Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric condition that has long been recognized as affecting children’s ability to function. Individuals suffering from this disorder show patterns of developmentally inappropriate levels of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, or impulsivity.
Although there used to be two different diagnoses of Attention Deficit Disorder vs Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the DSM IV combined this into one disorder with three subtypes: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive, or combined type
The symptoms begin at a young age and usually include lack of attention, lack of concentration, disorganization, difficulty completing tasks, being forgetful, and losing things
. These symptoms should be present before the age of 12, have lasted six months, and interfere with daily life activities in order to be labeled as ‘ADHD’. This must be present in more than one setting (ie at home and at school, or at school and at afterschool activities). It can have large consequences including social interactions, increased risky behaviors, loss of jobs, and difficulty achieving in school (R
ADHD must be considered within the context of what is developmentally and culturally appropriate for a person. It is considered a dysfunction of executive functioning, predominantly a frontal lobe activity (R
). Therefore, patients with ADHD show disability not only in attention and focus but also in decision making and emotional regulation. Children with ADHD can have difficulty with social interactions, can be easily frustrated, and can be impulsive.
I am personally very excited to see the links between certain microbiota/gut bacteria and it’s influence on ADHD symptoms.