View Full Version : We have smaller brains?! (article)


sarahsweets
02-20-17, 07:56 AM
http://nypost.com/2017/02/16/people-with-adhd-have-smaller-brains/

I didnt want to post this is in science because I didnt want to let it get buried and because I dont think the NYP counts as peer reviewed literature.

Besides the smaller brains slight-its a pretty amazing article even if only some of it is true.

Fraser_0762
02-20-17, 08:47 AM
Not my brain, it's massive.


Empty, but massive.

sarahsweets
02-20-17, 09:23 AM
Not my brain, it's massive.


Empty, but massive.

Mine's loaded.............like a baked potato.

Fraser_0762
02-20-17, 09:36 AM
Mine's loaded.............like a baked potato.

I'm craving a baked potato now. :(

Lunacie
02-20-17, 11:49 AM
I know brain scans have shown that some parts of the ADHD brain are smaller,
or less developed.

But I've read that research is being done on the neurons that connect the parts
of the brain. Apparently they are thinner, or the sheath that they run through is
thinner. Or something on those lines.

Maybe the shortage of dopamine keeps these areas from developing like they're
supposed to?

Fraser_0762
02-20-17, 12:14 PM
I think it's more than likely the other way around. The issue isn't a shortage of Dopamine, but a dysfunction in the release mechanism. A person with ADHD can get a huge Dopamine rush, depending on what they are doing at any given time. The alteration in the brain cell structure inhibits our control over that release mechanism.

Lunacie
02-20-17, 12:35 PM
I think it's more than likely the other way around. The issue isn't a shortage of Dopamine, but a dysfunction in the release mechanism. A person with ADHD can get a huge Dopamine rush, depending on what they are doing at any given time. The alteration in the brain cell structure inhibits our control over that release mechanism.

Everyone can experience that dopamine rush.

There are several theories being looked at to figure out we seem to have less
dopamine, or if we just can't use the dopamine we have very well.

But research has shown we do have a lower level of dopamine.

dvdnvwls
02-20-17, 01:40 PM
I'm not worried about if my brain is smaller, and I don't in any way consider that a slight or an unfair comment...

But I have quite a large head, and am now wondering what else I've got in there. :)

Fraser_0762
02-20-17, 02:23 PM
Everyone can experience that dopamine rush.

There are several theories being looked at to figure out we seem to have less
dopamine, or if we just can't use the dopamine we have very well.

But research has shown we do have a lower level of dopamine.

Dopamine is stored in the presynaptic neurons. Some of that gets released into the synapse (the brains reward system) when it is required.

ADHD isn't a lack of Dopamine, but rather a deficit in the function that controls how much gets released into the reward system at any given time.

The Dopamine is readily available in the presynaptic neurons, it's drawing it out that's the problem. The ADHD brain requires a higher level of stimulus for an adequate release to occur.

Stimulant medication helps to stimulate this release. But the release can also be stimulated in other ways, such as performing tasks that are highly rewarding.

Fraser_0762
02-20-17, 04:16 PM
If you believe that ADHD is a deficiency of Dopamine in the brain altogether, then the main line of treatment would be amino acids such as L-DOPA and L-Tyrosine (which actually boost Dopamine availability in the brain). Not stimulants which have no effect on Dopamine availability at all.

The thread subject is about the physicality of the ADHD brain, which I said has an impact on the release system for shifting Dopamine into the brains reward system. Something that stimulants can help to correct.

Lunacie
02-20-17, 05:22 PM
From what I know, there is little that is known for sure about these things but
research is ongoing. I don't believe anyone already has all the right answers.

namazu
02-21-17, 04:20 PM
To try to synthesize some of what's been said....

http://oi68.tinypic.com/10f6ezt.jpg
I looked (very briefly) at the journal article, and I don't want to bog down the thread with technical details, but here are some observations:

1. It wasn't just that the brains (or brain parts) of people with ADHD were smaller across the board. Different brain parts had different patterns, and for some brain parts, the size differences seemed to change with age.

So, for one example, in the graph above, the putamens of people with ADHD (red lines) tended to be slightly smaller than controls (white lines) throughout childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. But in mid-to-later adulthood, the people with ADHD actually had somewhat larger putamens. (What that means, I don't know -- and I don't think the researchers are certain, either.)

Each brain part had its own pattern -- ADHDers didn't always overtake controls, and for some parts of the brain, the size differences weren't very notable at any age.

2. It's important to keep in mind that the finding represent group averages.

Any given child with ADHD could actually have a larger putamen (or whatever) than another child without ADHD. (This is part of the reason we don't use this type of imaging today to diagnose individuals -- there's too much overlap.) But averaged over large numbers of people, kids with ADHD seemed to have smaller putamens.

3. The researchers did look at people with ADHD who were treated with medication vs. untreated (but I didn't read that carefully yet). Understanding those influences can get messy because of the different treatment types, lengths of time, when started, etc. Maybe I'll come back to that later, if I have a chance...


There was also a recent article suggesting that parts of the brain in people with autism spectrum disorders tended to be thicker than in people without...and I think that "overgrowth" happened in very early childhood. Given the frequent presence of ADHD in people with ASDs, there could be some interesting interactions there. (Or, if they involve completely different parts of the brain, maybe not...)

The brain is sure complex -- fascinating stuff!

C15H25N3O
02-21-17, 07:28 PM
I believe there are really a lot of ADHDs with smaller than average brains who can use it.

I also believe there are some ADHDs with huge brains who are not able to think.

baical
03-04-17, 02:07 AM
Elephants have huge brains, it doesn't mean they know how to use it...

My cardiologist told me over 10 years ago mitral valve prolapse was a popular diagnosis (I was diagnosed with it). Today, I don't even have it. Did the heart repair itself 10 years later? Possibly.

baical
03-04-17, 02:12 AM
are you saying we all need something to be addicted to? I used to be persistent with playing guitar and working out like a gym rat, which means I was functional at some point. I was able to get good grades and was a good student but that all went down the toilet when depression affected me in my mid teens. Not to mention the Lyme disease (I was never diagnosed but traces of the virus were found in my blood). In VA, I was just fine, the more north I went to MD, I fell into a depression as a teen and felt out of place so in other words being in a good place with supportive circles does help rather than being an outcast and out of place in a strange new state where people also have issues and it affected me (contagious).

I wonder if the person who has excellent dopamine function and uses amphetamines, what happens to them? Are they predisposed to becoming an addict then? Which explains why some people become an addict and some aren't even affected (the ones that lack adequate function).

Dopamine is stored in the presynaptic neurons. Some of that gets released into the synapse (the brains reward system) when it is required.

ADHD isn't a lack of Dopamine, but rather a deficit in the function that controls how much gets released into the reward system at any given time.

The Dopamine is readily available in the presynaptic neurons, it's drawing it out that's the problem. The ADHD brain requires a higher level of stimulus for an adequate release to occur.

Stimulant medication helps to stimulate this release. But the release can also be stimulated in other ways, such as performing tasks that are highly rewarding.