ADHD brains may have 'faulty brakes'
February 14th, 2011
05:37 PM ET

ADHD brains may have 'faulty brakes'

Much news about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder has focused on learning and attention, but here's another important part of this condition: Impairment in motor function.

Two new studies in the journal Neurology explore how brain functions relating to motor control may explain certain ADHD symptoms. They support previous research showing that kids with ADHD have motor control problems and offer new potential targets for treatment in the brain's inhibitory systems.

“If we can understand the systems that are involved, because there’s probably not just one, then we can identify groups of kids that have these symptoms, quantitatively and reliably, and use that information to understand who’s at the highest risk of a bad adult outcome,” said Dr. Donald Gilbert, study co-author and director of the Movement Disorder Clinic and Tourette's Syndrome Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

The first study showed that kids with ADHD - mainly boys, however - tend to have mirror movements, meaning that when one side of the body moves, the other does too, such that if a finger from one hand is tapping, a finger on the other hand might also move to some extent. The kids with ADHD tended to have more clumsy finger movements of this nature in the study. Such mirror movements are common in very young children, but typically disappear when the child reaches school age; participants in this study were between ages 8 and 13.

And a second study found that children with ADHD have a less efficient "braking system," or the brain circuitry involved in stopping oneself from acting impulsively (the editorial accompanying the studies is called "Faulty Brakes?"). This one used transcranial magnetic stimulation, a technique that applies a magnetic field to cause changes in electrical activity in the brain. This allowed the researchers to measure inhibition in the brain. They found that kids with ADHD were more likely to have inhibitory problems, explaining neurologically what these children tend to experience in school.

"Something catches their attention and they get distracted because they can’t inhibit that stimulus and ignore it," said Dr. Max Wiznitzer, pediatric neurologist at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, who was not involved in the study.

Both of these studies are relatively small - the first involved a total of 50 right-handed participants and the second had 98. But the findings are interesting, especially with regard to the transcranial magnetic stimulation experiment, and could be useful for developing new treatments, Wiznitzer said. This kind of research may also lead to subtyping of ADHD based on different underlying brain function in different groups.

But he cautioned that coordination issues aren't necessarily indicative of ADHD, but may also be indicative of other kinds of learning disabilities, Wiznitzer said.

"If you notice that your young child has clumsy motor movements or shaky hands, you should be aware that there may be some problems with learning, attention or impulse control later, and be more vigilant for those problems," Gilbert said.

soundoff (867 Responses)
  1. jfischbach@sitpnna.com

    also interessting

    February 14, 2011 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • I'm so smart

      And for those of you without brains, you are happily spared any concern over this story entirely. 😉

      February 15, 2011 at 01:39 | Report abuse |
    • mmi16

      If ADHD and poor motor skills are connected....why have so many good atheletes been diagnosed with ADHD?

      February 15, 2011 at 05:50 | Report abuse |
    • T3chsupport

      mmi16 – Just because something is connected doesn't mean that someone with ADHD necessarily has poor motor function. There's just a connection.

      February 15, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • ADHDDad

      I believe they are referring to small motor function. It is called dysgraphia I believe. Forming letters and other small movements can be a huge struggle. My son has this. His handwriting is terrible but he hits a baseball great.

      February 15, 2011 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      My son is horrible at sports, but excels in reading, writing and art. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 4.

      February 15, 2011 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      ADHD = lots of money for Big Pharma.

      February 15, 2011 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Excellent, we are going to subclass a fake disorder w/ fake subclasses. I'm glad they _attempt_ to make everyone aware that this is statistically insignificant by mentioning it was only 50-100 people studied, but the masses will not get that part, they'll just sheep on along thinking this condition is still real because 'smart' people say it is and continue to 'study' it.

      February 15, 2011 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
    • MDMom

      Chris, you are an idiot. ADHD may be overdiagnosed and there are some who are labeled as ADHD who aren't the real deal, but that doesn't mean it's all bogus. Clearly, your horizons are a little too narrow. Just because you are not personally dealing with ADHD does not mean it doesn't exist.

      February 15, 2011 at 19:25 | Report abuse |
    • James

      ADHD does not exist. It is not a real disorder, every single person has ADHD because humans ALL have short attention spans period. My friend who is a prominents psychiatrist says ADHD is a complete joke. It is a made up disorder for drug companies to sell new drugs and make more profit by convincing people this is a real disorder and many doctors sign on to this nonsense. Her collegues also agree. ALL children, and adults have short attention spans because that is a natural part of being human, after all we are still primates/animals.

