View Full Version : Brain Studies Show ADHD Is Real Disease


Scattered
08-07-07, 11:37 AM
Interesting article about validitiy of ADHD as a condition.

http://health.msn.com/centers/adhd/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100167402&gt1=10316

Scattered
08-07-07, 11:38 AM
MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a real disease linked to changes in production of the brain chemical dopamine, two new reports suggest.<O:p</O:p

In the first report, researchers found that a variant of the dopamine receptor gene may help cause the behavioral condition but also improve its long-term outcome.<O:p</O:p

"If you have a certain variant of this gene, you have a greatly increased risk of having ADHD," said lead researcher Dr. Philip Shaw, a researcher in the Child Psychiatry Branch at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health. However, "what we found that was surprising was that having this variant was also associated with having a better outcome from ADHD," he said.<O:p</O:p

"The kids who had the risk gene tended to get better," Shaw said. "They also tended to be a little bit more intelligent."<O:p</O:p

Not all children with ADHD have this particular gene variant, Shaw said. "About one-quarter to one-fifth of children with ADHD has this gene variant," he said. "That's higher than the general population where about a fifth to a sixth has the variant."<O:p</O:p

Scattered
08-07-07, 11:39 AM
In a second study, scientists found that, in contrast to the common wisdom, ADHD is associated with lowered dopamine production.<O:p</O:p

Both reports were published in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.<O:p</O:p

In the first gene study, Shaw's team compared 105 children with ADHD with 103 healthy children. The youngsters averaged about 10 years of age.<O:p</O:p

The researchers looked at the children's MRI brain scans as well as their DNA. In addition, 67 of the children with ADHD were evaluated six years later.<O:p</O:p

Shaw's team found that a variant in the dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) was associated with ADHD. This form of the gene is linked with thinner tissue in areas of the brain that control attention.<O:p</O:p

Among the children with ADHD seen over six years, those who had this gene variant had better outcomes and had regained healthy tissue thickness in the affected brain region. This may explain ADHD's natural history of improvement with age, the researchers noted.<O:p</O:p

Further research could help develop treatments that will help children recover from ADHD more quickly, Shaw said.<O:p</O:p

One expert said the study may be a milestone in understanding ADHD.<O:p</O:p

Scattered
08-07-07, 11:42 AM
"This is a very important study as it adds increasing evidence that ADHD is a heritable disease with genetically determined neurobiological underpinnings and adds further evidence that this is a valid mental disorder, often requiring neurobiological interventions [such as] psychopharmacological treatment," said Dr. Jon A. Shaw, professor and director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.<O:p</O:p

A second study -- led this time by Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse -- suggests that the ADHD drug Ritalin works by increasing the brain's production of dopamine.<O:p</O:p

This finding implies that reduced production of dopamine is involved in ADHD and may help explain why many people with the condition also abuse drugs.<O:p</O:p

"Individuals with ADHD have a decreased function of the brain dopamine system," Volkow said. "ADHD, clearly, is associated with a biochemical dysfunction," she added.<O:p</O:p

The finding is important, because it belies the myth that ADHD is not a real disease but was just created "to sell medication," Volkow said. Instead, "this finding explains why stimulant medications, such as Ritalin, are beneficial, because they increase dopamine function in the brain," she said.<O:p</O:p

In the study, Volkow's team performed brain scans of 19 adults with ADHD who had never received Ritalin, as well as 24 healthy individuals. The scans were done after the participants were given shots of Ritalin or placebo.<O:p</O:p

The team found that the people with ADHD released less dopamine into their blood than those without the disease. However, Ritalin caused less of a decrease in dopamine than usual in these individuals. This reduction in dopamine was associated with typical symptoms of inattention, the researchers found.<O:p</O:p

Volkow noted that drugs such as nicotine, cocaine and methamphetamine also improve dopamine brain function.<O:p</O:p

"This may be the reason why individuals that have ADHD are at a much greater risk of abusing substances than the general population, because drugs of abuse increase dopamine brain function, and they will 'feel better,' " Volkow said.<O:p</O:p

parshmar
08-08-07, 12:16 AM
thanks for posting, now I don't feel so bad about smoking and dipping :)

Gentoo
08-08-07, 06:34 AM
I don't like that they call it a "disease" that we need to "recover from". It is who we are. Some of us like ADHD, some of us hate it.. but it is still a part of us and who knows what kind of scum we might be if we didn't have it. Of course, it works both ways, we could be rich and successful and forever happy but what I'm getting at is.. without it we wouldn't be US. I'm rather offended by this article.

Scattered
08-08-07, 07:15 AM
The term "disease" took me back too. I don't think it is a disease -- but rather a trait. It is nice to know that it is a real observable difference and interesting to me to know a little more specifically what kind of difference.


Scattered

addusin
08-12-07, 02:15 PM
I don't like that they call it a "disease" that we need to "recover from". It is who we are.
The trouble with this type of thinking is that it may encourage lawmakers to yank away all the special privileges we (are supposed to) get, like extra time on standardized tests, IDEA protection for children, ADA protection for the workplace, disability payments if you can't work, etc.
The government doesn't set up special programs for, give support to, or give grants to people whom are just different (unless it's related to race or creed).

