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Add Essay, Research Paper Chris Brown English 102: section 6 May 3, 1996 ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER Approximately 3-5% of all American children have an

Add Essay, Research Paper

Chris Brown

English 102: section 6

May 3, 1996

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER

Approximately 3-5% of all American children have an

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). ADD is a leading cause of

school failure and under-achievement. ADD characteristics often

arise in early childhood. As many as 50% of children with ADD

are never diagnosed. Boys significantly outnumber girls, though

girls are more likely to be undiagnosed with ADD. “ADD is not

an attention disorder, but a disorder of impulse control ( Seminar

notes Barkeley) .”

Characteristics of Attention Deficit Disorder can include :

Fidgeting with hands or feet , difficulty remaining seated,

awaiting turns in games, following through on instructions ,

shifting from one uncompleted task to another, difficulty playing

quietly, interrupting conversations and intruding into other

children’s games, appearing to be not listening to what is being

said, doing things that are dangerous without thinking about the

consequences.

Most scientist now believe that a brain dysfunction or

abnormality in brain chemistry could be to blame for the

symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. The frontal lobes of the

brain are thought to be most responsible for the regulation of

behavior and attention. They receive information from the lower

brain, which regulated arousal and screens incoming messages

from within and outside of the body. The limbic system , a group

of related nervous system structures located in the midbrain and

linked to emotions and feelings, also sends messages to the frontal

lobes. Finally, the frontal lobes are suspected to be the site of

working memory, the place where information about the

immediate environment is considered for memory storage,

planning, and future-directed behavior. Scientist believe the

activity in the frontal lobes is depressed in people with ADD.

Studies show a decrease in the ability of the ADD brain to use

glucose, the body’s main source of energy, leading to slower and

less efficient activity. Neurotransmitters provide the connection

between one nerve cell and another. In essence, neurotransmitters

allow electrical impulses to pass across synapses from one neuron

to another. It is now suspected that people with Attention Deficit

Disorder have a chemical imbalance of a class of neurotransmitters

called catecholamines. Dopamine, helps to form a pathway

between the motor center of the midbrain and the frontal lobes, as

well as a pathway between the limbic system and the frontal lobes.

Without enough dopamine and related catecholamines, such as

serotonin and norepinephrine, the frontal lobes are under

stimulated and thus unable to perform their complex functions

efficiently.

Attention Deficit Disorder is strongly considered genetically

inherited, however, not all cases of ADD may be genetically

linked. . Studies have shown that 20-30% of all hyperactive

children have a least one parent with ADD. The environment is a

big influence on a child during pregnancy and after. Some studies

show that a small percentage of ADD cases were influenced by

smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs during pregnancy.

Exposure to toxins, such as lead, may also alter the brain

chemistry and function.

If you suspect that you are suffering from Attention Deficit

Disorder you will need to discuss it with your medical doctor. In

most cases the doctor will recommend that you visit a psychologist

for an evaluation. The psychologist is professionally trained in

human behavior and will be able to provide counseling and testing

in areas related to mental health. The psychologist is not able to

prescribe medication to help you, but may send you to a

psychiatrist to prescribe and monitor medication. A neurologist

may be consulted in order to rule out neurological conditions

causing your symptoms. Your doctor will gather information about

your past and present difficulties, medical history , current

psychological makeup, educational and behavioral functioning.

Depending on your symptoms, your diagnosis may be categorized

as ADD, inattentive type ADD, or hyperactive/impulsive type

ADD. After your diagnosis you may learn that you are also

suffering from a learning disability, depression, or substance

abuse, which is often associated with ADD.

There is no cure for Attention Deficit Disorder. “Along with

increasing awareness of the problem, a better understanding of its

causes and treatment has developed (3 Wender)”. There is

medication for ADD which will only alleviate the symptoms. The

medication will not permanently restore the chemical balance.

Approximately 70% of adults with ADD find that their symptoms

significantly improve after they take medication prescribed by

their doctors. The patient is able to concentrate on difficult and

time-consuming tasks, stop impulsive behavior , and tame the

restless twitches that have been experienced in the past. Some

ADD patient’s psychological and behavioral problems are not

solved by medication alone, and are required more therapy or

training .

