View Full Version : ADHD and Language


atSWIMtooboreds
05-07-13, 02:49 AM
Hi all. I was wondering if anybody knows any studies or theories about the role of language in ADHD, or of the relationship between the two. My interest in this topic is both personal and theoretical. There's a few reasons to think that there might be a fairly substantial link. Schizophrenia, a condition in which there's an overabundance of dopamine (as opposed to the low dopamine levels in ADHD), is sometimes classified as primarily a language disorder. And some of the more notable symptoms of ADHD in many patients are related to language: difficulty following verbal directions, difficulty following the thread of a conversation, difficulty producing organized speech quickly in response to an inquiry, etc.

sarahsweets
05-07-13, 04:07 AM
Thats interesting, I never knew that schizophrenia was classified as a language disorder?

daveddd
05-07-13, 06:14 AM
ADHD is an output disorder

expressive language and writing are highly related to it(at least ADHDc)

http://books.google.com/books?id=TozrdV1SglMC&pg=PA344&dq=adhd+expressive+language&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yNOIUYjuGau30AGz74CIDA&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=adhd%20expressive%20language&f=false


i have more, but i have to get myself motivated here for work

Dizfriz
05-07-13, 08:25 AM
Thats interesting, I never knew that schizophrenia was classified as a language disorder?

Me neither. I wonder if atSWIMtooboreds has any information on this.

Dizfriz

Amtram
05-07-13, 10:04 AM
I happen to have been looking into this because of the genetic angle - multiple gene studies finding a common gene in both ADHD and schizophrenia, gene studies indicating a genetic basis for behavioral symptoms, and genetic association with the structure and connectivity of specific areas of the brain - and I've seen nothing like this.

In fact, since schizophrenia appears to be a neurodegenerative condition that shows up later in life than ADHD, it's unlikely that it would be classified as a language disorder. Symptoms appear most often in late puberty or shortly after - at which point language development is pretty much complete. The communication malfunctions that appear as a result seem to be based mostly on a change in the temporal lobe - specifically the hippocampus and the amygdala - reduced size of the superior temporal gyrus, especially the grey matter, and the parahippocampal gyrus. Postmortem and MRI studies indicate an asymmetry in these areas and in the ventricles (the spaces that are filled with cerebrospinal fluid), with decreased size in grey matter and increased size of ventricles.

This affects the emotions and the ability to express emotions via speech, so the language deficit is a component of the condition, not the defining symptom.

A couple of studies I've looked at have made inroads on preventing some of the neurodegeneration, but I haven't gotten far in reading those, so I can't comment yet - but it's good to know that the genetic research may allow early detection so that prevention may eventually be a possibility.

Amtram
05-07-13, 10:07 AM
I'm also interested in what you mean, more specifically, by "the role of language in ADHD". . .

Are you looking for the effect of ADHD on language development? Are you interested in the effect of language or talk based therapies on ADHD? It's not quite specific enough to put together an answer as you phrased it.

Amtram
05-07-13, 10:23 AM
Took me a few minutes to find this, but you might find it interesting:
AREAS OF THE HUMAN CORTEX INVOLVED IN LANGUAGE (http://braininfo.rprc.washington.edu/indexotheratlas.aspx?othersiteID=1045244870)



It's related primarily towards aphasias, but has a good amount of information on what parts of the brain perform what functions related to language processing.

atSWIMtooboreds
05-07-13, 11:35 AM
Sure, I know a bit about the brain and language. :)

The classification of schizophrenia as centrally, if not primarily, a language disorder is something I've found in a few places. The problem is present both at the level of processing and at the level of production. At processing we have right-hemispheric deficits generally, including things like sarcasm, humor, and secondary meanings more generally (of, I think, the sort associated with the functioning of the homologous Wernicke's area). And at production we have, of course, auditory hallucinations and disordered speech.

It's not quite right, I think, to say that the grey matter abnormalities you mentioned are quite the defining characteristics of schizophrenia. Most theories about the causes of schizophrenia have to do with neurotransmitter imbalances, just as with ADHD: the classic dopamine hypothesis and what seems to be a newer glutamate hypothesis. These imbalances are probably present long before behavioral symptoms start to emerge, and explain both why schizophrenia can be mimicked in chemically normal individuals who are taking certain drugs (like PCP) and why schizophrenia can be treated with antipsychotics (generally dopamine antagonists, I think) in patients whose illness hasn't progressed past a certain level.

When I say the role of language in ADHD I'm primarily curious about the neurological effect the disorder has on language generally. This doesn't have to be limited to language development. It could include on-the-spot pragmatic performance issues in people with normally developed language. One example of an obvious way language is implicated in ADHD - at least for me, and more generally as I understand it - is difficulty matching physical actions to verbal directions. The dominant view is that this is just one symptom of the dysexecutive aspect of the disorder, and that problems with executive function are actually ADHD's most important feature. If we were to view language problems are more central to the disorder, we might look at a symptom like that differently.

Amtram
05-07-13, 07:45 PM
I'm still curious about why there would be an assumption that language would be central to either of them - I tend to view language deficits in ADHD as more of an end result of other symptoms. I don't know of any specific language deficits that are associated with ADHD, so that's why I was curious. Having recently experienced some language deficits myself (which fortunately seem to be mostly gone) I have perhaps a different perception of what a language deficit might be!

atSWIMtooboreds
05-07-13, 08:36 PM
I'm still curious about why there would be an assumption that language would be central to either of them - I tend to view language deficits in ADHD as more of an end result of other symptoms. I don't know of any specific language deficits that are associated with ADHD, so that's why I was curious. Having recently experienced some language deficits myself (which fortunately seem to be mostly gone) I have perhaps a different perception of what a language deficit might be!

Well, naturally it's not going to be anything close to what you would see in someone who was e.g. aphasic. I guess the idea of it being a "language disorder" is unclear. I think the question is mostly what the relationship is between language and the relevant neurotransmitters. I don't think there's anything like an assumption that language is central to ADHD - the assumption seems to be the opposite - that any impact on language is kind of a side effect of more important things. I don't know nearly as much about schizophrenia, but like I said, I've seen at least a few things linking the two. If you're interested, I can look back and see which ones were most informative.

Sorry to hear it, by the way!

Amtram
05-07-13, 09:20 PM
That would be nice. I came in to turn off my computer and ended up searching for good references for Brodmann's areas instead, because I was trying to find all the possible language-related brain areas besides the left temporal lobe. . .

mctavish23
05-07-13, 09:38 PM
Please Check Out This Reference :

http://www.greatschools.net/pdfs/2200_7-barktran.pdf?

Look for references to the Internalization of Speech + Verbal Fluency (beginning on p. 20).


u r welcome :cool:

atSWIMtooboreds
05-07-13, 10:14 PM
Please Check Out This Reference :

http://www.greatschools.net/pdfs/2200_7-barktran.pdf?

Look for references to the Internalization of Speech + Verbal Fluency (beginning on p. 20).


u r welcome :cool:

Interesting. Thanks... Good to see Barkley is talking about these sorts of things. I don't usually find him very convincing, but some of what he's getting at here seems to be pretty much the sort of thing I wanted to look into. Thank you very much, as usual.