Attention Deficit Disorder is the most common neurobehavioral problem. It is characterized by problems with focusing, keeping attention, and an inability to finish tasks; it may include impulsive behaviors and hyperactivity. Most of the time, ADD/ADHD is diagnosed via a web-based quiz, or a psychiatric evaluation. Once diagnosis is made, psychotropic medications, including Ritalin, Concerta, Stratera, etc. are prescribed. According to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD, most physicians have no training in the assessment and treatment of ADD/ADHD. They know only what meds to prescribe to try to manage the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
Current research has shown that ADD/ADHD is a true neurological dysfunction found in the brain, where there is a misfiring of nerve cells and an imbalance in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Although the brain is not diseased in an individual with ADD/ADHD, there is a problem with the development of specific areas of the brain. The result is decreased processing of information within those specific areas.
This is a PET Scan of the brain. The image of the ADHD subject shows low dopamine (a brain chemical that helps us focus) designated by the light orange. When there are low levels of dopamine, there is a high probability for ADD/ADHD.
Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are real dysfunctions that need to be properly diagnosed and resolved. To use strong psychotropic medications as long-term treatment for an individual with this issue is irresponsible and inappropriate.
Do foods affect behavior? Does sugar or food dye play a role in ADD/ADHD? What is the proper way to diagnose ADD? What are the best non-drug therapies to help resolve this dysfunction? Why does ADD affect boys more than girls? Can ADD be resolved? These and many more questions will be answered on the next few episodes of . . . ‘Wake Up, America!’
Oh, the Darien Center for Integrative Medicine and Chyten Educational Services are teaming up to present a lecture series on ADD/ADHD and other learning challenges starting in November. Check out our calendar of events on the web site for details. Visit www.darienim.com