related to the children's intelligence.  Scientists believe that ADHD is a biological condition that interferes with certain brain functions, and believe that the neurotransmitters of the brain are directly manipulated by the condition.  

Roughly 9% of the United States children population has been diagnosed with ADHD.  Researchers have found ADHD to be hereditary.  Similar to hair color, eye color, and other physical characteristics, ADHD can be passed down from generation to generation.  Medical researchers have suggested that approximately 76% of ADHD cases are linked to family genetics.  Juvenile males are twice as susceptible of being diagnosed with ADHD as Juvenile females.  There is a 50% chance of a child being born with ADHD if one or both parents have been diagnosed with the condition.  Among all neurobiological conditions, ADHD is the most common to be passed from mother to child.  Studies have also shown that 25% of immediate relatives within the family of ADHD children also have the condition.

The front line medications to treat ADHD are considered to be stimulants.  Stimulants have proven to damper some of the ADHD symptoms such as the 3 basic subtypes: Inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.  Methylphenidate drugs are used to aid ADHD patients with their concentration and focus.  Methylphenidate drugs increase the activity in the central nervous system, thereby increasing alertness, improving attention, and battling fatigue.  Examples of stimulant medications are Concerta, Focalin XR, and Metadate CD.  Alternative medications that aren't classified as stimulants are also prescribed for ADHD.  Examples of non-stimulant medications are Strattera, Intuniv, Kapvay, and selected antidepressants such as Wellbutrin.  

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