Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

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Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder has been highly examined and studied for over 100 years, and to this very day, still remains a highly contentious and obscure subject. However, despite its unascertained origins, ADHD is ironically the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric illness in children (6). Five to ten percent of school-aged kids are affected by the neurological disease (6), yet there still remains no sure explanation as to how exactly the human brain manifests this disability. Nonetheless, stimulant-based medicine is most regularly used in treating the major ADHD symptoms: impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. The stimulant drugs’ functioning helps better children’s’ focusing, working, and learning abilities by enhancing or leveling certain neurotransmitters in the brain (1). Many researchers suspect that individuals with ADHD have weak dopamine signals that interfere with their ability to focus; thus, by stimulating increased dopamine release, their attentiveness will improve (2). However, the stimulants’ relaxing effects on hyperactive children are incongruent with the known alerting, locomotive, and wakeful effects of stimulant drugs. Although medically, it is clear why stimulants help tend to ADHD symptoms such as lack of concentration and impulsivity, there is still much uncertainty as to why a stimulating drug would alleviate the ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity. Despite the fact that no research has fully proven the reason for this paradox, through consideration of the neural mechanisms of the brain, and copious lab tests and research on mice, neuroscientists have been able to hypothesize an explanation for the anomalous calming effects stimulants bear on children with ADHD. In order to comprehend the impa... ... middle of paper ... ...e American Medical Association, 296, 2859-2860. Retrieved March 20, 2012, from http://jama.ama-assn.org.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/content/296/23/2859.full (Botsford, 2006) Kirley, A., Hawi, Z., Daly, G., McCarron, M., Mullins, C., Millar, N...Gill, M. (2002). Dopaminergic system genes in adhd: Toward a biological hypothesis. Neuropsychopharmacology, 27, 608-612. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/npp/journal/v27/n4/full/1395905a.html (Kirley et al., 2002) Napolitano, F., Bonito-Oliva, A., Gu, H., Mercuri, N., Usiello, A., Federici, M…Usiello, A. (2012). Role of aberrant striatal dopamine d1 receptor/cAMP/protein kinase a/DARPP32 signaling in the paradoxical calming effect of amphetamine. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30. Retrieved March 20, 2012, from http://www.jneurosci.org/content/30/33/11043.full (Napolitano et al., 2012)
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