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Facts about ADD/ADHD

written by: Victoria Trix • edited by: Emma Lloyd • updated: 4/5/2011

Many people both young children and adults suffer from ADD or ADHD. There are several causes of the condition and a variety of treatments available for these people.

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    Facts on ADHD and ADD

    ADD/ADHD, attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a widespread and often controversial problem. Both adults and children can suffer from ADD/ADHD, despite the common belief that it only affects children. Only three to five percent of children have this problem, however it is widely believed that it occurs in many more.

    Typically, ADD/ADHD results in problems paying attention and concentrating. People who have it may often become confused; it is easy for them to get bored and frustrated with tasks they are given. They are generally impulsive and have problems sitting still.

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    Causes of ADD/ADHD

    The cause of ADD/ADHD is actually unknown, but researchers and doctors typically study the brain and its functions for clues as to the cause. Heredity may be at the root of the problem; ADD/ADHD may run in the family, as children tend to inherit the problem from their parents.

    Chemical imbalances are also believed to cause these disorders. Specifically, problems with neurotransmitters may be behind the emergence of ADD/ADHD. They transmit nerve impulses, which could cause the common symptoms of the disorders to develop.

    It is also believed that head injuries could result in ADD/ADHD. Recently it has been documented that some children who have suffered from head injuries, especially concussions, end up developing the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. However, these might only be mimicking symptoms, not attributed to these specific disorders themselves.

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    Prevention of ADD/ADHD

    While it is not unequivocally known if it is possible to prevent ADD/ADHD, the belief that instilling proper behavior in children and adults may prevent the disorders from occurring is widespread. Both positive and negative reinforcement may work to teach children especially what is the right behavior and what is the wrong behavior.

    It is also possible that the right prenatal care may reduce the risks of a child developing ADD/ADHD. Mothers who smoke tend to have children with the disorder, so not smoking while pregnant can definitely benefit. Healthy, well balanced diets may also prevent the disorder, although these tactics are largely experimental.

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    Treatment for ADD/ADHD

    There are several treatment options for ADD/ADHD, some involving medication and some involving behavioral therapies. Sometimes one or the other will work; sometimes both are necessary.

    Adderall has largely replaced Ritalin as the drug of choice. However, nowadays people with these disorders have a much wider selection of medications to try, ranging from very mild to very strong. Insofar as behavioral modification therapy goes, positive and negative reinforcement is used here, as well as a variety of techniques designed to teach concentration and time management, among other things.

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    Sources

    WebMD.com from the article: ADD and ADHD Guide Publication date unknown

    HealthSquare.com from the article: ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Drugs Publication date unknown