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How ADHD helped our ancestors survive

Posted Dec 18 2009 10:01pm

“Without attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder the human race would have been someone else’s lunch long ago,” says William Meller, MD, author of Evolution Rx: A Practical Guide to Harnessing Our Innate Capacity for Health and Healing.

Evolution RX author Dr. William Meller

Evolution RX author Dr. William Meller

Tune in to hear Dr. Meller’s take on ADHD and helpful tips on NATURAL TECHNIQUES THAT CAN HELP KIDS WITH ADHD DO BETTER IN SCHOOL.

Dr. Meller will be back on HYTR on Wednesday October 7, 2009 to discuss “Why Stone Age women avoided the three most common cancers in women and what we can learn from them.” tune in from 1:30-2:00 pm EST on Blog Talk Radio, or catch the archived show here on HYTR’s website.

WITHOUT ADHD WE WOULDN’T HAVE SURVIVED THE STONE AGE

“Without attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder the human race would have been someone else’s lunch long ago,” says William Meller, MD, author of Evolution Rx: A Practical Guide to Harnessing Our Innate Capacity for Health and Healing.

Oakland, CA, August 10, 2009–Any parent of a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) knows that it’s a condition that comes with lots of challenges, but they should also know that throughout our evolution ADHD has  played a critical role in our survival. “Life in the Stone Age was fraught with danger. Fortunately, every tribe included a few individuals who had what we now identify as ADHD. They were the ones who were easily distracted by sights or sounds–sometimes only a rustling of leaves or the crack of a twig–that meant danger was nearby. They were often the first to alert the tribe and save the day,” says William Meller, MD, an expert on evolutionary medicine and author of Evolution Rx: A Practical Guide to Harnessing Our Innate Capacity for Health and Healing (Perigee, May 2009, Hardcover, 24.95). He adds that their skill at defending  the tribe  helped them  attract mates and pass along the genes for this trait. Even today, people with ADHD often perform heroic acts. “Their attention is always casting a wider net and we often benefit from it,” says Meller.

This is more than just a curious evolutionary fact. For the millions of parents of kids with ADHD it’s a reminder that despite the undeniable challenges of this condition, it also comes with real benefits that can be maximized. As a physician, Meller makes it clear to his patients who are struggling with ADHD that it is the conditions of life that make it a drawback. His solutions offer hope and encouragement to parents and patients.

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