It is Time to Address Adult ADHD

Background,Our understanding of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has grown,tremendously over the past 10 years, and we have developed excellent therapies,to help school-age children recover their learning skills and self-esteem. While,ADHD affects 5 to 8% of the school-age children in USA, clinical evidence shows,that 80% of these children continue to experience significant psychopathologies,as adolescents, and nearly 50% continue into adulthood.,These numbers may be even higher, because many adults learn to work around their,cognitive deficiencies thus giving them the perception that they function better,than they actually do. Typically, if you had ADHD as a child you will, most,likely have it, in full or in part, as an adult.,Does ADHD Really Affect My,Adult Life?,The symptoms of ADHD in adults may be more subtle,because some have instinctively adapted their lives to suppress the symptoms,,including inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. They typically,experience difficulty concentrating on a,task, remembering information, following instructions, organizing and completing,their work and adhering to deadlines. Left,unmanaged, this condition can cause severe emotional distress, impair social,interactions and limit career options. Because these individuals have a normal,or above average IQ, they live daily with the frustration of being misunderstood,and not living up to their true potential. As such, they are at high risk of,turning to substance abuse or engage in high-risk behaviour to control their,impulses. At times, they just feel depressed because of their inability to,measure up to their expectations and to the expectations of their pears and,employers.,Adults,with ADHD are more prone to:,Perform poorly at work,,be fired or leave a job on impulse,Have driving misconduct,violations (license suspended, speeding, car crashes or road rage),Divorce or domestic,violence,Becoming alcoholic or,drug addicts,Smoking cigarettes,Spending money on,unimportant things,In milder cases, they,experience impatience, low frustration tolerance, depression and anxiety.,Assessing ADHD in Adults,There are a number of tests used by clinicians to assess ADHD,A simple questionnaire,Brain scans: computer,tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or electroencephalogram,(EEG),Psycho-educational,assessment,Neuro-cognitive,assessment,Currently, CT and MRI are not approved for the,diagnosis of ADHD, but they can rule out other neurological conditions. On the,other hand, inattention and hyperactivity generate abnormal brain waves, which,can be detected by an EEG using external electrodes or the newer technology of,infra red EEG. The brain emits four types of waves: alpha, beta, delta or theta.,Patients with ADHD typically generate higher theta oscillations, and lower beta,oscillations, than normal subjects. Infra red EEG checks how well the frontal,lobes, which are responsible for attention, focus, executive functions,,reasoning and more, engage. Finally, the psycho-educational evaluations will,diagnose learning disabilities typical for ADHD.,A neuro-cognitive assessment developed at the ACEclinics in Toronto Canada is,regarded a more dynamic way to assess three problematic areas typical to,attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADD, ADHD) and learning disabilities,(LD). They include:,core cognitive skills,here), ,Are Current,Therapies Appropriate for Adults with ADHD?,Clinical studies showed that the same pharmaceutical drugs are given to,children, adolescents and adults with ADHD, but the doses are adjusted,according. The current options are different formulations of the two original,compounds: methylphenidate (i.e. Ritalin; 3-4 hours) and amphetamine (i.e.,Dexedrine; 3-4 hours). Adults taking an ADHD drug are considerably less likely,to get involved in a car accident, unless the drug effect wears off. This is why,the new long-lasting formulations of methylphenidate (i.e.,Ritalin® LA, 6-8 hours; Concerta®, 10-12 hours),and amphetamine (Adderall XR™, 8-12,hours; Vyvanse, 12-14 hours) can be useful. Unfortunately, drugs may cause many,uncomfortable sometimes even life threatening side-effects, therefore many,adults try to avoid taking them.,It is important to understand that these drugs do not cure ADHD and do not,completely alleviate all the symptoms. Recent clinical trials showed that many,adults with ADHD experience significant symptoms even with optimal doses of,these drugs. There is no medication that can address that.  Furthermore,,because they do not offer cure, a person needs to take them every day in order,to maintain the results. Lastly, these medications can only improve cognitive,function to a certain degree and cannot compensate for lack of adequate,cognitive skills, including poor working memory typically deficient with most,individuals with ADHD, or deficient auditory process, visual tracking and so on.,Neuro-cognitive Therapy and Training,ADHD is a neuro-cognitive disorder and therefore only a neuro-cognitive approach,can correct some or all the problems related to the condition. Neuro cognitive,therapy and training has shown excellent results treating attention deficit,disorders and learning disabilities with marked improvement on all levels. One,such program developed at the,ACE clinics in Toronto, Canada, consists of improving brain regulation,combined with developing all core skills such as visual processing, auditory,processing, divided attention, multitasking, working memory and more. Training,the frontal lobes of the brain to improve engagement improves general attention,as well as improving executive functions, including organization, prioritizing,,inhibition control, decision-making, time management and motivation. This type,of multi-level neuro cognitive training can contribute to considerable and,permanent gains in cognitive performance and significant reduction in ADHD,related symptoms.,Taking Back Control of Your,Life,Neuro cognitive therapy will allow ADHD adults to perform better at work and at,home. In addition, the renewed self-esteem improves social interactions and,relationships, reducing the need for addictive substances, like alcohol.  With,the proper treatment, you can stop struggling and get back control over your,life.,Bob Gottfried, PhD is the,clinical director of ACEclinics located in Toronto, Canada. He specializes in,neuro-cognitive assessment and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity,disorders (ADD, ADHD), learning disorders (LD), dyslexia, Asperger syndrome,,auditory processing disorder (APD), non-specific neuro-cognitive and memory,deficiencies, as well as anxiety and stress disorders.

Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed.