Understanding ADHD

by on August 23rd, 2011 at 7:00 am

ADHDDo you have trouble completing tasks? Is it a struggle for you to sit still? Have you acted on impulse once too often? These are the main symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADHD is fairly prevalent. According to the CDC, more American parents began reporting a diagnosis of ADHD for their children over the past few years.1 The CDC says these cases increased by 22% between 2003 and 2007.

Statistics don’t do this disorder any justice, though. ADHD is debilitating. For children, it can make it difficult to focus and behave in school. Their grades may suffer as a result.

ADHD starts during childhood but can continue into adulthood. And scientists have noted that adults with this disorder can have trouble keeping jobs and relationships.2

But there’s good news. Scientists recently made an important discovery. Last year, the science journal, UAB Divulga, reported that researchers had linked ADHD to abnormalities in the reward circuitry of the brain.3

The journal says this reward system is located in a part of the brain called the ventral striatum, which contains a collection of nerve cells known as the nucleus accumbens. Why is all this important? Well, McGill University notes that the nucleus accumbens uses the neurotransmitter, dopamine, during the reward process, and dopamine can make you feel good.4

A few years ago, the newspaper, Psychiatric News, said that ADHD may be caused by a dopamine deficiency.5 The newspaper cited a study showing that a drug used to treat ADHD also increased dopamine levels.

One study found that the herb, Centella asiatica (Gotu kola), might regulate several neurotransmitters, including dopamine.6

“It is very striking that Centella asiatica improves not only the cognitive performance but also the mood,” the study says. “The high dose of Centella asiatica could increase calmness and alertness after 1 and 2 months of treatment.” That means that people who take this herb might think clearly and feel good.

Overcoming the challenges of ADHD involves improving your thought process and remaining calm.

Focus ADDult™ promotes concentration, focus and attention span in teens and adults.

Sources

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “ADHD Homepage: Data & Statistics in the United States.”
  2. Dusan Kolar et al, “Treatment of Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder,” Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
  3. Susanna Carmona, “Discovery of ADHD-Related Alterations in the Brain’s Reward System,” UAB Divulga
  4. McGill University, “The Brain From Top to Bottom: The Pleasure Centres.”
  5. Psychiatric News, “Dopamine Role in ADHD May Explain Drug’s Efficacy,” American Psychiatric Association
  6. Jintanaporn Wattanathorn, “Positive Modulation of Cognition and Mood in the Healthy Elderly Volunteer Following the Administration of Centella Asiatica,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology

One Response to “Understanding ADHD”

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