Unlike other medical concerns, there is no single test that is used to diagnose ADHD in adults or children. Although the underlying cause(s) of ADHD is not fully known, family, twin, and adoption studies have demonstrated a high family association [1-3] due mainly to shared gene effects. It is widely accepted that several genes, each contributing a small fraction of the total genetic variance, are implicated in ADHD.[5-6]
Importantly, ADHD, like ADD, is a spectrum disorder that can manifest itself in numerous ways with various symptoms. Thus in order to make a determination of ADHD, medical providers use the guidelines as presented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual or DSM, provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics or the one provided by The American Psychiatric Association. In addition to any symptoms outlined in the guidelines, the symptoms should be present in numerous settings and have persisted for at least six months or more.
Here are 13 common symptoms of ADHD
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Incessant Talking
- Reckless Behavior
- Poor Organizational Skills
- Poor Listening
- Easily Distracted
- Lateness/Poor Time Keeping
- Angry Outbursts
- Inability to Sit Still
- Inability to ‘Wait for Their Turn’
- Making Careless Mistakes
Once an individual has been diagnosed with ADHD, either adult or child, the process moves to the treatment phase. There are ways to mitigate the symptoms and to help reduce the impact of ADHD on daily living. Treatments can be used individually or in combination with other treatments, in order to determine what works best for those with ADHD. Treatment options include both standard and alternative medical options. The commonly used treatments are;
- Environmental Alterations
- Pharmaceutical Treatment
- Interactive Metronome Therapy
- Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE) Therapy
- Spinal Adjustments
As each diagnosis is individual-specific, treatments and therapies can differ from case to case. It can be based on the severity of what will provide the most benefit to the individual as to how the provider determines which treatments to apply.
Understanding The Treatment Options: Environmental Alterations
Environmental alterations can include changes or alterations to diet, organization, and exercise routines. For those with children who suffer from ADHD, it can also include parental training and therapy to help manage the effect of helping those with ADHD. Environmental alterations can be used in conjunction with other treatments or therapies.
Understanding the Treatment Options: Pharmaceutical Treatment
Using pharmaceutical treatments to help those with ADHD is often the first resort for general medical providers. While this type of treatment can be effective, it is not without drawbacks and side effects that also must be managed. Also, some pharmaceutical treatments can not be discontinued quickly in response to changes in an individual case. Therefore, this type of treatment is recommended to be used in conjunction with other treatment options or as an option of last resort.
Understanding the Treatment Options: Neurofeedback
This type of therapy has been used for treating both light and severe instances of ADHD for decades, and it has been proven safe and effective with long-lasting results. It can be used with all the other treatments and therapies, and as it is non-invasive, it can be repeated as often as is necessary to provide results. Neurofeedback therapy works by helping the individual to retrain their brain to help improve concentration, focus, and more.
Understanding the Treatment Options: Interactive Metronome Therapy
Similar to Neurofeedback, Interactive Metronome Therapy works to help retrain the mind to produce improvements in cognitive abilities. It is also non-invasive and repeatable, and it can work along with or in addition to both Neurofeedback treatments and others.
Understanding the Treatment Options: Audio-Visual Entrainment Therapy
Again, like both Neurofeedback and Interactive Metronome therapies, audio-visual entrainment therapy helps an individual retrain their mind to achieve improvements in focus, concentration, and cognitive abilities. It can be used with other treatment options, or it can be used alone. However, its use as treatment options is case-dependent as both Neurofeedback and Interactive Metronome tend to produce longer and more effective results.
Understanding The Treatment Options: Spinal Adjustments
Alterations in posture and more can have an adverse effect on the ability of this pathway to properly channel the signals for the brain to process. Therefore, in some cases of ADHD, Spinal Adjustment can help reduce the symptoms of ADHD or help other treatments in providing effective relief from the symptoms of ADHD.
In treating ADHD, knowing how it is diagnosed and how it is treated gives you the opportunity to be more informed and thus able to make better decisions concerning how ADHD is addressed in your circumstance. Be sure to discuss the options with your provider today, so you can start on the path to reducing your symptoms and living the life you deserve.
If you or your child is facing the challenges and difficulties of ADD or ADHD call my office today to take a step towards owning this disorder by asking for our Free Evaluation (586) 488-4818.
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ALL THE BEST – DR. KARL R.O.S. JOHNSON, DC, BCN – DIGGING DEEPER TO FIND SOLUTIONS
- Hechtman LT. Families of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A review. Can J Psychiatry 1996;41:350-60. 7.
- Faraone SV, Biederman J. Genetics of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am 1994;3:285-302. 8.
- Faraone SV, Biederman J. Is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder familial? Harv Rev Psychiatry 1994;1:271-87.
- Faraone SV, Biederman J. Neurobiology of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Biol Psychiatry 1998;44:951-8.
- Comings DE, Gade-Andavolu R, Gonzalez N, Wu S, Muhleman D, Blake H, et al. Comparison of the role of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline genes in ADHD, ODD and conduct disorder: multivariate regression analysis of 20 genes. Clin Genet 2000;57:178-96
- Fisher SE, Francks C, McCracken JT, McGough JJ, Marlow AJ, MacPhie IL, et al. A genomewide scan for loci involved in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Am J Hum Genet 2002; 70:1183-96.