ADHD: still a murky picture

ADHD remains a popular subject for readers of this blog. A case in point: from all the links shared in June on Climbing the Cinder Cone’s Facebook page, the most-read article was one from The Washington Post about the latest findings regarding ADHD.

You can read the article by following this link: Still more questions than answers about how to treat ADHD.

Even after decades of study, there’s very that little scientists and mental health professionals can say with certainty about ADHD. You’ll see words like “disagreement,” “studies suggest,” and “sometimes” sprinkled throughout the article.

With all that, the article seems to suggest (see, I can use squishy words too!) that medication used in conjunction with “behavioral interventions, nutrition, exercise and special accommodations at school” may be the most effective approach in treating ADHD. One developmental pediatrician interviewed said that medication improves distractibility, but those with ADHD still need support in learning things like time management and organizational skills. As we know, ADHD brings impairment in these areas along with deficits in problem-solving and self-regulation of behavior and emotions.

The article also touches on the organic causes of ADHD. It’s always good to be reminded about the biological basis for the dysfunctional behaviors associated with ADHD in our young adults. Here is one excerpt:

Research shows that the maturation of brain regions associated with [planning, organizing and problem-solving] is delayed by about three years in people with ADHD. Studies also suggest that these regions are smaller than normal and that they are less active. Also, imaging tests show dysfunctions in the networks of nerve cell fibers that allow brain regions to communicate with one another.

By my count, that’s four suboptimal aspects of brain development. No wonder the results are struggles with everyday life!

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About janet565

I've lived in the Inland Empire of Southern California since 1982. Born and raised in New Jersey, I've also lived in upstate New York and in Oregon. My profession involves maps and geography, which is usually very interesting. My hobbies are pretty boring - none of them involve tigers (or ligers) or jumping out of aircraft - so they do not bear mention here. I hope you find the blog useful, and wish you well....

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