Imnapl
08-12-07, 02:57 PM
The trouble with this type of thinking is that it may encourage lawmakers to yank away all the special privileges we (are supposed to) get, like extra time on standardized tests, IDEA protection for children, ADA protection for the workplace, disability payments if you can't work, etc.
The government doesn't set up special programs for, give support to, or give grants to people whom are just different (unless it's related to race or creed).I know things are different in other countries, but in Canada, ADHD will only qualify a person for very limited resources. It is not a funded catergory in public school and does not qualify one for a disability pension.

bandie08
12-11-07, 08:37 AM
:mad: Its not a disease Its a disability and its who you are. STUPID RESEARCHERS

hollyduck
12-11-07, 10:40 AM
I don't like that they call it a "disease" that we need to "recover from". It is who we are. Some of us like ADHD, some of us hate it.. but it is still a part of us and who knows what kind of scum we might be if we didn't have it. Of course, it works both ways, we could be rich and successful and forever happy but what I'm getting at is.. without it we wouldn't be US. I'm rather offended by this article.
I don't know about you, but this wonderful character trait ADD has resulted in my life in an uninterrupted succession of failures and disappointments, money problems, a very small pension (rather than an adequate one), a post retirement career in part-time jobs, etc etc etc.

The big regret I have is something which couldn't have been fixed anyway, because of timing. My father, now gone 20 years, must have decided when I was in college and dropped out, that I was just lazy and careless of my life. For him, I was a big disappointment. He was the opposite, very hard-working, very meticulous, very patient. But the timing of child diagnoses came too late for me in childhood, and then adult diagnoses came too late for my dad to know anything about it.

I understand why people need to believe that ADD offers a special view of the world, special abilities, special strengths. And I believe it too, judging from the ADDers I have met. But where's the social rewards, recognition and pay for untreated ADDers? The rewards and recognition still go to the people with "amazing memories", "attention to detail", "self-starters", and people with "amazing energy and focus". Read the business pages, the want ads, the biographies of successful people. They get recognition for their uncommon, special brain chemistry, they get credit for it as though they deliberately chose to have it.

Sorry, I'm in a grumpy mood. But still.

Ducky

blueroo
12-11-07, 12:43 PM
It's very romantic to embrace our ADHD and honestly, it is good to do so. But that doesn't change the fact that ADHD is a disease. Our brains do not function as a normal human brain does. We have reduced dopamine function. It causes symptoms that often reduces our quality of life. That's the plain science. How can anyone possibly find the scientific facts offensive?

Disease, noun - a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.

Yes, ok, many of us try to turn this negative in to a positive, and sometimes we're quite successful in doing so. Just because we have a disease doesn't mean we're less of a person, have less value, or are otherwise reduced. Sickle Cell Anemia is a disease which offers the afflicted some benefits. ADHD is a disease that offers the afflicted some benefits as well.

Personally, I like to believe that I am more than the function of a couple chemicals in my brain. I am more than my ADHD. I don't understand why anyone else would want to be defined by it.

SB_UK
12-11-07, 04:09 PM
When man evolved up - his mind defined him as who he was -
his mind allowed him to say 'I' 'we'
~etc~
ADD is a condition of the mind -
and it is possible - that ADD will have the same capacity to define us as a species
- exactly as first mind did
(all those thousands of years ago :-) )

it all comes down to

'what is a mind?'

and

'how are the ADD and nonADD mind different?'

If we see first mind as a triumph of linear self-expression -
then might not the disorder of ADD represent itself as the multilinear capacity for self-expression which fails when we use legacy language?

Sounds a bit fancy - so how about?

How do we talk -?- by having a single line of thought - which we describe.

If we were to have multiple lines of thought (task-centric) - then we would lose the capacity to talk through our thought processes -
would think better though -
- would perform tasks better (though) -
-> thought would appear to be disordered - when asked about some aspect of the process which we completed in ADDer space.

Why can't the disorder simply be representative of change for the better -?- where the better appears :-) worse - through failure to assess the correct metric for 'better'.

There's a huge problem in studies upon the mind - because since it was nature which lead to the evolution of man with mind - it's important to see that we do not have the perspective which the process of nature had - when mind was first instantiated.

Any disorder we feel - is going to be tainted - until we deliver a pattern which explains away the basis to mind.

(and it's not going to be hard -
just require a little thought -)

here's a reference to one of the great thinkers of our time on such subjects

- Roger Penrose at Oxford Uni (here)

-> 'Emperor's New Mind'

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YN1YE45RL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpg

I've only read the pictures - but it sure is a fine (and cheapish sub- $10) place to start.

His angle is a mathematical basis to the evolutionary process which defines - amongst other things

->-

mind
of
man.

He can even spell 'Lobsterchevvy'!