There are two types of drugs that work to balance the

neurotransmitters and have been found to be most effective in

treating ADD. Stimulants are drugs that stimulate or activate brain

activity. Stimulants work by increasing the amount of dopamine

either produced in the brain or used by the frontal lobes of the

brain. There are several different stimulants that may work to

alleviate the symptoms of ADD, including methylphenidate

(Ritalin), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), and pemoline (Cylert).

Stimulants are by far the most effective medications in the

treatment of ADD. Some patients respond well to antidepressants.

Antidepressants also stimulate brain activity in the frontal lobes,

but they affect the production and use of other chemicals, usually

norepinephrine and serotonin. The antidepressants considered

most useful for ADD include imipramine (Tofranil), desipramine

(Norpramin), bupropion ( Wellbutrin), and fluoxetine

hydrochloride (Prozac).

All stimulants have the same set of side effects. Some

patients complain of feeling nauseous or headachy at the outset of

treatment, but find that these side effects pass within a few days.

Others find that their appetites are suppressed and or that they

have difficulty sleeping. If the stimulant dosage is too high the

patient may experience feelings of nervousness, agitation, and

anxiety, In rare cases, increased heart rate and high blood pressure

can result with the use of stimulants, especially if the patient has

an underlying predisposition toward hypertension.

Ritalin is the most widely prescribed drug used to treat ADD

in both children and adults. Ritalin appears to work by stimulating

the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. The benefits of

Ritalin include improved concentration and reduced distractibility

and disorganization.

Dextroamphetamine is another stimulant medication that

appears to have a slightly different pharmacological action than

Ritalin. Both work to boost the amount of available dopamine.

Dextroamphetamine, however, blocks the reuptake of the

neurotransmitter while Ritalin increases its production (334 Kelly,

Ramundo, Press).

All the drugs used to treat ADD have the same goal: to

provide the brain with the raw materials it needs to concentrate

over a sustained period of time, control impulses, and regulate

motor activity. The drug or combination of drugs that work best

for you depends on the individuals brain chemistry and

constellation of symptoms. The process of finding the right drug

can be tricky for each individual. The physicians are not able to

accurately predict how any one individual will respond to various

doses or types of Attention Deficit Disorder medication.

Medication is rarely enough for the patient. Most Attention

Deficit Disorder patients require therapy to give guidance . Adult

patients have the burden of the past that often hinders their

progress. The patient then needs help with the relief of

disappointment, frustration, and nagging sense of self-doubt that

often weighs upon the ADD patient. Some ADD patients suffer

from low-grade depression or anxiety, others with a dependence on

alcohol or drugs, and most with low self-esteem and feelings of

helplessness.

Therapy also helps the ADD patient fully understand the

disorder and how it controls the patients life. The knowledge of

ADD will make the patient and parents more capable of changing

the behaviors or circumstances disliked and enhancing strengths

and assets. A second and most crucial part of the education

process involves informing those around you about the disorder

and its effects. Family members, friends, employers, and

colleagues have been playing roles in the drama called ADD

without ever being aware of it. Explaining how the disorder may

affect the relationships around the patient will help repair any past

damage as well as pave the way to a stable future.

Attention Deficit Disorder is difficult for any family. ADD

challenges the relationships and the issues of daily family life.

Getting a family household to function smoothly is challenging for

any family, with or without the presence of ADD. Adults and

children suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder have trouble

establishing and maintaining physical order, coordinating

schedules and activities, and accepting and meeting

responsibilities. Parents with children suffering with ADD have to

learn how to deal with the obstacles that they will have while

raising their child.

Adults dealing with ADD often have chronic employment

problems, impulsive spending, and erratic bookkeeping and bill

paying. Raising healthy, well-adjusted children requires patience,

sound judgment, good humor, and, discipline which is difficult for

an ADD parent to do. The presence of ADD often hinders the

development of intimate relationships for a variety of reasons.

