Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – An Overview!

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – An Overview!

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By Dr. Prashant K Vaidya,Homeopathy

What Is ADHD?

-As the name suggests, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a cognitive disorder, quite common in children.
-A few significant signs such as hyperactivity, diffused concentration, and uncontrolled behavioral patterns confirm this condition.

 It is classified in subtypes as:

-Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive

-Predominantly inattentive

-Combined Hyperactive-Impulsive and inattentive (this is most common in children)

Distinct ADHD Symptoms :

-As mentioned, key behavioral patterns observed in children are excess hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inattention.
-Most of the time, these symptoms are ignored as they are confused with the playful attitude of the child.
-However, ADHD rings a bell of alarm if the child has the following symptoms for 6 months or more, and if these symptoms are more prominent than in other children.

Inattention (Predominantly inattentive subtype):

-Easily distracted from focus

-Forgetfulness

-Difficulty in learning a new thing or completing a task

-Not paying attention when he is addressed

-Easily confused and disoriented

-Day dreaming

-Struggling to follow instructions or process information

-Hyperactive and Impulsiveness (Combined Hyperactive-Impulsive and inattentive):

-Extremely impatient and talkative

-Blurting out inappropriate comments without a restraint on speech or thought about the consequences

-Interrupting conversations

-Playing and touching anything and everything that comes in their way

-Squirming and fidgeting, when things do not work their way.

Causes :

Causes of ADHD in children are attributed to various reasons like:

-Emotional trauma (like death in family or divorce)

-Undetected seizures

-Anxiety followed by depression

-Existing medical disorders concerning brain

-Smoking and drug abuse in pregnancy

-Environmental toxins (like lead and polychlorinated biphenyls)

-Heredity (1 in 4 children diagnosed have at least one relative with the same condition)

-Most of the causes originate from the biological aspects.

-It is believed that the change in the structure of the brain might be one of the dominant reasons.

-Further, there are certain environmental agents that could possibly modify a child’s behavior.

Given below are some of the factors that have been identified by the researchers:

1. Modified Anatomy and Brain Routine

-Children affected by this disorder have notable differences in the function of the brain as compared to their counterparts.
-The chemicals present in the brain, namely neurotransmitters, are responsible for this behavior.
-These neurotransmitters are essential for the interaction of the cells present in the brain. In affected children, a neurotransmitter called dopamine tends to malfunction, thereby causing unfavorable consequences, that include impulsiveness, lack of concentration, and hyperactivity.
-Further, it has been scientifically proved that a child with this disorder has significantly smaller volume of brain, as compared to a normal child.
-The affected children seem to be less sensitive in situations, where they are either complimented or punished.

2. Genes

-This disorder is also believed to be transferred from parents, who are diagnosed of hypertension.
-Every fourth child affected by this disorder, has a relative affected by the same.
-This disorder is also more commonly found in identical twins. If the parents tend to have psychiatric disturbance, then there are possibilities of a child acquiring this disorder.

3. Maternal Factors

-Pregnant mothers habituated to smoking are at higher risk of having an affected child.
-Likewise, using alcohol or other drugs during the gestation period can retard the activity of neurons that produce dopamine.
-Exposure to chemical poisons such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during pregnancy may also be considered as one of the risk factors. This chemical is widely used in the pesticide industry.
-Consumption of drugs like cocaine has proved to hinder the normal growth of the brain receptors.
-Also, there are cases where the mothers are less affectionate and are very critical towards their own children. They also tend to severely punish the child for literally a tiny reason.

4. Exposure of a Child to Environmental Poisons

-Exposure to environmental toxins such as lead and PCBs is another risk factor.
-Prolonged exposure to lead levels might even result in violent behavior. Lead is even found in sand, dust, and also in water pipes.
- Other possible environmental factors include pollution, consumption of food stuffs that have artificial colors, and exposure to fluorescent light. -Interestingly, even sugar has proved to shoot up the hyperactive behavior in certain cases.

Other Factors

-Watching television for a longer period could possibly make the brain want a constant stimulation.

-Deficiencies in the child’s daily diet accounts for poor nutrition and could result in the modified behavior.

-Children who are devoid of love and security might realize that their needs are not met, and this might lead to the development of symptoms similar to those of ADHD.