(that wasn't it (http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/%7Ehistory/Mathematicians/Lobachevsky.html) - by the way)

:-)

bandie08
12-13-07, 09:58 AM
It's very romantic to embrace our ADHD and honestly, it is good to do so. But that doesn't change the fact that ADHD is a disease. Our brains do not function as a normal human brain does. We have reduced dopamine function. It causes symptoms that often reduces our quality of life. That's the plain science. How can anyone possibly find the scientific facts offensive?

Disease, noun - a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.

Yes, ok, many of us try to turn this negative in to a positive, and sometimes we're quite successful in doing so. Just because we have a disease doesn't mean we're less of a person, have less value, or are otherwise reduced. Sickle Cell Anemia is a disease which offers the afflicted some benefits. ADHD is a disease that offers the afflicted some benefits as well.

Personally, I like to believe that I am more than the function of a couple chemicals in my brain. I am more than my ADHD. I don't understand why anyone else would want to be defined by it.

Yeah but you can't die from ADD like you can from cancer or AIDs. I think of it more like a disability. I would rather have a disability then a disease. Its a developmental disability.

blueroo
12-13-07, 12:46 PM
Whether we like it or not doesn't change what it is, unfortunately. I'd rather be a millionaire, but telling people I'm rich doesn't make me not poor.

xav
12-13-07, 02:49 PM
I don't know about you, but this wonderful character trait ADD has resulted in my life in an uninterrupted succession of failures and disappointments, money problems, a very small pension (rather than an adequate one), a post retirement career in part-time jobs, etc etc etc.

The big regret I have is something which couldn't have been fixed anyway, because of timing. My father, now gone 20 years, must have decided when I was in college and dropped out, that I was just lazy and careless of my life. For him, I was a big disappointment. He was the opposite, very hard-working, very meticulous, very patient. But the timing of child diagnoses came too late for me in childhood, and then adult diagnoses came too late for my dad to know anything about it.

I understand why people need to believe that ADD offers a special view of the world, special abilities, special strengths. And I believe it too, judging from the ADDers I have met. But where's the social rewards, recognition and pay for untreated ADDers? The rewards and recognition still go to the people with "amazing memories", "attention to detail", "self-starters", and people with "amazing energy and focus". Read the business pages, the want ads, the biographies of successful people. They get recognition for their uncommon, special brain chemistry, they get credit for it as though they deliberately chose to have it.

Sorry, I'm in a grumpy mood. But still.

Ducky

No you're not grumpy, i totally agree with you,

As an adult reading this forum for some time now i start to think that the people who are optimistic about their differences from being ADDers are pepople who still have hopes in their abilities to adapt to working life, to take enough money to have a good life and mainly to be able to juggle with social life in every aspects.
When you have some years more the difficulties of add have start to take away some joy of your life. If you have enough luck and are hard ( read very hard ) working and organized you may be able to preserved some joy but i would have like to have just a simpler life, a better memory nothing extraordinary just not having to put some much to have the ordinary lot...

MonkeyGirl
12-13-07, 03:59 PM
Yeah but you can't die from ADD like you can from cancer or AIDs. I think of it more like a disability. I would rather have a disability then a disease. Its a developmental disability.I don't think death is what makes a disease a disease.

I personally feel that I'm very little but ADHD. It has caused me enough misery to last several lifetimes. Sad to say, I believe we only have one, and ADHD is robbing me from it.

ADD_Pyrate_Gurl
12-14-07, 06:00 AM
I was born via C-Section and what caused my ADD was a blood vessel not fully developing causing brain cells to die off from lack of oxygen. Some times I wonder if I had been left in just a few more hours, days, weeks... would that part of my brain had the time to develop? I've asked my mother about it, since she was there and I was just a baby at the time... she told me it wouldn't have mattered... I was actually late and her water had burst but she couldn't deliver me naturally. I had to come out when I did. But I still can't help but think "if only...."

With my personal beliefs though, I believe that God does not give you anything you can't handle. He knows you better than you know yourself. He knows your strengths and weaknesses. I believe that God will never put an obstacle you can not over come in front of you. There have been times that I hate being ADD and I wish I could just be normal for once... that I wish I didn't have to struggle with the things I have had to struggle with in my life. But I know that it does not define who I am. It is merely a fact of my life that I have to deal and cope with every day.

I agree, I hate calling it a disease. It is a learning disability, a mental disability. To me a disease is something like cancer, tumors, AIDS, Diabetes, Addison's disease... psychopathy, schizophrenia... things like that. Not ADD/ADHD. I think a disease is either something physical, like failing kidneys or psychopathy. A disease is an illness... ADD/ADHD is not an illness, we're not sick. Not physically or mentally ill.

ADD/ADHD, is a disorder. Attention Deficit Disorder. Our brains are perfectly capable of functioning, we're just wired a little differently... but because of that altered wiring we have a disorder, or a disturbance of sorts.

