Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity (ADHD): Causes and symptoms
Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity (ADHD) is increasingly being discussed these days. In fact, the number of people diagnosed with this neurological disorder is rising all the time, which is why researchers are taking a particular interest in it. More specifically, this deficit disorder is linked to abnormalities in brain development and function. It appears during childhood and very often continues to manifest itself into adulthood.
Causes and symptoms of ADHD
ADHD is thought to be linked to certain genetic and environmental factors. In fact, some literature suggests that ADHD is largely explained by genetic inheritance. However, other factors can also contribute to this neurological disorder, such as prematurity and the use of substances such as drugs, tobacco and alcohol during pregnancy.
People affected by ADHD face certain difficulties on a daily basis. They may have difficulties with attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. It all depends on the level at which the person is affected.
Symptoms are assessed according to their severity. It’s also important to note that the symptom categories can be combined, i.e., the person may have an attention problem along with a hyperactivity problem.
Obviously, symptoms must have been present for some time and have an impact on the person’s life in order to diagnose ADHD.
Manifestations of Inattention, Hyperactivity and Impulsivity
ADHD is usually characterized by difficulty in performing certain executive functions, such as planning ahead, maintaining concentration and controlling behavior. More specifically, the person with an inattention problem has trouble paying attention to details, makes careless mistakes and has difficulty following the thread of conversations with others. She may be inattentive when someone is talking to her.
Also, she may not comply with instructions and do the tasks requested. If this requires mental effort, she may not pay attention or put off tasks until later. Inattention also makes the person more distracted and frequently forgetful.
In the case of hyperactivity, the person is overly active, constantly on the move. They have difficulty sitting still and talk a lot. They may stand up in situations where they should remain seated, and have difficulty keeping still.
As for impulsivity, impulsive people have great difficulty waiting their turn. They often dominate others by imposing themselves, and may even answer questions before they’ve finished being asked.
Diagnosis and treatment of ADHD
ADHD must be diagnosed by doctors and specialists in brain function disorders. Patients are often referred by their family doctors to neurologists and neuropsychologists. The specialist will make the diagnosis based on certain criteria set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Then, there are certain treatments that can now help people with ADHD to better alleviate their symptoms, and thus have a better quality of life both personally and professionally. In terms of pharmacological treatments, either a psychostimulant or a non-psychostimulant may be prescribed. A psychostimulant can improve concentration and control behavior.
Impact and study under recruitment
For many people with ADHD, quality of life can be affected in certain areas of their lives. Firstly, they may have repercussions on their social, family, professional and school life. In addition, ADHD can lead to reduced self-esteem. People with ADHD may feel discouraged and different from others. Despite this, many people with ADHD are very successful in their personal and professional lives.
Currently, a study related to ADHD is being recruited at our Val Bélair and Lebourgneuf clinics. You may be eligible to participate if you have ADHD.
To find out more about the studies currently being recruited, please contact the Alpha Clinical Research team at 418-704-1112 (Lebourgneuf) or 418-847-1112 (Val-Bélair).