Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopment disorders that can result in abnormal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviours. It is generally diagnosed first in children and most often progresses into adulthood. Individuals suffering from ADHD may have a problem focusing their attention on a single task. Also Read: Dissociative Identity Disorder: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
There is no clear cause for ADHD, however, recent studies show that genetics play a crucial role. Some of the causes and risk factors include:
- Brain damage
- Exposure to environmental toxins (lead) during pregnancy
- Over abuse of alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy
- Low birth weight infants
- Premature babies
Some research suggests that a low level of dopamine is also a causative factor, as dopamine is a chemical in the brain that functions to transmit signals from one nerve to another, while also works to stimulate emotional responses and movements.
Any structural difference in the brain where the grey matter volume is very minimal, the grey matter involves the brain areas that assist with:
- Decision making
- Muscle control
Some of the common behaviour changes associated with ADHA includes:
- Trouble focussing or concentrating on daily tasks
- Lack of attention span as in the case of Lewy body disease
- Disturbing people while they are talking
- Furthermore, a child with ADHD can have problems at school, at home or with friends and would:
- Daydream a lot
- Forget or lose things
- Make silly mistakes often
- Find it tough to control the temptation
- Find it hard to get along with peers
Types Of ADHD
There are different types of ADHD which include:
Patients with this type of ADHD have problems with concentrating, focussing, completing a task and following instructions. The person is easily distracted or forgets daily activities. It is also observed that children with the inattentive type of ADHD may miss out on a proper diagnosis because they generally, do not disturb the classroom session. This type is most commonly seen among girls.
Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
Patient with this type of ADHD display mainly hyperactive and impulsive behaviour which include:
- Fidgeting as in the case of seizures
- Smaller children may run, jump or climb continuously
- Restless and has problems with impulsivity
- Distracting people while they are talking
- Impatient not being able to wait for their turn
- Find it difficult to concentrate on daily tasks
Combined Hyperactive-Impulsive And Inattentive Type
This type is the most common, patient with this type of ADHD show both inattentive and hyperactive symptoms which include:
- Lack of attention
- An increased tendency toward impulsiveness
- High activity levels
- Above normal energy levels
ADHD In Adults
It is observed that more than 60% of children with ADHD will show symptoms as adults. However, for most people, ADHD symptoms decrease as they get older. Proper treatment is of utmost importance, as adults who had left untreated exhibits negative impact on various aspects of life. Some of the symptoms like problems managing time, forgetfulness and impatience can cause a lot of issues at work, home and in relationships. Also Read: Work Issues Can Cause ADHD In Adults
ADHD In Children
About 1 in 10 children between ages 5- 17 years are diagnosed with ADHD making it one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. In children the disorder is usually linked with problems at school, children with ADHD often find trouble following classroom sessions in a controlled manner. Boys are more likely to get an early ADHD diagnosis, as they exhibit trademark symptoms of hyperactivity. In cases of girls with ADHD, they may be daydreaming and hyper talkative than hyperactive.
There is no specific test that can diagnose if your child has ADHD. Many doctors believe that ADHD diagnosis cannot be based entirely on one single test. Generally, the physician may assess the symptoms that the child exhibit over the last six months and gather information from teachers, family members which they use as rating scales to review symptoms. Furthermore, the doctor may also examine a complete physical examination to check for other issues. The child may further referred to an ADHD specialist and depending upon the diagnosis they may also need the help of neurologist or psychiatrist.
The main strategy of treatment for patients with ADHD includes behavioural therapies, medications or both.
Behavioural therapy includes psychotherapy or a specialist who provides talk therapy where the child and caregivers will discuss how ADHD affects the quality of life and specialist will assist patients with ways to manage it. The child is also helped to develop learning and understanding abilities on how to monitor and manage behaviour pattern.
Furthermore, doctors may also prescribe medications that may help a child living with ADHD. This medication works by affecting the brain chemicals in a way that enables them to develop better control over actions and impulses.