Disorder:
1. a disturbance in physical or mental health or functions; malady* or dysfunction

Disability:
<TABLE class=luna-Ent minmax_bound="true"><TBODY minmax_bound="true"><TR minmax_bound="true"><TD class=dn vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">1.</TD><TD vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">lack of adequate power, strength, or physical or mental ability; incapacity. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<TABLE class=luna-Ent minmax_bound="true"><TBODY minmax_bound="true"><TR minmax_bound="true"><TD class=dn vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">2.</TD><TD vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">a physical or mental handicap, esp. one that prevents a person from living a full, normal life or from holding a gainful job. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<TABLE class=luna-Ent minmax_bound="true"><TBODY minmax_bound="true"><TR minmax_bound="true"><TD class=dn vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">3.</TD><TD vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">anything that disables or puts one at a disadvantage.</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

*Malady: 1.any disorder or disease of the body, esp. one that is chronic or deep seated.

Our intelligence or IQ is not effected by it, Albert Einstein is said to have been ADD and he was a GENIOUS! E=MC squared? It just effects the length of time it takes for us to grasp concepts and complete our work. When I was in Elementary school I was slightly behind on my math, but after about a year of one on one teaching I was at level with my peers... I just couldn't learn it in a classroom setting... it had to be quiet one on one. After that, I was fine... I was and still am what I like to affectionately call C.D. ......... Calculator Dependant. lol. Many students were afflicted with C.D. in my math classes in high school, ADD and non ADD alike. lol.

chinesebob
12-14-07, 06:40 AM
There are a lot of different opinions obviously about what ADD is to each one of us. It reminds me of the half full question.

The fact is that ADD can be a blessing or a curse. It really comes down to what you want to make of it. Is it physiological - most definitely. Does it make us different? Yes. Is it/has it been a impediment in our life? Yes. Will we have the life that other's do? Not necessarily. Is it an excuse? Only if you let it.

I don't excuse my behaviour by ADD. I look at it like this. My brain is wired one way. Other people are wired a different way. The way that their brain is wired is the way that people expect to be wired. But it doesn't make mine wrong.

Think of it like this - You are a native english speaker living in China. You can speak Chinese, but you think in English. You make mistakes, misunderstand things, fail to comprehend things. It doesn't mean you are bad or good. Your brain is just doing extra work. The question there is - how do you leverage your English speaking mind to a Chinese speaking world to best fit it and make the most of it.

That doesn't change your current financial status or fix the years of blundering. But it can help you to identify ways to leverage your capacities. Even if it means taking advantage of our quickly-becoming-socialized-government to get extra services, money, etc. As long as you aren't cheating there's no harm in getting it.

bandie08
12-14-07, 11:56 AM
I agree, I hate calling it a disease. It is a learning disability, a mental disability. To me a disease is something like cancer, tumors, AIDS, Diabetes, Addison's disease... psychopathy, schizophrenia... things like that. Not ADD/ADHD. I think a disease is either something physical, like failing kidneys or psychopathy. A disease is an illness... ADD/ADHD is not an illness, we're not sick. Not physically or mentally ill.

ADD/ADHD, is a disorder. Attention Deficit Disorder. Our brains are perfectly capable of functioning, we're just wired a little differently... but because of that altered wiring we have a disorder, or a disturbance of sorts.

Disorder:
1. a disturbance in physical or mental health or functions; malady* or dysfunction

Disability:
<TABLE class=luna-Ent minmax_bound="true"><TBODY minmax_bound="true"><TR minmax_bound="true"><TD class=dn vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">1.</TD><TD vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">lack of adequate power, strength, or physical or mental ability; incapacity. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<TABLE class=luna-Ent minmax_bound="true"><TBODY minmax_bound="true"><TR minmax_bound="true"><TD class=dn vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">2.</TD><TD vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">a physical or mental handicap, esp. one that prevents a person from living a full, normal life or from holding a gainful job. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<TABLE class=luna-Ent minmax_bound="true"><TBODY minmax_bound="true"><TR minmax_bound="true"><TD class=dn vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">3.</TD><TD vAlign=top minmax_bound="true">anything that disables or puts one at a disadvantage.</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

*Malady: 1.any disorder or disease of the body, esp. one that is chronic or deep seated.

Our intelligence or IQ is not effected by it, Albert Einstein is said to have been ADD and he was a GENIOUS! E=MC squared? It just effects the length of time it takes for us to grasp concepts and complete our work. When I was in Elementary school I was slightly behind on my math, but after about a year of one on one teaching I was at level with my peers... I just couldn't learn it in a classroom setting... it had to be quiet one on one. After that, I was fine... I was and still am what I like to affectionately call C.D. ......... Calculator Dependant. lol. Many students were afflicted with C.D. in my math classes in high school, ADD and non ADD alike. lol.

