The November 2011 issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry has an interesting article on ADD, a meta-analysis of brain imaging studies (lumping together the data from all of the subjects from well done studies and analyzing the group). It shows that people with ADD or ADHD had smaller basal ganglia on the right, on average, than people without. The basal ganglia are a group of nuclei deep in the brain that coordinate physical movements, as well as other things and have been thought to be a least one location of the ADD phenomenon. (Coincidently, these subjects also had an increased volume in the left rear of the brain – I have no idea what that might imply).
But Wait!!!!- even more interesting was the finding that the smaller basal ganglia increased in size with increased age and/or the use of stimulant medication. So there is more hope for us!
Also interesting are the findings that these basal ganglia tend to be larger in people with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) than in those without. Those people tend to be detail oriented, extra cautious, and tightly controlled in their feelings and behaviour. I have contended that a touch of OCD is of benefit to us ADDers. Maybe the two brain changes balance each other out a bit.
I’m going to show you a picture of the book cover soon. Then you’ll be reassured that it really is coming. I like the cover.
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