      February 15, 2011 at 21:44 | Report abuse |
  2. jfischbach@sitpna.com


    February 14, 2011 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Josef

    So that's why my handwriting is so terrible.

    February 14, 2011 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. amsl

    Pretty sure this is just more studies on what we already know. It affects coordination, it affects attention span, it affects impulse control. No duh?? I already know these things about myself, have for years. Its a known part of the disease. Confused why this is news.
    Also confused why its always ADHD these days. I am not hyperactive, I do not have ADHD, I have ADD. Only some people affected have the "H" component. My brain is hyper, not my body, lol.

    February 14, 2011 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • edumacated

      It was changed in the DSM (IV, I believe) at least 10 years ago. It is subdivided into Hyperactive type and Inattentive type, combined type and nonspecified.

      February 14, 2011 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
    • ADHD

      One reason is that search engines don't know the difference between ADD and "add". So, ADHD is a better search term. Plus, I think ADHD is more recognizable in kids... the ones that are bouncing off the walls get all the attention, not the ones off in dreamland.

      February 14, 2011 at 22:54 | Report abuse |
    • saywhat

      It may not be news to you but as a parent with a child recently diagnosed it it very interesting to me. I am just at the beginning of the journey and connecting all the dots so this helps put things in perspective.

      February 14, 2011 at 23:07 | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      I agree that we already knew this stuff, it's not knew.

      February 15, 2011 at 00:23 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      ADD is a term that is no longer used. ADHD is now the term used, and it is divided into various subtypes. Those with ADHD-inattentive subtype are what people used to consider "ADD;" children/adults with difficulties sustaining attention, but do not have hyperactive/impulsivity issues. Those with the hyperactive/impulsive subtype are children/adults who do not have attention difficulties, but do experiences issues with hyperactivity and/or impulsiveness. Those with the combined subtype show difficulties with both attention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Same issues, just a different name.

      February 15, 2011 at 00:50 | Report abuse |
    • kilgore

      also youre an idiot for thinking its a disease

      February 15, 2011 at 01:44 | Report abuse |
    • Branden

      I'm right there with ya buddy. I'm not ADHD I'm ADD, and why do I hear so much more about ADHD as if ADD no longer exists. Also, anybody who doesn't believe in ADD can go to hell please and thank you... because my life is pretty f-u-c-k-d having ADD. Say goodbye to high school and college.... I can't freaking focus.

      February 15, 2011 at 02:53 | Report abuse |
    • sssss

      @saywhat - whatever you do, please, please, don't blame everything on your child's add. So many parents blame this every time their child disagrees with them or has a tantrum. it will kill their creativity and confidence. please, please please.

      February 15, 2011 at 03:43 | Report abuse |
  5. Jay

    I'm 35, a seriously ADHD adult and this still applies to me! I would love to be part of the study. I remember my childhood, my compulsive behaviors, and even now I still have them and I wish I could get rid of them!!!

    February 14, 2011 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sockpuppet

      Jay, I just want to clarify that "impulsive" and "compulsive" are two very different things. Compulsive behavior is not the problem with ADHD –that's related to anxiety disorders like OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Impulsive means you act without thinking, on a whim.

      February 14, 2011 at 23:31 | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Impulsive. I am also dyslexic, and have other reading/writing issues. Impulsive is what was meant. I do not have OCD in any way...

      February 15, 2011 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
  6. Janna

    Why always "kids"? I am an adult, and I have ADHD. I also have notoriously bad handwriting – I always have, and I've always struggled with it. Ever since I was a young child, legibility has been an issue for me. I don't have typically "feminine" handwriting. My hands and brain move too fast. This is why I took to typing so well – I now type around 100 WPM, though when I really try, I can reach 120 easy. I remember being in my 5th grade keyboarding class and I was typing faster than our old Apple IIs could keep up with. In 8th grade, I could type faster than the keyboarding instructor. By 9th grade, my English teacher was actually requesting that I type my assignments and print them off because he simply could not read my handwritten work, even when I tried to slow down (which always tested my patience).

    I don't even have many of the typical "H" symptoms of ADHD, but this one I do have. I continue to have it now that I'm 23. And no, meds don't make my handwriting any better, although they help with many other things, lol. It's just part of me that could be attributed to the illness, especially since I know that my problem largely stems from impatience with how slow writing by hand can be if you have to be "neat" about it.

    February 14, 2011 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ADDisFake

    Sorry guys, but 90% of children diagnosed don't have ADD or ADHD, they are just bored. They don't have enough discipline, they just always want to play. Sorry guys. Way too diagnosed these days. Sorry guys

    February 14, 2011 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • balance

      Thanks for your uninformed opinion. Now go read up on the medical evidence like the above-mentioned brain scans. Typical children who are just bored don't have abnormal brains. Or did your own lack of impulse control make you post your opinion before you knew anything about the topic whatsoever?

