Human Anatomy and Physiology
Nervous System Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder, also known as ADHD, is a neurological disorder which effects anyone from children to adults. The common symptoms of ADHD include impaired or diminished attention, impulsivity and hyper activity. These symptoms can range in each individual from being mild to severe. People who have ADHD usually will range from normal to above average intelligence, the disorder does not affect one's intelligence but rather their attention and impulse control. Other symptoms which can be included in ADHD include impairment in perception, inability to form concepts, language, memory and motor skills. They usually have a decreased attention span, increased impulsivity, and sometimes emotional liability. The condition is found to be ten times more prevalent in males than females. There are also other factors which can impact ADHD such as; genetic factors, biochemical irregularities, prenatal and postnatal injury or disease. Though there is no known cure therapy and medication can help persons with ADHD cope with their symptoms.
ADHD has both environmental and genetic factors which can affect it. Researchers have found in recent studies that ADHD is polygenic, meaning that the disorder has multiple genes which can affect the severity of the symptoms. There is not much which you can test to find ADHD, so there are no brain scans or blood tests which can tell you if you have ADHD. However, they have found that the prefrontal cortex, caulclate nucleus and globus pallidus are usually smaller in individuals which have ADHD than those who do not. This anatomical discovery suggests that there is a lack of connectivity between key portions of the brain which control attention, stimulus processing and impulsivity. Along with this the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine are shown to have a part in pathophysiology of ADHD. The neurotransmitter dopamine is involved in behaviors such as reward, risk taking, impulsivity and mood. The neurotransmitter norepinephrine is involved in behaviors such as attention, arousal and also mood. Researchers have performed brain studies on individuals with ADHD and have found results which suggest that there is a deficit in the dopamine receptor and an excess of the dopamine receptor. The dopamine receptor uses dopamine and norepinephrine to convey attention and responses to one's environment, which means that there may not be an appropriate transmission of neurotransmitters in individuals with ADHD. Though the meanings behind these findings is not yet clear yet, researchers are sure that dopamine and norepinephrine are involved in the pathophysiology of ADHD. Along with those causes there can also be other factors which will affect ADHD such as high stress, maternal mental disorders, low income, and foster care. Though these are not primary causes they have been linked to increased rates of ADHD.
There is no test in which you can take that will show that you have ADHD, but there are other ways of diagnosing it. Usually parents of the child (since children are usually the ones to be more commonly diagnosed) will notice signs of ADHD. Such as a loss of interest in things sooner than other children, or they may seem out of control to the parents or other adults. Many times the child's teacher will be the first one to notice symptoms of ADHD, they may have trouble following rules or they may also space out. Once an adult that is close to the child has noticed these symptoms the next step would be to take them to a licensed health professional to find out if they indeed have ADHD. The health care professional would then take notes on the child's behavior and environment. The pediatrician or mental health specialist will try to rule out any other possibilities first based on the symptoms of the child. They could be experiencing undetected seizers, a middle ear infection causing...
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