We’ve been reviewing the science of ADHD, so to start the New Year (it’s gotta be better), here’s a summary of the neurobiology (as I understand it).
(If this is old stuff to you, please just scroll down to Personal Notes and below.)
The neurotransmitters (chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and glutamate) are made in the cell body and carried down the tube to the end of the axon.
When the cell is stimulated by other cells an electrical impulse goes down the tube and the end of the axon releases the neurotransmitters that affect other cells to activate them or slow them down.
Each axon connects to many cells and each cell receives from many axons.
The brain is organized into specific regions which seem to have specific functions, such as vision, balance, judgment,etc. (no function is actually carried out by a single region alone). These regions are connected to each other to form networks, and specific networks have specific functions, such as consciousness, movement, memory, etc. (again, not really solo).
So problems, symptoms, can be caused by a problem in any part of this system, in a networks, a regions, some neurons or a neurotransmitter, and a problem in any one of these generally affects all of these parts of the system.
The manufacture, location, connections and functioning of the different parts of the system are controlled by our genes.
Personal Notes O the Day:
2. For completeness of the science series, I may do posts on DSM and statistics. Whew!
3. Again please use the comment section to correct my errors or add information, ask questions, or for anything else you please. I love the comments.
4. Welcome to the new member of the tribe.
Special Note O the Day:
Neurobiology of ADHD– very comprehensive
Networks – a repeat, with other good links
#ADHD, @addstrategies, @adhdstrategies, @dougmkpdp
I have recently read that estrogen protects against the symptoms of ADHD. When women go through menopause their symptoms become worse. Have you heard this??
Susan – I have not heard much about this. I read that there are suggestions but nothing conclusive. many women have more trouble as they reach adulthood and have more and different responsibilities. if menopause causes stress, which it often does, that can make ADHD symptoms worse.
thank you for commenting
Your wife knows…what can I say!
Karolyn – yep, my wife knows a lot. thats a mixed blessing for me, but overall, she’s very much a blessing, as are good friends like you. thank you for supporting this site by commenting
Good one! The brain is a dauting thing. I remember when I found out the simmilarities between Parkinson and ADHD when it comes to the dopamine in our brain. We think of Parkinson as an inability to remember things and being very shaky. But apparently, Parkinson patients also have impaired decision making. Apparently, if you tell a Parkinson’s patient “go over there” and point at an area, they’ll just stand there trying to make sense of it. But if you point to that are and say “go over to that chair”, then they have to trouble starting to move towards that direction. You just reminded me to google it and I hit up on a bunch of university/governmental websites with published articles on the subject!
ram – yeah, dopamine is very important, involved also in addictions. and the basal ganglia are important in parkinsons and ADHD. good for you doing the research
thank you for contributing the comment.
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Good One but,I don’t remember saying that! Are you sure😊
Sent from my iPad
martha – glad you liked it. yes, i am absolutely sure. that is a verbatim quote. however as you well know, none of our memories are infallible.