AMEN TO THAT :) *High Fives* Plus you can't die from ADHD unless you commit suicide but thats not the point. Here is the wikipedia description of ADHD
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Hyperkinetic Disorder as officially known in the UK (though ADHD is more commonly used), is generally considered to be a developmental disorder, largely neurological in nature, affecting about 5% of the world's population. The disorder typically presents itself during childhood, and is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity, as well as forgetfulness, poor impulse control or impulsivity, and distractibility. ADHD is currently considered to be a persistent and chronic condition for which no medical cure is available. ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children and, over the past decade, has been increasingly diagnosed in adults. About 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD retain the disorder as adults.The disorder appears to be highly heritable, with contributions on occasion from trauma or toxic exposure. Methods of treatment usually involve some combination of medications, behaviour modifications, life style changes, and counseling. Certain social critics are highly skeptical that the diagnosis denotes a genuine impairment and question virtually all that is known about ADHD. The symptoms of ADHD are not as profoundly different from normal behavior as are those of other chronic mental disorders. Still, ADHD has been shown to often impair functioning, and many adverse life outcomes are associated with ADHD.

ADHD is a developmental disorder that is often said to be neurological in nature. The term "developmental" means that certain traits such as impulse control significantly lag in development when compared to the general population. This developmental lag has been estimated to range between 30-40 percent in ADHD sufferers in comparison to their peers; consequently these delayed attributes are considered an impairment. ADHD has also been classified as a behavior disorder and a neurological disorder or combinations of these classifications such as neurobehavioural or neurodevelopmental disorders. These compounded terms are now more frequently used in the field to describe the disorder.Those with Predominately Inattentive ADHD often display few or no overt behaviors.:soapbox:I REST MY CASE.

MonkeyGirl
12-14-07, 04:24 PM
There are a lot of different opinions obviously about what ADD is to each one of us. It reminds me of the half full question.

The fact is that ADD can be a blessing or a curse. It really comes down to what you want to make of it. Is it physiological - most definitely. Does it make us different? Yes. Is it/has it been a impediment in our life? Yes. Will we have the life that other's do? Not necessarily. Is it an excuse? Only if you let it.

I don't excuse my behaviour by ADD. I look at it like this. My brain is wired one way. Other people are wired a different way. The way that their brain is wired is the way that people expect to be wired. But it doesn't make mine wrong.

Think of it like this - You are a native english speaker living in China. You can speak Chinese, but you think in English. You make mistakes, misunderstand things, fail to comprehend things. It doesn't mean you are bad or good. Your brain is just doing extra work. The question there is - how do you leverage your English speaking mind to a Chinese speaking world to best fit it and make the most of it.

That doesn't change your current financial status or fix the years of blundering. But it can help you to identify ways to leverage your capacities. Even if it means taking advantage of our quickly-becoming-socialized-government to get extra services, money, etc. As long as you aren't cheating there's no harm in getting it.I think it also comes down to the resources we have available. An abused child vs. a child with a loving caring, supporting, big, happy family. The relation of parent to child. How well connected the family is and financial resources. Then friends, love affairs - the amount of social relations. Whether education is expected. The encouraging, supporting, safe, and motivating platform, and whether it stays that way until you have built your own. It depends on you foundation.

Also, if life has been hard, and you're left without an education. Perhaps you've been ill for a few years. Addictions are common in ADHDers. Maybe you can't get a job, because no one gives you a break - a chance. That you'll likely mess up by showing up late, or forget, or don't understand things.

Latter one will definitely know what ADHD means. The resources of an ADHDer are smaller. What he can do for himself.

Paris Hilton who can shop, shop, shop. And who also obviously is on the pretty side, and have a strong family to back her, her parents picking her up from jail! -- She will have it easier.

If you have to struggle from scratch, by yourself, with you as your only resource, it will be extremely hard with ADHD on board. You just added a ton of cement to his already overloaded shoulders.

ADD_Pyrate_Gurl
12-14-07, 05:09 PM
AMEN TO THAT :) *High Fives* Plus you can't die from ADHD unless you commit suicide but thats not the point. Here is the wikipedia description of ADHD
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Hyperkinetic Disorder as officially known in the UK (though ADHD is more commonly used), is generally considered to be a developmental disorder, largely neurological in nature, affecting about 5% of the world's population. The disorder typically presents itself during childhood, and is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity, as well as forgetfulness, poor impulse control or impulsivity, and distractibility. ADHD is currently considered to be a persistent and chronic condition for which no medical cure is available. ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children and, over the past decade, has been increasingly diagnosed in adults. About 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD retain the disorder as adults.The disorder appears to be highly heritable, with contributions on occasion from trauma or toxic exposure. Methods of treatment usually involve some combination of medications, behaviour modifications, life style changes, and counseling. Certain social critics are highly skeptical that the diagnosis denotes a genuine impairment and question virtually all that is known about ADHD. The symptoms of ADHD are not as profoundly different from normal behavior as are those of other chronic mental disorders. Still, ADHD has been shown to often impair functioning, and many adverse life outcomes are associated with ADHD.
Right on! Although I have to say... If I had to choose between somebody admitting it was real but calling it a disease or saying that it just simply does not exist, that it is an excuse made up by school teachers to medicate children who act up in class or the pharmacutical companies making up make believe disorders to hock un-needed medication...

