CogniFit's Science blog: ADHD – Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

ADHD – Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

ADHD is short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a chronic condition which usually develops in childhood and can persist through adulthood. We will discuss some of the causes, symptoms and treatments of this problem.

The exact cause of ADHD is not entirely understood. But there are several factors which appear to play a role.

First of all the brains of people affected by ADHD show differences in structure and brain activity than those who do not have the disorder. For example there appears to be lower activity in areas of the brain which controls activity levels and attention.

Heredity also appears to play an important role in the development of this disorder. It tends to run in families and there may be several genes which can be associated with it.

Women who smoke during pregnancy or who used alcohol at that time may increase the risk of their children developing ADHD. And childhood exposure to certain toxins may develop a higher risk of developing this disorder.

Some common symptoms of ADHD can include the following:

• Failure to pay attention to details or someone who makes careless mistakes in their schoolwork or other tasks.
• May have trouble paying attention to certain tasks throughout the day
• Doesn’t seem to listen even when spoken to directly
• Has trouble organizing tasks or activities
• Dislikes tasks which require focused mental attention like schoolwork
• Frequently loses items
• Is easily distracted and loses attention and focus

Other symptoms which are related to hyperactivity can include:

• A need to fidget or move about excessively
• May not be able to sit still for long periods of time
• Difficulty in playing quietly
• Talks excessively
• Difficulty in waiting in line or for his/her turn
• Often interrupts others during conversation

There have been a number of treatments which can be effective at treating the symptoms of ADHD. Many of them are based on drug therapies. Still, we are now looking for now invasive solutions which would have also less side effects such as brain fitness and the training of cognitive abilities.