Although many adults with ADD enjoy successful, satisfying

marriages, the disorder almost always adds a certain amount of

extra tension and pressure to the union. The non-ADD spouse

bears an additional burden of responsibility for keeping the

household running smoothly and meeting the needs of the

children, the spouse with ADD, and, if he or she has time, his or

her own priorities.

Parenting a child who has ADD can be an exhausting and, at

times, frustrating experience. Parents play a key role in managing

the disability. They usually need specialized training in behavior

management and benefit greatly from parent support groups.

Parents often find that approaches to parenting that work well with

children who do not have ADD, do not work as well with children

who have ADD.

Parents often feel helpless, frustrated and exhausted. Too

often, family members become angry and withdraw from each

other. If untreated, the situation only worsens. Parent training

can be one of the most important and effective interventions for a

child with ADD. Effective training will teach parents how to

apply strategies to manage their child’s behavior and improve their

relationship with their child.

Without consistent structure and clearly defined expectations

and limits, children with ADD can become quite confused about

the behaviors that are expected of them.

Making and keeping friends is a difficult task for children

with ADD. A variety of behavioral excesses and deficits common

to these children get in the way of friendships. They may talk too

much, dominate activities, intrude in others’ games, or quit a

game before its done. They may be unable to pay attention to

what another child is saying, not respond when someone else tries

to initiate and activity, or exhibit inappropriate behavior.

I decided to write my research paper on Attention Deficit

Disorder because my four-year old step-brother has recently been

diagnosed with the disorder. I hope that my relationship with my

brother can become closer now that I have a better understanding

of what he is suffering from.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

.

Chris Brown

English 102: section 6

May 3, 1996

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER

Approximately 3-5% of all American children have an

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). ADD is a leading cause of

school failure and under-achievement. ADD characteristics often

arise in early childhood. As many as 50% of children with ADD

are never diagnosed. Boys significantly outnumber girls, though

girls are more likely to be undiagnosed with ADD. “ADD is not

an attention disorder, but a disorder of impulse control ( Seminar

notes Barkeley) .”

Characteristics of Attention Deficit Disorder can include :

Fidgeting with hands or feet , difficulty remaining seated,

awaiting turns in games, following through on instructions ,

shifting from one uncompleted task to another, difficulty playing

quietly, interrupting conversations and intruding into other

children’s games, appearing to be not listening to what is being

said, doing things that are dangerous without thinking about the

consequences.

Most scientist now believe that a brain dysfunction or

abnormality in brain chemistry could be to blame for the

symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. The frontal lobes of the

brain are thought to be most responsible for the regulation of

behavior and attention. They receive information from the lower

brain, which regulated arousal and screens incoming messages

from within and outside of the body. The limbic system , a group

of related nervous system structures located in the midbrain and

linked to emotions and feelings, also sends messages to the frontal

lobes. Finally, the frontal lobes are suspected to be the site of

working memory, the place where information about the

immediate environment is considered for memory storage,

planning, and future-directed behavior. Scientist believe the

activity in the frontal lobes is depressed in people with ADD.

Studies show a decrease in the ability of the ADD brain to use

glucose, the body’s main source of energy, leading to slower and

less efficient activity. Neurotransmitters provide the connection

between one nerve cell and another. In essence, neurotransmitters

allow electrical impulses to pass across synapses from one neuron

to another. It is now suspected that people with Attention Deficit

Disorder have a chemical imbalance of a class of neurotransmitters

called catecholamines. Dopamine, helps to form a pathway

between the motor center of the midbrain and the frontal lobes, as

well as a pathway between the limbic system and the frontal lobes.

Without enough dopamine and related catecholamines, such as

serotonin and norepinephrine, the frontal lobes are under

stimulated and thus unable to perform their complex functions

efficiently.

Attention Deficit Disorder is strongly considered genetically

inherited, however, not all cases of ADD may be genetically

linked. . Studies have shown that 20-30% of all hyperactive

children have a least one parent with ADD. The environment is a

big influence on a child during pregnancy and after. Some studies

show that a small percentage of ADD cases were influenced by

smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs during pregnancy.

Exposure to toxins, such as lead, may also alter the brain

chemistry and function.

