Research points to a lack of efficient dopamine use in the brain of those with ADHD. Medications such as Ritalin, Cylert, and Dexedrine increase the amount of dopamine and other neurotransmitters, either through introducing more of them into the synapses or inhibiting their reuptake so existing neurotransmitters linger longer between axon and dendrite.

The disorder appears to have toa genetic component. Parents of many children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often have the symptoms of adult ADHD, or upon being interviewed recall exhibiting the telltale behaviors in their own adolescence, before the disorder was widely diagnosed. However, there also appears to be a wide range of ADHD cases without any genetic history, suggesting that the disorder also may be introduced by environmental factors.

An aggressive four-year-old boy screams. Most psychiatric disorders are more common in boys than girls.
An aggressive four-year-old boy screams. Most psychiatric disorders are more common in boys than girls.

Beeping and buzzing electronics, multimedia available at the click of a button or a mouse, and instant communication and gratification have created a learning environment for adolescents far different from the text and voice world of the 19th century. The result may help explain the large number of ADHD diagnoses.

The disorder can be thought of as an addiction to the present, according to psychiatry professor John J. Ratey. Children with ADHD organize their tasks to turn first toward those that offer the swiftest gratification. They fail to break away from the moment to ponder or evaluate the long and short-term consequences of their actions.

“With so many distracted people running around, we could be becoming the first society with Attention Deficit Disorder,” said a cyberspace analyst writing in Wired magazine. ADHD, he said, might be the “official brain syndrome of the information age.” It also may be so prevalent a response to the high-tech world that it deserves classification not as a disorder but rather as a particular type of brain organization.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply