Some ADD ADHD Science
I’ve been collecting scientific tidbits. Much of this is from Dr. Margolis, Dr. Mason and other articles:
ADD ADHD kids have a high risk of substance abuse. The medications reduce that to about the normal average. The same is true for adolescents and accidents and arrests.
Most people with ADD ADHD do not abuse the medications.
College kids with ADD ADHD do not abuse the stimulants but many share them or sell them. Many non ADD ADHD kids use them inappropriately to help study. There is also misuse of other medications in colleges.
In most young adults without ADD ADHD stimulants make little improvement in performance but give people the illusion that they are doing better. They can help college kids stay up all night but they won’t perform better.
Marijuana makes ADD ADHD worse.
Alpha blockers (non stimulants – clonidine, guanfacine) can help with hyperactivity, not so much with other symptoms.
Vyvanse is the best selling ADD ADHD medication.
The percentage of adults using the medications has risen to be similar to children.
In states that held teachers and schools accountable for performance before No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the % of low income children diagnosed with ADD ADHD has not risen recently. In states where they were not held accountable before NCLB it has, except in states where schools and teachers are not allowed to recommend meds. (I am no fan of NCLB. These teachers are under tremendous pressure, often without any means of achieving required goals. Don’t get me started.)
When diagnosing ADD ADHD, we must rule out vitamin and iron deficiency, hyperthyroidism, vision and hearing problems, central auditory processing disorder (often present with ADD ADHD but not part of it).
Many people with other disorders (depression, bipolar, anxiety, etc.) also have ADD ADHD. People with ADD ADHD have a higher incidence of those disorders, as well as substance abuse and criminality.
All patients with Tourettes syndrome also have ADD ADHD ( I had no idea!).
In children with ADD ADHD there is less cortex in brain areas related to control of attention. These areas do not light up with tasks as they do in vanillas. There is also less activation of areas associated with inhibiting responses, but in some there is increased activity (go figure).
About half of these kids improve around adolescence. Their cortex has normalized. Not in the rest of us.
Homey, the planner maven, on choosing a planner
Just went over 76,00 hits. Yea all of us! and thank you.
@dougmkpdp @addstrategies #add #adhd
homey – this was news to me too. presumably both involve deficient dopamine and the same circuits. sorry about your son – for a really good eval the dr needs to talk to another person too, not just the patient.
thank you for your comments
I had no idea that ALL people with tourettes have ADHD. My son has tourettes. I was positive he had ADHD, too, but he’s had trouble getting a diagnosis. The psychiatrist said he probably did have ADHD but his diagnosis was wishy washy. That’s a case where Danny’s wife or his mother (me) needed to be there to answer the questions. Danny doesn’t really have a clue what he’s really like. And he didn’t tell the psychiatrist he had tourettes. He didn’t think it mattered. Grrr.