ADHD And Substance Abuse


Some have worried that by giving stimulant medication to children and teens with ADHD, we increase their risk to abuse substances in adolescence and adulthood. However, there really is no research to support this, and in fact, long-term studies of those with ADHD show the exact opposite. Do Stimulants Increase Risk for Substance Abuse in Adolescents? Biederman et al (1999) studied a sample of over 200 Caucasian boys who were at least 11 years old. They followed them for four years (meaning all... more


ADHD and Driving


There are still some professionals who doubt that ADHD is a “real” disorder, and cite poor parenting practices, for example, as an alternate explanation for the attentional and behavioral problems of ADHD children. However, many, many studies over the last 30 years have consistently shown that both teens and adults with ADHD show difficulties driving. None of those who doubt the diagnosis of ADHD have offered plausible explanations for how parenting practices in young children can affect... more


The MTA Study


The NIMH funded the Multimodal Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA) study. It was a study of several treatments for almost 500 children with ADHD, including medication only medication and therapy combined therapy and community support, without medication The study spanned many sites, and entailed collecting follow-up data for several years (read more). The One Year Results In 2007, Jensen and a team of researchers (Jensen et al., 2007) explain that the 14 month results of... more


ADHD Treatment


The AACAP has offered several recommendations for treatment of ADHD (Pliszka, 2007): The treatment plan for the ADHD patient should be comprehensive and “well-thought-out”: This requires providers to recognize ADHD as a chronic disorder which presents different developmental challenges over time. Thus, exploration of the many treatments (including medical and behavioral) and combinations of treatments that are available (for ADHD children, teens, and adults as well as for parents and... more


Is There A Genetic Cause For ADHD?


Is There A Genetic Cause For ADHD? What we know is that ADHD is associated with problems in dopamine receptors, or the neurons in the brain that respond to the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are five kinds of dopamine receptors (that have been identified) in the brain, and five genes (that have been identified) that code for the construction of these neurons. These kinds of neurons are simply numbered D1 through D5, and the associated genes that code for building these neurons are simply numbered... more


How Does ADHD Work? (Part II)

midline brain

Model III – Deeper Brain Structure Dysfunction Another explanation for ADHD is a problem with the basal ganglia, and the corpus callosum just above the basal ganglia (Biederman et al, 2004). These are deeper brain structures, which serve as “switching stations” for information. In a typical brain, information passes through these structures, and a decision is made. If the information is important, then it is re-routed to the appropriate areas of the brain for processing; if it is... more


How Does ADHD Work? (Part I)


There are three basic models to explain ADHD: Model I – Frontal/Pre-Frontal Lobe Dysfunction The frontal lobes, and especially the pre-frontal lobes, are involved in executive reasoning and inhibition of responses(Biederman et al, 2004). To explain, when you weigh possible solutions to a problem, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each possible solutions and finally choosing one, you are engaging in executive reasoning. ADHD can be thought of as a deficit in focusing, or a difficulty... more


Diagnosis of ADHD


Is ADHD Real Estimates vary, but the rates of ADHD fall between 3 to 5% (APA) and 7 to 12% (CDC) of children, with 60-85% continuing to meet criteria in adolescence, and 60% continuing to meet criteria in adulthood. Some authors debate whether ADHD is a real disorder, or simply a problem resulting from poor parenting, carbohydrate consumption and food additives, learning environment, etc…. ADHD is a “real” disorder, and many professional organizations have made clear statements... more


ADHD and Coping

Some parents and adults are hesitant to turn to medication. There are several things to try before trying medication if you are one of these parents or adults. However, even after medication, the following suggestions may still help. Tips for Teachers with ADHD Children Change where a child sits in the classroom to a place closer to the board or teacher’s desk, away from distractions such as the window and door, or closer to a student who can model on-target behavior and serve as a “study-buddy”... more


Special Help for ADHD Adults

Adults with ADHD are a special case. They may have been diagnosed as a child with ADHD, or they may be discovering their condition for the first time as an adult, sometimes when they bring their own child to a doctor for an evaluation. Much of what was discussed before about medication is still applicable to adults, and some of the techniques noted for children in school might help adults in their careers. Likewise, some of the tips for handling ADHD children might be helpful for loved ones with... more