Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
AttentionDeficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder is a combination of behavioral changesand actions that are contrary to what is deemed normal. Also referredto as ADHD in short, this condition affects people across all agesfrom childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. Peopleexperiencing ADHD may display symptoms such as inability to payattention for a long span of time others may become restless andoverreact to situations while some may show signs of impulsiveness(Millichap, 2010).
Ascientific research has shown that Attention deficit or hyperactivitydisorder (ADHD) is a real genetic disorder caused by differences inlevel of dopamine D4. This is a chemical receptor gene in the brainthat is responsible for attention. For this reason, ADHD qualifies asa genetic disorder that can run within a family lineage. It is worthnoting that, different strains of this receptor gene may beresponsible for the occurrence of ADHD and its manifestation in avictim as well as the ability to heal from the condition with time.This means that a person with an ADHD risk gene has the potential todevelop the disorder and at the same time may be able to heal withtime from the same with time. This was according to a study conductedby lead researcher Dr. Philip Shaw from the National Institute ofMental Health in the United States in the child psychiatrydepartment. It has also been found that children with a certainvariant of this risk gene may have a thinner brain tissue in the partresponsible for attention.
However,this deformity is not permanent and as children with this gene becomeof age, the brain is able to develop the normal cell thickness in thesame area. Shaw and his team found that DRD4, a variant in dopaminereceptor gene was associated with this disorder and was also linkedwith the thinner tissue of the brain in theattention controllingarea (Retz &Klein, 2010).This is the basis for the ability of most children who develop ADHDto grow out of the condition with time. On the same note, Dr. Shawpointed out that not all ADHD cases are as a result of the presenceof the risk gene. From the sample pool of children Saw studied inwhich 105 children with ADHD were compared against 103 healthychildren all about 10 years of age, only between a quarter to a fifthof the children with ADHD had the risk gene. Six years later, Shawand team’s analysis of the children used in the study showed thatthose possessing the ADHD risk gene had recovered better explainingthe ADHD improvement with age (Retz& Klein, 2010).
Aseparate study however, came out contrary to Shaw’s views bysuggesting that reduced dopamine production is responsible for thedevelopment of ADHD. This is backed by a study headed by Dr. Nora D.Volkow of the United States National Institute of Drug Abuse, whichsuggested that Ritalin, a drug used to treat ADHD triggers theproduction of dopamine by the brain (Retz& Klein, 2010).This clearly shows that low dopamine production enhances theoccurrence of ADHD and can be a basis for explaining why many victimsof ADHD often abuse drugs due to reduced dopamine system in theirbrains. Therefore, ADHD is a biochemical disorder as clearly shown bythe two studies of Shaw and Volkow in their separate reports.
Theabove discussed studies both bring out the fact that ADHD is agenetic disorder that can be inherited hence, a major mental concernwhich requires biological remedies including but not limited topharmaceutical products such as Ritalin. Both Shaw and Volkowacknowledge the need for additional research on the matter so as tounmask the underlying causes not yet discovered so as to providebetter treatment options for the disease. Therefore, from thestudies, ADHD is real because a biological cause has already beenidentified.
Millichap, J. G. (2010).Attention deficithyperactivity disorder handbook: A physician`s guide to ADHD.New York: Springer.
Retz, W., & Klein, R. G.(2010). Attention-deficithyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults.Basel: Karger.