These circuits are related to sustained attention, control of inhibitions, motivation, and regulation of emotions. Two meta-analyses found that these differences in brain volume are no longer detectable in adulthood, suggesting that ADHD symptoms may be due, in part, to delays in development or maturation.
Genetics appear to play the largest role. ADHD has been shown to run in families, and studies have estimated that heritability may range from 60 to 90 percent. Environmental exposure to toxins and chemicals , especially to lead , may be a contributing factor. Studies have indicated a relationship between ADHD and levels of lead in the bloodstream.
One study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry , found that lead exposure was associated with the impulsivity-hyperactivity combined type of ADHD, but not the inattentive type. Alcohol or tobacco use during pregnancy has been associated with ADHD symptoms in children in a number of studies.
What causes ADHD?
But more recent research has questioned whether the use of these substances directly causes ADHD. Still, pregnant women should refrain from alcohol consumption and smoking because of other well-established risks. Traumatic brain injury TBI in early childhood has been linked to the development of psychiatric disorders. Premature birth or low birth weight may increase the risk for ADHD. Some research has suggested a correlation along a gradient — that the lower the birth weight or the higher the preterm level, the greater the risk of ADHD.
A meta-analysis and review of 34 studies, published in January in Pediatrics confirmed this, showing an even stronger association with the development of ADHD when birth weight was extremely low or the birth was extremely preterm which the World Health Organization defines as before 28 weeks. Diet and behavioral factors such as consuming too much sugar or food additives or excessive screen time television, smartphones, tablets, and computers have been associated with ADHD. While these factors may affect or exacerbate symptoms, research doesn't support claims that they cause ADHD.
More than two-thirds of people with ADHD have at least one other coexisting condition, whose symptoms can sometimes be hard to distinguish from those of ADHD. There's no cure for ADHD, but the right treatment approach can help control many symptoms. This usually involves taking medication, learning certain behavioral strategies, and implementing lifestyle changes to help with focus and organization.
Medication is recommended for children six years of age and older. Medications used for treating ADHD include stimulants, nonstimulants, and sometimes antidepressants. Untreated ADHD can lead to emotional and physical complications, including poor self-esteem, accidents or injuries, relationship difficulties, and sleeping problems. People with ADHD may also benefit from counseling — especially behavioral therapy — to improve behaviors and social skills.
Parents and other family members may participate in counseling to help develop strategies for dealing with problematic situations. Certain lifestyle changes and accommodations can create a better environment for people with ADHD. These include routines and schedules, reorganization of your home or workspace, physical reminders of tasks at hand, and removal of distractions. Proper, comprehensive treatment can help control ADHD symptoms and lead to an improved quality of life.
Treatment of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
From diagnosis to treatment, ADHD poses many challenges for people who have the disorder and their loved ones. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help navigate life with ADHD. These resources can help you locate a medical expert or coach, get advice on managing your condition or parenting a child with ADHD, and find more information on ADHD. Common Signs and Symptoms of Autism. How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated? Predominantly Inattentive People in this category mainly have symptoms of inattentiveness, although they may still have some problems with hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
This form used to be and sometimes still is called ADD. Experts don't believe diet can actually cause ADHD, but certain foods seem to worsen symptoms or cause behavior that mimics signs of the condition. Experts say time spent on screens takes away from beneficial behaviors.
Treatment of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
ADHD Complications and Comorbidities Untreated ADHD can lead to several emotional and physical complications, including: Poor self-esteem Accidents and injuries Substance abuse Delinquent or risky behavior Trouble interacting with peers; relationship difficulties Excess weight and eating disorders Sleeping problems More than two-thirds of people with ADHD have at least one other coexisting condition, whose symptoms can sometimes be hard to distinguish from those of ADHD.
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National Institute of Mental Health. March About ADHD. May 3, BMC Psychiatry. November 9, Women and Girls. November Eliane Whitehouse.
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