      February 14, 2011 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
    • scs8988

      adhd is not fake in some cases but it is often misdiagnosed. especially because doctors just want money.

      February 15, 2011 at 01:02 | Report abuse |
    • Branden

      No, you're just bored loser. S-U-C-K IT!!!!!!. You don't know Shiit

      February 15, 2011 at 03:00 | Report abuse |
    • sssss

      yessss... doctors are getting straight LOADED from my $5 generic addie script.

      February 15, 2011 at 03:51 | Report abuse |
    • Tomin MA

      Sorry guys, ADHD is not fake! You people, if you really care, should do some reading! Also, stimulant medication for ADHD is disagnostic, that is, if it works, then you knows the diagnosis is correct. IF you see no change, then ADHD isnt the problem! This is one of those medical issues that many people deny because the kids and adults dont look like they have a problem. But, ADHD IS real.

      February 15, 2011 at 06:51 | Report abuse |
    • Lotsaluck

      And you're qualified to make this pronouncement because? Are you a doctor? No? Then, go blow.

      February 15, 2011 at 08:41 | Report abuse |
    • Rocksor

      ADDisFake is a troll and attention hore.

      February 15, 2011 at 10:30 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I can assure you my son would be part of your 10%....it is a real issue...requiring real treatment...

      And yes, his handwriting is horrible, but is better when he is on his medicine.

      February 15, 2011 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      It is surely a real diagnosis, but there is no doubt that it is vastly overdiagnosed.

      February 15, 2011 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
    • dtafil

      It's so easy for someone who doesn't have it to say it's fake. It's not only kids you know. I have suffered with it all my life but was just diagnosed at the age of 39. How I would love to go back to all those teachers and jerks like you who claimed I "didn't care" or "wasn't trying" and show them how wrong they were. Wake up. There are kids out there who are misdiagnosed but many many people have this issue and it has nothing to do with lack of discipline or being bored.

      February 15, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
    • YouareStupid

      You are an idiot.

      February 15, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
    • disygi

      i smell a troll

      February 15, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • karisa

      you are very dumb.. i have ADHD and it is real... and when i was younger i got disciplined to much because of the way i acted

      February 16, 2011 at 11:10 | Report abuse |
    • Rox

      ADD/ADHD is NOT fake! I will totally give you the point that it is often misdiagnosed, but you cannot say that it does not exist at all. I am ADD as an adult and take medication just to be able to sit at the computer and work. I stayed in trouble growing up because my father didn't believe in it either. I suffered through school and everything else because I wasn't allowed to get the help I needed until I became an adult and got it on my own. Now I am a mother of a child who was just diagnosed with ADHD. You cannot say that she is not disciplined enough. First of all you don't know me, or her. She's not a bad child either. She's very loving and very smart, but the child cannot sit still to save her life. When it causes problems at school, it is a problem. I didn't want to medicate her, but she's just starting to get used to the medicine and it is making a marked improvement. She wants to do well and was frustrated that she couldn't do what was being asked of her, which was to simply sit down and be quite. She gets plenty of exercise, so you would think it would wear her out, but it doesn't. It's like she's driven by a motor that never runs out of gas. When your child literally speed-walks laps inside your living room because of the ADHD, then come talk to the many parents of children who have legitimately and properly been diagnosed. It DOES exist, but needs to be understood more, so kids aren't misdiagnosed.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      As a special education teacher and a mother of two sons with ADD (1) and ADHD (1) it is difficult for me to read some of these comments. I fought putting my children on medication for a very long time (I had the help of a counselor to set up behavior programs for my children in case it was my parenting style) until I heard a presentation by a neuropsychologist at the University of VA. He said that he, too, had fought that the kids need more structure, more discipline, and a less artificial diet until he started to study brain scans and realized that medication was often the only choice for these kids. My sons are night and day with and without their medication. I must say that the teachers report a much more productive child, the kids themselves report a much more confident, able self. To say that this is not a true diagnosis is to endanger the future of many children.

      February 22, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    Some of history's greatest minds got to where they are by ignoring what doesn't interest them (school, work, whatever) and paying attention to what does interest them, and to hell with what society, doctors, teachers and parents think. The list of world's richest people is full of college drop-outs. Would their parents and teachers and doctors have wanted that? Of course not, because every parent wants their kid to graduate. I bet Bill Gate's parents are still ashamed Bill didn't graduate with Honors from Harvard. Society is crazy sometimes.