If you suspect that you are suffering from Attention Deficit

Disorder you will need to discuss it with your medical doctor. In

most cases the doctor will recommend that you visit a psychologist

for an evaluation. The psychologist is professionally trained in

human behavior and will be able to provide counseling and testing

in areas related to mental health. The psychologist is not able to

prescribe medication to help you, but may send you to a

psychiatrist to prescribe and monitor medication. A neurologist

may be consulted in order to rule out neurological conditions

causing your symptoms. Your doctor will gather information about

your past and present difficulties, medical history , current

psychological makeup, educational and behavioral functioning.

Depending on your symptoms, your diagnosis may be categorized

as ADD, inattentive type ADD, or hyperactive/impulsive type

ADD. After your diagnosis you may learn that you are also

suffering from a learning disability, depression, or substance

abuse, which is often associated with ADD.

There is no cure for Attention Deficit Disorder. “Along with

increasing awareness of the problem, a better understanding of its

causes and treatment has developed (3 Wender)”. There is

medication for ADD which will only alleviate the symptoms. The

medication will not permanently restore the chemical balance.

Approximately 70% of adults with ADD find that their symptoms

significantly improve after they take medication prescribed by

their doctors. The patient is able to concentrate on difficult and

time-consuming tasks, stop impulsive behavior , and tame the

restless twitches that have been experienced in the past. Some

ADD patient’s psychological and behavioral problems are not

solved by medication alone, and are required more therapy or

training .

There are two types of drugs that work to balance the

neurotransmitters and have been found to be most effective in

treating ADD. Stimulants are drugs that stimulate or activate brain

activity. Stimulants work by increasing the amount of dopamine

either produced in the brain or used by the frontal lobes of the

brain. There are several different stimulants that may work to

alleviate the symptoms of ADD, including methylphenidate

(Ritalin), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), and pemoline (Cylert).

Stimulants are by far the most effective medications in the

treatment of ADD. Some patients respond well to antidepressants.

Antidepressants also stimulate brain activity in the frontal lobes,

but they affect the production and use of other chemicals, usually

norepinephrine and serotonin. The antidepressants considered

most useful for ADD include imipramine (Tofranil), desipramine

(Norpramin), bupropion ( Wellbutrin), and fluoxetine

hydrochloride (Prozac).

All stimulants have the same set of side effects. Some

patients complain of feeling nauseous or headachy at the outset of

treatment, but find that these side effects pass within a few days.

Others find that their appetites are suppressed and or that they

have difficulty sleeping. If the stimulant dosage is too high the

patient may experience feelings of nervousness, agitation, and

anxiety, In rare cases, increased heart rate and high blood pressure

can result with the use of stimulants, especially if the patient has

an underlying predisposition toward hypertension.

Ritalin is the most widely prescribed drug used to treat ADD

in both children and adults. Ritalin appears to work by stimulating

the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. The benefits of

Ritalin include improved concentration and reduced distractibility

and disorganization.

Dextroamphetamine is another stimulant medication that

appears to have a slightly different pharmacological action than

Ritalin. Both work to boost the amount of available dopamine.

Dextroamphetamine, however, blocks the reuptake of the

neurotransmitter while Ritalin increases its production (334 Kelly,

Ramundo, Press).

All the drugs used to treat ADD have the same goal: to

provide the brain with the raw materials it needs to concentrate

over a sustained period of time, control impulses, and regulate

motor activity. The drug or combination of drugs that work best

for you depends on the individuals brain chemistry and

constellation of symptoms. The process of finding the right drug

can be tricky for each individual. The physicians are not able to

accurately predict how any one individual will respond to various

doses or types of Attention Deficit Disorder medication.

Medication is rarely enough for the patient. Most Attention

Deficit Disorder patients require therapy to give guidance . Adult

patients have the burden of the past that often hinders their

progress. The patient then needs help with the relief of

disappointment, frustration, and nagging sense of self-doubt that

often weighs upon the ADD patient. Some ADD patients suffer

from low-grade depression or anxiety, others with a dependence on

alcohol or drugs, and most with low self-esteem and feelings of

helplessness.

Therapy also helps the ADD pa

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