Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Where Do We Go from Here?

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Where Do We Go from Here?

Article excerpt

ADHD is a chronic condition that requires ongoing management and monitoring. Treatment and management of the symptoms seen in children and adults with ADHD can be managed with psychological, behavioral and pharmacological interventions.

On the website ADHD International, Hana Levi-Julian wrote the following post in December of 2011, about a recent study that had been done: "The study, entitled The Lifetime Impact of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, was conducted by Bernardi S, Faraone SV, Cortese S, Kerridge BT, Pallanti S, Wang S, and Blanco C.

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A lifetime history of ADHD was associated with increased risk of engaging in behaviors reflecting a lack of planning and deficient inhibitory control, with high rates of adverse events, lower perceived health, social support and higher perceived stress. Fewer than half of individuals with ADHD had ever sought treatment, and only 25 percent had ever received medication. The average age of first treatment contact was 18.40 years.

The researcher concluded that ADHD is common and associated with a broad range of psychiatric disorders, impulsive behaviors, greater number of traumas, lower quality of life, perceived social support and social functioning, even after adjusting for additional co-morbidity."

ADHD is a common neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by attention difficulties, locomotor hyperactivity and poor impulse control. It is also associated with alteration in the brain cortical which mediates attention and behavioral control. Prefrontal cortex is modulated by numerous neurotransmitters including catecholamine. As a result, it plays a prominent role in regulating human cognition and behavior. It is well established that prefrontal cortical activity is highly influenced by catecholamine, including nor-epinephrine and dopamine, with significant dose-response relationship. Given the prominent role the prefrontal cortex plays in stimulating, regulating behavior and cognition, any impairment in level of dopamine and norepinephrine will likewise directly affect behaviors. In addition, the role of catecholamine dysfunction has proven itself from various studies since most medications that treat ADHD effectively also affect catecholamine transmission in the prefrontal lobe.

Effective treatment for ADHD directly affects catecholamine signaling in the prefrontal cortex. Proper therapeutic dosage is essential in improving symptoms of ADHD as it effects the frontal cortical which regulate attention and impulse control. However, proper function of the prefrontal cortex requires norepinephrine and dopamine level to also be within optimal level.

Management and Monitoring

ADHD is a chronic condition that requires ongoing management and monitoring. Treatment and management of the symptoms seen in children and adults with ADHD can be managed with psychological, behavioral and pharmacological interventions. According to the study done by The McMaster University Evidence Based Practice Center, regardless of treatment, there was an overall trend of improvement over times as long as the treatment is continued. This includes the importance of adherence to the specific treatment. Educating parents and children about their diagnosis, developing individual treatment plans, and helping parents coordinate multiple assistive services can alleviate stress and aid in the feeling of being in control.

The pharmacologic treatment of ADHD includes the use of non-stimulant and stimulant medication. Stimulants are Monly used for treatment of ADHD. According to a study done by the Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment, stimulants have the strongest effect in individuals with ADHD in controlling attention, distractibility and impulsivity. The goal of stimulant medication is to enhance the transmission of catecholamine in the prefrontal cortex, thus improving attention, locomotor hyperactivity and impulse control. …

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