Our ADHD Brains Are Different
Networks connect Regions which function using Neurotransmitters.
Because we ADHDer have problems in the neworks, downstream our regions are deficient in the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. The stimulant medications work to correct and normalize this. We also have structural problems in the regions themselves, plus delayed maturity of the brain. It’s all a pretty heavy hit, and all supported by research, which heavily supports that ADHD is a real brain disorder and that it is discrete and not a spectrum issue.
Two ADHD Neworks:
“During performance of attention-demanding tasks, prefrontal and parietal structures that comprise the task–positive network are characterized by increases in activation; in contrast, default mode network structures, including posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortices, are characterized by decreased activity.”
“One meta-analysis of 16 functional MRI studies of adults with and without ADHD demonstrated that the patterns of under- and over-activation differed significantly. — Networks under-activated in ADHD were almost exclusively located in the frontoparietal network, whereas over-activated regions were found in the visual, dorsal attention and default mode networks.14
“Effects were located in brain regions associated with multiple neuronal systems including the default-mode network, the salience network, and the central executive system.”
“Notably, there is mounting evidence suggesting that ADHD could be regarded as a default mode network (DMN) disorder. In particular, failure in regulating the dynamics of activity and interactions of the DMN and cognitive control networks have been hypothesized as the main source of task interference causing attentional problems.”
Brain Regions in ADHD (My thinking in italics.)
The ADHD brain has impaired activity in four functional regions of the brain:
Frontal Lobe Cortex
This region controls high-level functions:
2. Limbic System
Limbic System (includes amygdala)
Regulates our emotions and attention.
The major relay system among the many pathways that enter & leave the brain. A deficiency here can cause inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity. And poor coordination because it is supposed to make movements smooth.
Reticular Activating System
A diffuse network of nerve pathways in the brainstem connecting the spinal cord, cerebrum, and cerebellum, and mediating the overall level of consciousness.
I also believe there is either a deficiency in the cerebellum, which also controls movement and has other functions, or it looks like a deficiency because of inadequate network connections.
Pet Peeve Number Three:
Representative on the phone: “What is your name, please?”
Me: ” Doug Puryear.”
Representative: “Can you spell that?”
Welcome O the Day: Susan
#ADHD, @addstrategies, @adhdstrategies, @dougmkpdp