Attention Deficit Disorder (Add) Essay

2763 words - 11 pages

Chris BrownEnglish 102: section 6May 3, 1996ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDERApproximately 3-5% of all American children have anAttention Deficit Disorder (ADD). ADD is a leading cause ofschool failure and under-achievement. ADD characteristics oftenarise in early childhood. As many as 50% of children with ADDare never diagnosed. Boys significantly outnumber girls, thoughgirls are more likely to be undiagnosed with ADD. 'ADD is notan attention disorder, but a disorder of impulse control ( Seminarnotes Barkeley) .'Characteristics of Attention Deficit Disorder can include :Fidgeting with hands or feet , difficulty remaining seated,awaiting turns in games, following through on instructions ,shifting from one uncompleted task to another, difficulty playingquietly, interrupting conversations and intruding into otherchildren's games, appearing to be not listening to what is beingsaid, doing things that are dangerous without thinking about theconsequences.Most scientist now believe that a brain dysfunction orabnormality in brain chemistry could be to blame for thesymptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. The frontal lobes of thebrain are thought to be most responsible for the regulation ofbehavior and attention. They receive information from the lowerbrain, which regulated arousal and screens incoming messagesfrom within and outside of the body. The limbic system , a groupof related nervous system structures located in the midbrain andlinked to emotions and feelings, also sends messages to the frontallobes. Finally, the frontal lobes are suspected to be the site ofworking memory, the place where information about theimmediate environment is considered for memory storage,planning, and future-directed behavior. Scientist believe theactivity in the frontal lobes is depressed in people with ADD.Studies show a decrease in the ability of the ADD brain to useglucose, the body's main source of energy, leading to slower andless efficient activity. Neurotransmitters provide the connectionbetween one nerve cell and another. In essence, neurotransmittersallow electrical impulses to pass across synapses from one neuronto another. It is now suspected that people with Attention DeficitDisorder have a chemical imbalance of a class of neurotransmitterscalled catecholamines. Dopamine, helps to form a pathwaybetween the motor center of the midbrain and the frontal lobes, aswell as a pathway between the limbic system and the frontal lobes.Without enough dopamine and related catecholamines, such asserotonin and norepinephrine, the frontal lobes are understimulated and thus unable to perform their complex functionsefficiently.Attention Deficit Disorder is strongly considered geneticallyinherited, however, not all cases of ADD may be geneticallylinked. . Studies have shown that 20-30% of all hyperactivechildren have a least one parent with ADD. The environment is abig influence on a child during pregnancy and after. Some studiesshow that a small percentage of ADD cases were influenced...

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