I'd rather have somebody admit that it is real but call it a disease. I've encountered a few teachers in my life who just simply do not believe it is real and do not believe I needed the modifications I was granted via my 504 plan or they thought I was stupid because of it. When I was 10 yrs old, in 5th grade, I had a teacher tell me to my face that I was dumb, stupid and would never amount to anything because I was ADD so why even try? You have no idea how deeply that effected me. I still sometimes struggle with getting her voice out of my head telling me I can't. In middle school, my social studies teacher would NEVER come to the 504 meetings (a copy of the 504 plan was delivered to her inbox). I was supposed to only do the starred work and be graded on only the starred work. Well she decided because I only did the starred work it wasn't fair to give me an A on the assignment, even if I answered all the starred questions correctly, because my fellow classmates did ALL the work and answered ALL the questions correctly so why should I get an equal grade as my peers when I did less work? My mother had to fight her tooth and nail and wave the 504 plan in her face, which by law she MUST abide by. My mom threatened to go to the principal and if that didn't work, the school board, and if that didn't work, she'd find somebody higher than the school board to go to. Needless to say, she started grading me fairly according to my 504 plan. She didn't like it, but she didn't want her teaching license taken away.

When it comes right down to it, those without ADD will NEVER fully comprehend what it is we go through... we can explain it to the best of our ability and hope that others can be understanding, not pity, but understanding. If these researches are searching for a 'cure' I don't think they'll ever find one. It is my belief that I will have ADD until the day I die. Not to get too religious, but I believe once Christ returns to the earth and we are all resurected we will all be perfect and no longer have ADD. That's all I'll say on that note, not wanting to start a religious debate or offend.... just sharing my personal beliefs....

xav
12-14-07, 05:36 PM
I
...
If you have to struggle from scratch, by yourself, with you as your only resource, it will be extremely hard with ADHD on board. You just added a ton of cement to his already overloaded shoulders.


And after some years, when you re out of the initial mess and have built a family from scratch you re still have a strange feeling : what if ... what if my parents have been just a little more educated, ....what if this teacher or that girl has seen through the self built carapace builted for self preservation, .... what if i had been able to gain just a little year or two of pure and innocent joy...

dyingInside
12-14-07, 09:10 PM
I wonder if diabetics, epileptics, sickle-cell anemics, and hemophiliacs run around saying "It's not a disease, it's who we are!"

Disability, disorder, disease, dah dah dah. I am not offended by these terms at all. ADHD, BPMD, and especially ADHD-I have not been a good thing from my perspective. Sure, there is some added creativity and sometimes delusions of grandeur, but without this condition, which I didn't know about for years, I would likely have been a tenured and published PhD by now. On the other hand maybe I would have lived life to the fullest and caught VD from one of hundreds of groupies I never had, haha.

Stabby
12-16-07, 07:41 PM
To all the people here who smoke: how does it affect you? It doesn't have much effect on me, I only feel a bit better while smoking but not afterwards.

Volkow noted that drugs such as nicotine, cocaine and methamphetamine also improve dopamine brain function.<O:p</O:p

DimensionX
12-17-07, 01:57 PM
I know it must be disheartening for it to be classified as a disease as so many people here have learned to accept it for it's positives, this image is then shattered when it's linked with the word "disease", disease by definition means:

a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.

by that very definition ADHD is in fact classified as a disease (also I think it can only be classified as such when the cause as been found which now that ADHD is classified as such is excellent news), there are positives to this new classifacation:

1, Now that it has officially been classified as a disease professionals will have to take notice, they will be forced to recognise ADHD as something no longer a myth, meaning that although some prides will take a beating but ADHD will begin to be accepted worldwide by professionals, how can that be a bad thing?


2, Research into treatment for ADHD can be developed to be much more targeted which means (although we will have to wait a few years) the treamtment will have less side effects and will become much more effective because it's targeting the cause rather than the symptoms.

As I said the hardest hit this will have on many people is that it is a disease and that the people who have accepted ADHD and turned it into a part of themselves will feel disheartened or devestated, it wasn't the next generational step, but, to those of you who have seen ADHD is such a light for a long time I say this, you took something that disadvantaged you in life and turned it into part of your identity, you saw something negative as something that can be an asset, from this disease you have learned how to strike through disadvantages, you adapted, doing such a thing denotes a quality of character rarely seen, a quality that can be as inspirational as a handicaped person overcomming hardship by becomming an athlete, just because your overcomming something that cannot be seen doesn't make it any less, for those of you who have children, you have passed on not your affliction, nbot your hardship, but your strength of will with which your children can truely admire.

Just rememebr if you have turned ADHD into part of your identity, through it, you have gained so much more than just an affliction, you have gained will power, determination, true traits of character such traits are difficult to find in these times we live in.

bandie08
12-17-07, 06:52 PM
ok can we lock this disscussion board before this turns ugly?

blueroo
12-17-07, 07:17 PM
I'm confused. What aspect of the conversation is turning ugly? This conversation seems important to me.

DimensionX
12-18-07, 12:28 AM
I'm puzzled too http://addforums.com/forums/images/smilies/confused.gif

bandie08
12-18-07, 11:47 AM
I feel like its turning into a debate in here.

mctavish23
12-18-07, 10:33 PM
There are approximately 15 or so "operational definitions" of ADHD.

The main theorist's I read the most are Sam Goldstein & Russ Barkley.

Both of them view ADHD as a "trait," and not a disease.

Here's what Barkley has to say on that ( on page 30 of Dr Russell Barkley on ADHD @ schwablearning.org ):

"ADHD is not a pathology ( meaning a disease). It's a trait. There is an ADHD trait in the population. It's called self-control and ADHD represents the lower end of it."

Hope that helps.

I'm always pleased to see anyone read the literature.

I think you might be surprised how few clinicains that I work with (psychologist's) read anything at all.

On the other hand, perhaps not.

Thanks for bringing this up.

Have a safe & joyous season.

tc

mctavish23
(Robert)

Who Me ?
12-19-07, 03:49 AM
I don't like that they call it a "disease" that we need to "recover from". It is who we are. Some of us like ADHD, some of us hate it.. but it is still a part of us and who knows what kind of scum we might be if we didn't have it. Of course, it works both ways, we could be rich and successful and forever happy but what I'm getting at is.. without it we wouldn't be US. I'm rather offended by this article.You share your outlook with a LOT of autistic spectrum folk, who somehow feel that their condition defines them.
But what if they found a 'cure' (note use of inverted commas) for ADD, which not only made you feel good but allowed all your talents to blossom ?
Would you still say that the condition that impoverished (relative to you with ADD) your life in any way 'defined' you ?
I regard ADD as no more defining me than say, a spinal injury defines a paraplegic - it's simply not part of WHO the paraplegic is ... and to suggest that it might be would I imagine, be extremely insulting to the paraplegic in question.

But what strikes me in all of this, is the incidental/trivial nature that some here, appear to regard ADD as having.
Rather like, my life would have been much the same without it - but with a few qualitative differences.
That would be an altogether more pleasant reality than is the case.
ADD - as much as anyone might like to glass-half-full it, is nothing of the sort.

DimensionX
12-19-07, 08:46 AM
alot of the problems that people with ADHD suffer with are social orientated, children learn alot about how to interact socially when in kindergarden, because of the nature of ADHD a child with ADHD will not learn how to socially interact properly due to the high chance of becomming distracted throughout the day.

Curing the ADHD would not cure the social problems because it's simply a matter of the child did not learn how to socially interact because of his/her being constantly distracted.

There is a possibility that if cured the person in question could learn those unspoken social rules but I'm not sure how possible that really is and considering that the report states it might be due to a thin brain tissue region the likelyhood is that it's more likely to become something similar to diabetse in fashion where you would still need constant medication.....actually something like this would be perfect for stem cell research don't you think? using stem cells to thicken the area of the brain which has been found as the cause of ADHD, I mean logically thats the only way that I can think of that would provide a complete cure.

MonkeyGirl
12-19-07, 08:56 PM
alot of the problems that people with ADHD suffer with are social orientated, children learn alot about how to interact socially when in kindergarden, because of the nature of ADHD a child with ADHD will not learn how to socially interact properly due to the high chance of becomming distracted throughout the day.

Curing the ADHD would not cure the social problems because it's simply a matter of the child did not learn how to socially interact because of his/her being constantly distracted.

There is a possibility that if cured the person in question could learn those unspoken social rules but I'm not sure how possible that really is and considering that the report states it might be due to a thin brain tissue region the likelyhood is that it's more likely to become something similar to diabetse in fashion where you would still need constant medication.....actually something like this would be perfect for stem cell research don't you think? using stem cells to thicken the area of the brain which has been found as the cause of ADHD, I mean logically thats the only way that I can think of that would provide a complete cure.That's seriously two of the longest sentences I've seen! :cool: The last one marked in bold doesn't even have commas. :p Thanks for the paragraphs. ;)

I think if they try to come up with a way to fix or avoid ADHD altogether, they'll try to do it while still in the fetal stage. Hence be able to repair areas with thin brain tissue or interrupt development towards what causes ADHD.

Who Me ?
12-20-07, 03:50 AM
That's seriously two of the longest sentences I've seen! :cool: The last one marked in bold doesn't even have commas. :p Thanks for the paragraphs. ;)

I think if they try to come up with a way to fix or avoid ADHD altogether, they'll try to do it while still in the fetal stage. Hence be able to repair areas with thin brain tissue or interrupt development towards what causes ADHD.It's not a developmental or hardware disorder.
See here - http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46592

MonkeyGirl
12-20-07, 04:19 AM
It's not a developmental or hardware disorder.
See here - http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46592ADHD is not the same as Autism, and personally I have to say that I feel terrible when I have a fever. Being very ill, which I think you are if you have a fever, naturally affects the body, in everyone. It's an awful feeling, and I wouldn't call that being any better. Fever is an important signal that something is wrong in the body, it's a symptom of disease. If the body has to put in a big fight, having to resort to fever, it doesn't spare energy for other things. That's usually why we are too weak to get out of bed.

