Understanding your difference
This is where we present the latest in the ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) field. These are exciting times as ADHD research is finally changing from studying a “disorder” to actually getting to grips with what ADHD is. ADHD is more than a collection of behaviors.
A study by a Harvard neuroscientist has found a link between the main symptoms of ADHD, attention deficit and hyperactivity, and an enzyme caled protein kinase-A. The lead author of the study, Tracie Paine says the enzyme is important in controlling these symptoms.
The article, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology gives hope of a new type of ADHD medication. They believe they have identified a chemical signalling pathway in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is slower in people with ADHD.
The researchers think they have found a clue to explain how the psycho-stimulants, such as Ritalin an amphetamine work. It is still not known with certainty by what mechanisms these drugs work.
The Harvard scietists hope their research will lead to new medication without the side effects of the stimulant drugs.
High IQ and ADHD
Researchers at Yale have found that a high IQ does not give immunity to ADHD (Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder).
The research team led by Thomas E. Brown, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, found that 73% of ADHD individuals with an IQ of more than 120, which puts them in the top nine percent of the population, showed significant impairments in memory and cognitive tests when compared to people with similar IQ’s who do not have ADHD.
The report, which has not yet been published in the print edition of the Journal of Attention Disorders, is now available online.
“Many of these people are told they can’t be suffering the loss of executive function from ADHD because they are too smart,” said Brown. The executive function is the ability to plan and carry out many day-to-day tasks and remembering something in the short-term memory while carrying out another task.
The high-IQ, ADHD group lacked self-management skills and the ability to focus. They tended to procrastinate and be forgetful and had difficulty in applying their abilities to complete many daily tasks. In fact, 73% of them showed significant deficits in five or more of the eight measures of executive function.
“Each of these individuals might be compared to a symphony orchestra of very talented musicians who cannot produce adequate symphonic music because the orchestra lacks an effective conductor,” Brown said.
An interesting fact from this study is that ADHD occurs more commonly in this high IQ group than in the general population.
True ADHD is not a deficiency in the ability to think and focus, but the inability to carry out mundane tasks the person feels are boring. An ADHD person has the ability to hyperfocus when doing a stimulating task. That is how many people with ADHD succeed. ADHD can be seen as a boredom intolerance. It is not a question of willpower, but a real inability.
Autism and ADHD
Clayton Tauscher, who has autism and ADHD, graduated with a history major from the University of Tennessee despite his disabilities. He now plans to pursue a doctorate.
“Seeing his hard work, his perseverance and how he stuck to everything, I'm just so proud of that," said Clayton's mother, Darla Tauscher, who has become a special educator. "God put wonderful teachers in his path and just put the right people there for him every year,” she said.
Maybe the disability is in our society's self-centered attitudes. Caring for our family, friends and neighbours would solve many of our social problems. God is a God of relationships. A relationship with God gives the peace and inner strength to help each other.