Can a person with ADHD train their brain to improve? The answer to that question may lie with something known as neuroplasiticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to create or alter its neural networks – essentially rewire itself – in response to stimuli from the environment. Understanding how our brains can “rewire” to help us improve offers another tool for individuals with ADHD to help overcome its negative effects and leverage its super powers.
Clinicians and researchers have long known that individuals with ADHD are more prone to engaging in risky behaviors such as smoking, gambling, substance abuse and unprotected sex. New studies show that adults with ADHD may engage in more risky behavior because of an exaggerated sense of benefit and a lessened ability to understand the consequences.
Many adults can have ADHD without even realizing it. These individuals may have all the typical symptoms of ADHD, but found ways to cope with them and get through life without major issues. This is known as “high functioning” ADHD. Here are some of the symptoms that characterize adult, high functioning ADHD.
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a condition where a child is almost always angry, frustrated and defiant toward authority figures. The exact causes of ODD are not known, but it occurs more frequently in families with a history of ADHD. There are many effective treatments for ODD, and strategies that parents can use to lessen the severity of symptoms and their negative impacts both within and outside the home.
Many parents who have children with ADHD may wonder how the symptoms will change as their child gets older. Will they get worse, diminish, or just change into something different. Researchers have studied this question and come up with a kind of roadmap for how ADHD symptoms are likely to change, on average, with age.
Findings from several recent studies suggest that certain aspects of ADHD can be improved with at-home computer interventions. This comes as welcome news to children, who adapt easily to mobile devices, and to parents who seek alternatives to drugs that have limited effectiveness and adverse effects. These studies provide encouraging evidence that video game technology might one day be used as part of an ADHD treatment regime.
Recent studies have suggesed that the incidence of substance misuse can be higher among those with ADHD relative to the general population. Appropriate treatment of ADHD symptoms with medication and behavior therapy may, however, reduce the risk of development of substance use disorders. An important part of ADHD treatment and stimulant medication management includes screening for substance use disorders and providing guidance around the appropriate and safe use of stimulant medications.
When it comes to the association of having ADHD and being at higher risk for concussion, researchers have begun to confirm what clinicians have long suspected. Due to various factors such as impulsivity, inattention, impairment in motor function, or differences in coordination, individuals with ADHD could be more likely to sustain a head injury. Their symptoms might also be more severe and persist for longer periods of time. Taking measures to reduce the symptoms of ADHD is one way to lower the risk of concussion for individuals with the condition.
Approximately 10 million people in the United States have Bipolar Disorder. Research studies show that about 70 percent of people with the condition also have ADHD, and that 20 percent of people with ADHD will develop Bipolar Disorder. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential, and recognizing the symptoms of a co-occurring ADHD and Bipolar Disorder is the first step.
Over the past several decades, educators, policymakers and scientists have referred to ADHD, as a national crisis and have spent billions of dollars looking into its cause. They’ve looked at genetics, brain development, exposure to toxic substances like lead, the push for early academics, and many other factors. But new studies have a number of researchers asking whether the behavior and attention issues ascribed to ADHD are due to the fact that many kids today simply don’t get the sleep they need.