Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder
Subject: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder that commonly affects children’s capacity to function. The disorder was previously categorized as two diagnoses: attention deficit disorder and attention hyperactivity disorder. However, according to DSM IV, it is currently combined into one condition. The disorder exhibits a pattern of inappropriate developmental milestones, such as improper attention levels, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The disorder starts at a younger age and normally involves a lack of attention, concentration, forgetfulness, difficulties in finishing given tasks, disorganization, and losing items. These presenting symptoms must manifest before the age of twelve years and last for six months, and affects daily activities for it to be termed Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (Magnus et al., 2022).
ADHD is linked to functional and cognitive deficits because of diffuse impairment of the brain. The deficits in cognitive function arise from dysfunctions of frontostriatal and meso-cortical-brain networks, while the defects of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system lead to abnormal reward processing (Banaschewski et al., 2018). The brain’s overall size reduces, especially the white matter of the prefrontal cortex, cerebellar vermis, corpus callosum, and caudate nucleusâ€”lack of attention is one of the main clinical features measured using continuous performance tests. The cognitive deficits are seen when the brain is at rest; however, based on Default-Mode-Network, some activity is involved, which is critical in the part of the brain that processes various tasks. In this case, the affected person finds it difficult to regulate and maintain attention. The cognitive top-down executive control is perceived to assist in monitoring memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. These aspects are essential when undertaking complex tasks that demand extra effort and high adaptation.
The functional deficits result in the manifestation of certain symptoms of the disorder. These symptoms include a slow and variable reaction time while doing some tasks and a high number of errors that are made. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder exhibits a core defect in behavioral inhibition that results in impairment in self-regulation, working memory, internalizing speech, and reconstitution. The multiple pathway model for ADHD sensitizes cognitive deficits, reward processing, and motivation.
The brain of an individual with Attention deficit hyperactive disorder perceives the outside world through the presence of neurotransmitters. The brain has reduced levels of a neurotransmitter known as norepinephrine, which is associated with dopamine. These two hormones play a key role in the daily activities of these patients, where they control impulsive behavior, attention, prioritization, time management, tolerance to frustration, and decision-making. Dopamine relates to reward and pleasure perception, whereas norepinephrine is associated with attention, processing, and controlling impulsive behaviors. Dopamine levels are low in ADHD patients; therefore, it is believed that the brain has abnormal networking for high stimulation. This networking aids in compensating for the lower levels of dopamine in the reward aspect. This compensation is seen when the patient is enthusiastic about a task but quickly becomes disinterested. The low levels or absence of dopamine makes one begin and sustain their attention via repetitive behaviors.
Employing some intervention for people with ADHD will help them succeed academically and behaviorally among these patients. The interventions are classified broadly into home-based, classroom-based, and school-based. For to attain success in class, classroom-based intervention is a good approach. The classroom-based intervention has both behavioral and academic intervention, where the behavioral approach focuses on consistency, specificity, immediacy, and saliency. There is the provision of clear rules and expectations, which are limited in number to execute antecedent strategy effectively. On the other hand, teachers should use positive reinforcement to reinforce adaptive behaviors(Banaschewski et al., 2018). For effective academic success, it is essential to identify the appropriate academic expectations by matching them with the instructions.
Banaschewski T, Coghill D, Zuddas A. (2018). Oxford Textbook of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Oxford University Press; 1st edition.
Magnus W, Nazir S, Anilkumar AC, et al. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. [Updated 2022 Aug 15]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-.
University Psychology Professor.
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