    ADHD is just another scam by the medical community to make a buck. Parents buy into it because the drugs make their kids easier to control, and get them to conform to society's norms of behavior.

    I wonder how Albert Einstein would have done if he had been prescribed Ritalin as a kid...

    February 14, 2011 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sockpuppet

      another person who doesn't know what they are talking about....try living with it, or with someone who has it. It's real.

      February 14, 2011 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I'm sure if I went to my local "psychologist" they would evaluate me for $600 an hour find that in fact I have ADHD, and that I need years of treatment and medication for my "disorder", so in fact, I have been living with a person with this "Disease" quite well, thank you. If they really want to make some money they'll lock me up and throw away the key. "Patients" these days are like the human batteries in the matrix to the blood suckers known as "doctors".

      You sound like a lazy parent who doesn't want to deal with your kid, and the fact that maybe then won't "Achieve" society's artificially inflated expectations for "Achievement" (conformity).

      February 14, 2011 at 23:39 | Report abuse |
    • sockpuppet

      lazy parent? You have no f-ing clue what you are talking about! There are brain studies that prove the existance of ADHD. It runs in my family, I grew up with a brother that had it, and my daughter has it as well as OCD. You think some kids are naughty and their parents don't discipline them enough–wow from now on I will call you for all of my medical diagnoses. You have NOT lived with it or you wouldn't think it was imaginary. It can be quite severe in some children, having difficulty even focusing their eyes in the correct direction. My daughter exhibited symptoms from infancy. But since I am such a bad parent, my son should have it too....yet he doesn't. I wonder how that happened? How can I be such a bad parent with one child but not the other? HMMMM. BTW I don't medicate her either, so I guess what? I HAVE to deal with her even more than an average parent has to "deal" with their child. I have spent every moment of her life dealing with her issues and trying to work with her. You can't have a child with disabilities and be a lazy parent, you moron. It's been 7 years since I have eaten a meal that was still warm. So kiss my a**

      February 14, 2011 at 23:58 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      They fear someone who lets curiosity rule over acquiescence to social order and the requirements of common men to fit in with the crowd.

      February 14, 2011 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      My hat's off to you for not medicating. These doctors have no idea what the long-term consequences of these drugs are. OCD is real, but then again, any moron (and you've already called me one) can tell that someone who is compulsively hurting themselves by pulling out their hair or cutting themselves needs some serious help.

      As the author of this article puts it "Doctors are different from pilots in that when they make a mistake, they don't go down with the ship". I would add that they also generally get paid, even when their patient is not cured, or dies. Nice gig, eh?


      I find it hard to believe that ADHD "runs in your family" because the diagnosis itself was invented by some rather creative doctors in my lifetime. Now I'm middle aged, and I suppose if I got started really young, I could be a grandpa, but that's a bit of a stretch.

      Sounds to me like your family has been ripped off by doctors for generations, but then again maybe I'm just as cynical and jaded as I seem.

      February 15, 2011 at 00:27 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      sockpuppet, don't let those who lack the ability to empathize get you down. Instead of berating others, Chris should be lucky that he has such a perfect life.

      February 15, 2011 at 00:54 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Sarah, my life has been far from perfect. It's funny how people assume I know nothing, but are just as quick to make assumptions about me. I have spent most of my life watching a few members of my family be "treated" for "mental illnesses". These are serious mental illnesses. I have no doubt they are real. I also have no doubt that there isn't a doctor alive that can cure any of them.

      Having seen mental illnesses first-hand (Schizophrenia, Bi-bolar / manic – depressive), and having known a number of people who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, I can tell you that ADD in the people I have seen is certainly not serious. Maybe they won't make it into MIT, but they can certainly live long, productive and interesting lives.

      The number of drugs for mental disorders that are out there with no long-term studies on the impact to the health of the patient is staggering. The drugs don't cure the patient, they simply put them into a stupor so that their delusional state they can't harm anyone or themselves. This is no way to live, it's simply the best that medical science can do. Over the long term, these drugs (Thorazine, moban) have horrible side effects... Weight gain, teeth rot away, jaundice, and eventually death. I therefore have little respect for medical science as it applies to mental health.

      I can only imagine what the long-term effects of taking drugs to treat ADHD/ADD would be. Does it make sense from a practical sense in our messed up world to take this drugs just to get into college, or just to graduate college, and then stop? This seems to me to be exactly like Lance Armstrong taking meds to win the Tour de France, or some football player shooting himself in the ass with sterioids to make the team

      February 15, 2011 at 02:04 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Maybe college degrees should have asterisks next to them just like Mark McGuire's home run record.

      *BS MIT, on Adderal the whole time.

      February 15, 2011 at 02:25 | Report abuse |
    • sssss

      woah, woah, wooooah. evaluate you in an hour? I had two GRUESOME days of 4 hour testing (each day) before i was diagnosed. Just saying. meds have opened a whole new world for me.

      February 15, 2011 at 03:53 | Report abuse |
    • Barbara

      Thorazine? Stupor? What century are you living in? No one uses thorazine anymore. I have bipolar disorder, and my meds have helped me hold down a great job, go back to school, and otherwise lead a normal life. That's because the newer meds cause much fewer side effects, and cause few cognitive problems. I agree there have been few long-term studies, but for me it is worth the risk. My subtype of bipolar has a 40% suicide rate, so treating my bipolar disorder any way I can gives me the best chance to live a longer life.

      February 15, 2011 at 04:13 | Report abuse |
    • pam

      my child has adhd and it is not a joke and i don't use the medicine to control his behavior but when you have a child come to you and tell you that his mind is racing and that he can't do anything and feels stupid because he can't get his thoughts from his head to the paper or even vocalize them you will do anything in your power to make it better, and if that means taking a pill then so be it. unless you have lived with a child with adhd and seen first hand the effects it has on their abilities and self confidence keep your it to your self

      February 15, 2011 at 06:50 | Report abuse |
    • Lotsaluck

      Sure thing, Chris. Just too bad for all the kids who didn't have the intellect of Einstein and couldn't focus, follow directions, interact socially, and so on. Like one of my siblings, who dropped out of high school. Yeah, right. JUST like all those geniuses you think prove your point. Too bad he never got an education, suffers to this day from poor self-image, and works in a dead-end job.

      You're an idiot.

      February 15, 2011 at 08:44 | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      Chris, I hear what your saying. There are many great minds that have ADHD. I think the ADHD name is misleading. I have ADHD and I don't have any problem focusing. In fact I focus too much.. way too much, and I get distracted easily. I have 41 years of practice on countering my natural tendencies. One interesting question to ask, "Why does this "disorder" exist?" There is a reason it persists in the gene pool, and it's not by accident. My son is ADHD, and it takes every bit of energy I have and more to keep him from hurting himself on the playground due to his clumsiness, and I can see his attention span flit from one thing to another just like mine did as a child. I'm glad for him though, because there are advantages to being like this. ADHD people are explorers, and natural learners, but don't typically do well learning things artificially. It is artificial to teach in a school. You open a book and learn how rocks fall in physics class, but don't throw rocks. ADHD kids throw rocks and observe what happens. Like most things, though, if they are profoundly ADHD, even their natural advantages can be hampered. This is where the medications come in handy. I wouldn't fault the docs too much here. Like all doctors, they practice. They are not God and should not be expected to be omnipotent. Anyway...my two cents. If you all as a parent or patient find yourself unable to "focus" and need to... try a cup of coffee no sugar... this is gotten me through many a college exam.

      February 15, 2011 at 09:02 | Report abuse |
    • Fuego

      Chirs, your should really keep your stupid comments to yourself. Unless you lived with someone with ADHD or have it yourself, you have no right to say anything. Your comment earlier about ADHD was only talked about in your lifetime is correct because they didn't have a diagnosis back then, people were called stupid or lazy. Scientists now know that it does exist, they don't exactly know why yet. They are diagnosing adults now with ADHD because now they know the syptoms of it, my father as a child was always told he had "ants in his pants" , I couldn't focus in school and was always called lazy, I couldn't comprehend what I was reading, my mind was always wandering around. I've learned to deal with it as an adult, I can be in a conversation with someone and my focus goes somewhere else if something is going on around me. I have to make myself very aware of it, my family and friends are aware of it and will just kind of get me back on track, but when your around strangers they don't understand and think I'm being rude. When you put something important down and it disappears whether your keys or an important papers; you say to yourself okay I will put it down in the same place every time, but when your running in your house trying to get dinner done by a certain time your keys are not on your mind and they're gone, it is very frustrating. I have three children1 who is ADHD. Why is it that two children do what they are suppose to do but, one doesn't. It's not lack of parenting, he just struggles. We have rules about homework he can sit there for hours on one little assignment, as my other two just do it and are done with it. I do agree that some doctors are very quick to make a diagnosis, my doctor was not, he waited years to finally diagnose him and then to put him on medication, and that took a long time also because he would have side effects on them, We finally took him off the medication because as a parent it's horrible to see your child suffer, yet is education was going down the tubes. We tried one more thing, Intuniv it's a blood pressure medication that they give children with ADHD. It's not a stimulant, my son now wants to take his medication. He's a junior in high school and he got all B's in his classes for the first time ever. His teachers have told me what difference they have seen in him. So Chris and all you known belivers you can all kiss my a@#!!!!! ADHD REALLY DOES EXIST

      February 15, 2011 at 11:51 | Report abuse |
    • dtafil

      I dare you to call me a lazy parent! I have been called the opposite as well. You are so ignorant. I live with this myself as well as my 10 year old son. We have pushed to get him the help he needs and for teachers to see that he wasn't being lazy. Instead I had teachers claim I was a pushy parent and that Maybe I just wanted an "over achiever" you are all so ignorant! All I wanted for my son is for him not to struggle through life the way I had to and the way my brother had to. And, by the way, my son does NOT take medication and he is not hyperactive. Not all kids are "drugged" because we don't want to "deal with them" I pray you never have children who suffer the way my child has. You will just kill his spirit with your stupidity.

      February 15, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    "Something catches their attention and they get distracted because they can’t inhibit that stimulus and ignore it"

    Alternative point of view: these children are so smart they become bored very easily and profoundly, so that any distraction is a welcome occurrence. These are not the cogs for the world's next generation of corporate human resources.

    February 14, 2011 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah

      People with ADHD run the spectrum as far as IQ is concerned. Nice try

      February 15, 2011 at 00:56 | Report abuse |
    • sssss

      It's funny: I test with a severe deficiency in mathematics and spatial understanding (make these blocks look like this picture of the blocks....FAIL) but I scored near perfect on all grammar and spelling related tests. I just don't know.

      February 15, 2011 at 03:56 | Report abuse |
  10. goat

    Dear CNN... No... Dear entire world,
    ADHD is ADD, with hyperactivity. Please refer to it as ADD since it includes both ADD and ADHD, where as just calling it ADHD doe not include regular ADD.

    Thank you

    February 14, 2011 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Psychologist

      No you idiot – it is ADHD with three possible subtypes.

      February 15, 2011 at 00:19 | Report abuse |
    • No

      Dear CNN,

      Please do NOT refer to it as ADD, as this term is outdated and no longer used. Continuing to use the term ADD only confuses people, as is evidenced by the post to which I am responding.

      February 15, 2011 at 01:03 | Report abuse |
  11. james lawson

    the solution to the adhd problem it to have teachers with adhd. then the problem will be the "normal" children not being able to learn fast enough.

    February 14, 2011 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Chris

    Dear goat, ADD and ADHD are "diseases" invented by the medical community to rake in profits.

    February 14, 2011 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Aaron

      If ADD and ADHD were invented by the medical community, then cancer must be according to your reasoning.

      February 14, 2011 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I would say that alcoholism and drug addiction are closer to the ADD ADHD thing. Ever hear someone claim that their "Learning disability" keep using it as an excuse? I have a work disability, I hate doing what other people tell me, but I deal with it. I'd love to stay drunk most of the time, do I? My point is, sometimes, the medical community thinks that their cure is better than the problem is to begin with. From my point of view, much of the time, the medical community's "cures" are worse than the diseases were to begin with, and much of the time, they make things worse.

      February 15, 2011 at 00:35 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Chris, you can be wary of treatments without attacking the disorder/issues at hand.

      February 15, 2011 at 00:59 | Report abuse |
    • A different Chris

      "I have a work disability, I hate doing what other people tell me, but I deal with it. I'd love to stay drunk most of the time, do I? "

      If you had a real disability, you wouldn't be able to "deal with it" - people with ADHD can't just "deal with it" and focus on what's in front of them. That's what makes it a true disability/disease versus laziness.

      February 15, 2011 at 02:27 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      So coolman here got himself into MIT with a little help from his friend Adderal. Are you saying he would be face down in the gutter if his doctor hadn't broken out the prescription pad? Sounds like perhaps every kid should try out these new meds, wow, sounds like a big win for big pharma. I imagine all the kids in China are taking it now. We'll have to start giving it to our kids now at birth.

      February 15, 2011 at 03:05 | Report abuse |
  13. guyinthearmy

    Just legalize the weed

    February 15, 2011 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BalisticX

      Now, that sure got my attention!!

      February 15, 2011 at 05:56 | Report abuse |
  14. MXD

    I've had ADD for YEARS and I never – – – come HERE kitty cat – – – will you LOOK at that sunset – – – my buttt itches – – – I've GOT to stop biting my nails – – – did I spell biting right? – – – I can't spell to save my – – – why did I come in here?? – – – oh, my guitar! Wonder if – – – nah – – – I'm hungry – – –

    February 15, 2011 at 00:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BalisticX

      A hour in the life of me...

      February 15, 2011 at 05:56 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      O.K. this one wins for humor!! That's exactly how my mind works!! Can't stay on a subject long enough to finish the thought. What's fun about me is I'm 40 years old and a school teacher. I relate awesome to kids that are being treated with ADD/ ADHD. When you're teaching young kids your mind is in 20 different places. I do so well with the kids and I'm very organized. Put me with adults who are judgmental, talk about themselves and are for the most part boring, and my ADD is in high gear. Here's another fun one......when I talk to adults, I stare right through them and I'm thinking about what's for supper...was that credit card paid.....did someone let the dog out, did I shut off that light? I have to make light of how my mind works and praise God for the person I am. Bring all the ADD kids in my room. At least I have empathy and we would have the time of our lives! If there's any part of this you don't understand, you're right on target! Toodles!

      February 15, 2011 at 13:25 | Report abuse |
  15. Josh

    Thanks for posting this. How I wish I could get help with my symptoms of impulsive behaviors and not being able to concentrate for long periods of time on one thing. I've found it very difficult to hold a job, keep a relationship, or study to better myself. I hope CNN keeps posting articles..but hopefully also links to where more information can be found or how to JOIN in the studies. I really wish I could take hold of this and take back control of my life. I have many aspirations that are always unrealized because I'm unable to follow through to the end with anything.

    February 15, 2011 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sockpuppet

      forget the studies, man, and just go to a doctor or a psychiatrist, so you can be properly diagnosed and medicated.

      February 15, 2011 at 00:26 | Report abuse |
    • BalisticX

      Dont listen to the puppet tool, Meds are the worst, they remove you from you, if you follow.
      Actually, you have to stop making excuses, be harder on yourself, and tons of Soul Searching, I'm 35 & successful in a 10+ year marriage, it takes time.

      February 15, 2011 at 05:59 | Report abuse |
  16. coolman

    i have add, I stopped taking pills when i got to MIT. It was like i had 2 personalities one on meds the other off. Now i am fine, just have to cope with the weight loss issue since adderal kept me thin.

    February 15, 2011 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      So, let me get this straight, you medically altered your personality because you thought it was required to graduate from MIT?

      That's about as disgusting (if not more) to me than a b o o b job on a chick so she can look hot. B o o b jobs look great until you actually touch them. Then it's like, eww, gross.... you had them cut you open and stick those in there.... just so you could look hot...

      And you allowed the doctors to drug you up so you could jump through all of MIT s ridiculous hoops, and now the next kid will have to follow you.

      These drugs are like mental steriods and should be banned as performance enhancing drugs.

      February 15, 2011 at 01:01 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Chris, please take the time to learn more about ADHD (and mental health disorders in general). Observe a child with ADHD. Speak to an adult with depression. These issues are real. One's brain is the most complex organ in the body. Why is it possible for you to believe that something can go awry with one's kidneys, but not with one's brain structure, wiring, or neural system?

      February 15, 2011 at 01:07 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I have no doubt that things can go wrong, I just have very little faith that anyone in the medical community can accurately diagnose or resolve even the simplest medical problems. Everyone dies horribly in the end, and medical science generally prolongs and makes more horriffic the agony. The only thing that's improved in medical science in my lifetime has been doctor's pay.

      Coolman here was able to get into MIT with his ADD and some meds that made him feel like he had a split personality. If he were my kid, I would have rather have had my kid go to somewhere less than the top technology school in the world than grow up with multiple personality disorder.

      Your cure is worse than the disease, and these meds don't have long-term proof that they don't cause serious harm. Who says everyone should be able to read fundamentals of electrical engineering cover to cover without getting bored or losing interest?

      February 15, 2011 at 01:17 | Report abuse |
    • notation

      @Chris: you have "very little faith" that medicine can or has done much of anything to help improve the lives of millions? Jesus, you really are frakin' stupid.

      February 15, 2011 at 21:45 | Report abuse |
  17. Eioljg

    Unbelievable how some people can give an uninformed opinion thinking that they are experts just because they know nothing except what some ignorant radio commentator told them. Sheesh. If they knew anything at all about ADD or ADHD, they would know that it wasn't just invented. It was described in medical literature as far back as the early 20th century, which means nearly 100 years ago, about as far back as medical literature goes. If they had read anything about it they would know that giving a stimulant to someone without ADD results in stimulation, but the same drug for an ADD patient actually "stimulates" the "breaks" that the article says that people with ADD lack enough of. So to those who have any personal knowledge of this condition this isn't news.

    Interestingly, my 93 year old mother, who was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated from college, has always been very distractible and way ahead of a conversation. When her sisters heard of ADD just a few years ago, they said that my mom must have it. My sister, who never had behvior problems, and who is an RN, got the diagnosis of ADD when she was about 50. The meds help her, but she can't afford them, so she goes without. But now she understands herself better.

    February 15, 2011 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      I agree with you 100%. Especially with your comment that many do not understand how stimulants work on individuals with ADHD versus those who do not have it. These two groups are affected differently by the same medication, yet people seem to overlook that fact.

      February 15, 2011 at 01:13 | Report abuse |
  18. Chris

    Maybe you "experts" can comment on how folks who took "stimulants" for 40 or 50 years have turned out.

    February 15, 2011 at 01:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah

      As I have said before, you can be wary of proposed treatments without attacking the underlying disorder/issues.

      February 15, 2011 at 01:38 | Report abuse |
    • Dylanfrom IL

      Actually, Chris, there have been several studies comparing the effects of stimulants on the brains of people both with and without ADHD. Not to get to get overly technical, but all people have a baseline of brain activity. There are distinct differences between the average baselines of people with ADHD and those without.

      Those people without ADHD have a normal baseline of activity within a range defined as being "average". When given a dose of stimulant, their brain activity spiked to well above the "average" range of activity. And it stayed there until the medication worked it's way out of their system.

      And guess what.

      When people with ADHD had their brain activity measured, their average baselines were ALREADY above baseline. When they were dosed, what do you think happened, Chris?

      Nope, their brain activity didn't go up, it actually showed a DROP for about 30 minutes to below average for the regions of the brain that dealt with enviromental stimulation. After that, it rises back to the average activity range for those people without ADHD. And this lasted until the medications worked their way out of their system.

      So, yeah, Chris. There is evidence that the medications work different for those with and without ADHD.

      February 15, 2011 at 02:06 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I'm not wary of them, I think that the doctors that prescribe them should be in jail. My kids should not have to compete with kids whose parents think it's appropriate to drug up theirs with super-concentration drugs so they can get into MIT.

      February 15, 2011 at 02:12 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Dylan, my comment was about the long-term health side effects of taking these drugs. If the cure is worse than the disease, doctors are not doing their patients a service, they are playing god, deciding that the patient's "Quality of Life" in their younger years is more important then their lifespan.

      February 15, 2011 at 02:15 | Report abuse |
    • Dylanfrom IL

      I can promise you that these drugs are not "super-concentration" drugs. They have a legitimate use, and while yes, they can be abused (one example being by college students), this doesn't mean that they shouldn't be used at all.

      February 15, 2011 at 03:26 | Report abuse |
    • maryLand

      You're an idiot.

      February 15, 2011 at 08:58 | Report abuse |
  19. CarvXV

    Many people with ADHD have known for years about the lack of impulse control. It is pretty overwhelming to be disciplined if one is "plagued" with this disorder. Sadly, ADHD is still not considered a true handicap in a popular sense when it comes to the adult world, so ADHD people are expected to fit into a system that demands uniformity and linear cognition while they are wired to excel at dynamically branching out their focus on demand. If only medication always worked, then the stigma wouldn't be so burdening, although this condition does have its advantages, and its often the side-effect of hyperactive brilliant minds.

    February 15, 2011 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. jaybones

    I'm tellin' ya, it's all the preservatives and the pesticides. It's makin' us crazy. On new year's, I started a non-dairy Pescetarian diet. I feel better. My stomach feels better. After the initial Vitamin B purge, I have more energy. Give it a shot. I promise you will like it.

    February 15, 2011 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Seemstyle

    I have a son that is ADHD and not medicated. He is incredibly intelligent, unbelievably creative and his mind comes up with amazing ideas. I would not change anything about him, he has to work harder to stay focused and does. He is aware of the struggle and we don't make him feel like it is a disability, in fact I feel it is a unique ability in him. His musical talent is like nothing I have seen in any of my other children, when he is able to stay focused he remembers every detail of what he is reading or studying. Let these kids grow up and become what they would be. We conform something that probably should be guided.

    February 15, 2011 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A different Chris

      Good for you to support your child in that way. Much better than my experience growing up with one of my parents telling me that I was just lazy and needed to work harder.

      February 15, 2011 at 02:32 | