They Discover Unusual Features In The Brains Of People With ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD It is one of the neurodevelopmental disorders best known to most of the population. Often overdiagnosed, this disorder can cause different types of difficulties that limit the child’s normative functioning in areas such as academics or even social interaction.

Although it has sometimes been considered that the symptoms present in this disorder correspond to a delay in the maturational development of certain brain areas, recent research has detected the presence of traits in the brain of people with ADHD which can help understand the causes of this phenomenon.

ADHD: a neurodevelopmental disorder

Let’s start with the fundamentals: what is ADHD? It is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by the presence of symptoms linked to attention deficit and possible hyperactivity and impulsivity These symptoms are persistent, and last for a period of more than six months. Furthermore, they do not correspond to the level of development of the subject or the experience of traumatic situations that may cause said symptoms.

At the diagnostic level, the presence of at least six symptoms of inattention is necessary, such as neglect of details, difficulty paying attention, difficulty completing tasks or following instructions or forgetfulness, repeated loss of objects, forgetfulness or the ease of being distracted even when performing a task.

For hyperactivity to be considered, they must also appear minimal symptoms such as motor restlessness, inability to sit still, lack of respect for turns of speech or action, interruption of other people’s activities or logorrhea. Impulsivity and the presence of difficulties controlling one’s own emotions are also highly frequent. It is important to keep in mind that this disorder can occur both with and without hyperactivity (in this case we would be dealing with attention deficit disorder or ADD).

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ADHD or ADD is a problem that requires treatment and that Although it is usually diagnosed in children, they are present in both children and adults (Approximately two-thirds of patients will continue to have symptoms into adulthood.) Some of the symptoms may disappear as the subject grows and his brain finishes developing or he learns mechanisms to avoid or overcome its difficulties.

Explanatory hypotheses

ADHD is a complex disorder that has received different considerations regarding the causes that cause it. Some of them link it to the existence of brain alterations, and in fact a pattern of slower brain development has been observed in certain areas of the brain in diagnosed people.

Specifically, the evidence that has been considered in recent years points to a maturational rhythm of the frontal lobe comparatively lower than expected given the age of the minor. This corresponds to the presence of alterations in executive functions and difficulties in inhibiting behavior, attention or focusing attention. Likewise, this explains why some of the symptoms can decrease with age.

Likewise also It has been observed that there is a problem in arousal or cortical activation level in subjects with ADHD, which generates difficulties when regulating the level of activity and managing the demands of the environment. In this sense, it has been seen that the brains of patients with ADHD tend to have a lower amount of brain dopamine and serotonin than subjects without this problem.

Characteristic features of the brain of people with ADHD

The exploration and search for elements that explain the disorder continue to be aspects of great importance that can help to better understand both the problem and the way in which action can be taken to help those who suffer from it.

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A meta-analysis of multiple investigations carried out using neuroimaging has concluded that indeed There are structural and functional alterations in the brain of patients with ADHD that cause or influence the presence of the symptoms. Specifically, in addition to the presence of a delay in the development and maturation of the frontal lobe, the existence of subcortical alterations (that is, below the rough cortex that covers the brain) has been observed.

One of the common alterations in these patients is the presence of a smaller size of the basal ganglia, linked to learning, the development of motor behavior patterns motivation, emotional management and executive functions.

Likewise, alterations have also been observed in the limbic system, the “emotional brain.” These anomalies are found especially in the amygdala and hippocampus, elements that are of great importance in the processing and management of emotion, memory and motivation. These alterations They are especially visible in the amygdala, which has a smaller size and development than in subjects without this problem.

Although these discoveries should not cause us to neglect the presence of psychosocial factors and its influence on the appearance of this disorder, the results of these investigations help to provide a better vision of the biological aspects related to the condition of ADHD and may end up contributing to developing more efficient ways to treat this problem.