ADD-itional News

While driving home, I just heard this latest ADHD news on NPR (link has text synopsis):  some children diagnosed with ADHD do literally grow out of the disorder by the time they are in their 20s.  Parts of the brain responsible for “the control of action and attention” experience about a two-year lag in these children, compared to their age-cohort.  The MRI study at the National Institute of Mental Health looked at scans of over 400 children (half diagnosed with AD/HD) taken over several years, to track the development of various areas of the brain.

Previous studies have shown that the AD/HD brain shows structural differences, as well as differences in the levels of neurotransmitters*.  Although some people continue to have these differences into adulthood, not everyone does.   Apparently this is sometimes merely a maturational delay, and sometimes a more permanent developmental difference.

* No, AD/HD is not “just an excuse” to cover up lazyness, or due to “bad parenting” (although poor parenting practices can certainly aggravate related issues), nor is it due to food colouring, sugar, et cetera.  There are a plethora of MRI scan studies out there demonstrating that the condition has a real, physical basis.

2 Comments

  1. qw88nb88 said,

    13 November 2007 at 4:02

    Some people respond well to stimulant meds, and some don’t. If something doesn’t help, then there is certainly no reason to keep a person on it long-term (that said, there are some other kinds of medications that need to be taken for a couple weeks to be really effective).

    It is unfortunately not uncommon for someone who has Asperger’s or some other disorder to be first diagnosed with AD/HD, or mis-diagnosed with AD/HD. Both misdiagnoses and missed diagnoses can be considerable problems for everyone!

    Stimulant meds can help with some of the symptoms of AD/HD; they don’t cure it, and they don’t solve everything. They can make it easier for a person to learn better ways of working around their problems.

  2. 13 November 2007 at 1:35

    Have you been reading BBC Ouch? It seems there’s a story on BBC tonight over in the UK about kids who have been on ADHD medications for years but are still seeing no long-term gains:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbouch/F8146589?thread=4775800

    Curious what you think of this.


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