Who Me ?
12-20-07, 04:25 AM
ADHD is not the same as Autism,

Where did anyone say it is ?

and personally I have to say that I feel terrible when I have a fever. Being very ill, which I think you are if you have a fever, naturally affects the body, in everyone. It's an awful feeling, and I wouldn't call that being any better.

Read the whole thread linked-to.
Everyone feels terrible PHYSICALLY with a fever.

Fever is an important signal that something is wrong in the body, it's a symptom of disease.

You mean like a cold ?
But no, fever in itself is not a disease-state - it's purely an immune response.
Indeed, you'll see from the linked-to thread, that it's been used as a cancer therapy for very many years.

If the body has to put in a big fight, having to resort to fever, it doesn't spare energy for other things. That's usually why we are too weak to get out of bed.Not quite sure what you're trying to say exactly.
Perhaps you can expand.

MonkeyGirl
12-20-07, 04:38 AM
Not quite sure what you're trying to say exactly.
Perhaps you can expand.Symptoms don't improve by fever, your whole body is simply down for heavy repair.

PS I don't feel well emotionally either!

Who Me ?
12-20-07, 04:48 AM
Symptoms don't improve by fever,

I think you mean YOUR symptoms don't improve with fever, don't you ?

Or do you mean that the study findings on autistic symptom relief are flawed, aswell as the observations of parents with ADHD children in the linked-to thread ?

your whole body is simply down for heavy repair.


PS I don't feel well emotionally either!Are you saying that it's the same for everyone else ?

Scattered
02-09-08, 08:00 PM
It's not a developmental or hardware disorder.
See here - http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46592
Actually is it a developmental disorder according to one of ADHD's leading researchers Russell Barkley and others (see Taking Charge of ADHD), including recent long term reach on ADHD kid from 6 to 16. They found that they're brains grew and than pruned down again the very same way non ADD kids did, but they did it three years later.

It is also a hardware disorder -- in Answers to Distraction Drs. Ratey and Hallowell explain that there are two structures in that brain that abnormal in children with ADD -- the caudate nucleus and the corpus callosum

I would still call this a trait and not a disease, but I have to disagree that is isn't a developmental or hardware disorder -- it's both and more.

QueensU_girl
02-09-08, 08:02 PM
The title makes me laugh.

All dis/ease is real disease.

Heck, even Hysteria/Conversion Disorder (thanks to Brain Imaging), has been shown to be a real neurological disease. :)

True perceptual parts of the brain are shut down in that one.

Fuse
02-09-08, 10:09 PM
No you're not grumpy, i totally agree with you,

As an adult reading this forum for some time now i start to think that the people who are optimistic about their differences from being ADDers are pepople who still have hopes in their abilities to adapt to working life, to take enough money to have a good life and mainly to be able to juggle with social life in every aspects.
When you have some years more the difficulties of add have start to take away some joy of your life. If you have enough luck and are hard ( read very hard ) working and organized you may be able to preserved some joy but i would have like to have just a simpler life, a better memory nothing extraordinary just not having to put some much to have the ordinary lot...

It's not our failures or their quantity which define us; it's how we cope with & learn from them.

I personally see ADHD more as a neutral trait than anything; it has good and bad facets to it, but all in all a lot of it is up to you.

Don't be so quick to extrapolate your regrets in life on to the young; I do not enjoy it when somebody states matter-of-factly how another's life will turn out.

Further, you might be underestimating the life struggles of even the average person. I get the feeling life doesn't approach perfection for anybody as they grow up; it's always a struggle to maintain your ground and enjoy yourself when you can get ahead a bit. The huge percentage of 'normal' people on SSRIs and other anti-depressants attest to this fact.

Scattered
02-10-08, 03:15 AM
Very well said, Fuse!:) Folks with ADD fall all along the spectrum of intelligence and abilities. In my senior class in high school, ironically enough, both students voted Most Likely to Succeed had ADD, both also won a Music Award and went on to earn masters degrees and maintain long term marriages. ADD can definately complicate things, but if one can identify and tap into their strengths and passions and is blessed enough to have supportive families, friends, and faith, success and happiness are not out of reach. There is a long list of folks who have very successfully managed their lives despite ADD. Dr. Patricia Quinn, MD and ADD researcher; David Neelman of JetBlue; Drs. Hallowell and Ratey authors and Harvard Professors; Ty Pennington, etc.

Also like you said, everyone has problems to deal with and no matter how painful and frustrating my ADD has been at times, I don't know anyone else who I want to swap problems with.

arkyle
02-10-08, 04:30 AM
It's not a desease, it's a condition that causes a lot of problems to us.

arkyle
02-12-08, 04:31 AM
The title makes me laugh.

All dis/ease is real disease.

Heck, even Hysteria/Conversion Disorder (thanks to Brain Imaging), has been shown to be a real neurological disease. :)

True perceptual parts of the brain are shut down in that one.

You're right. I'm really curius about why is this "debate" still going on. I understand the use of drugs, discrimination, etc, but an image says more than a thousand words, doesn't it?
Come on, even suspect genes have been found to a certain degree.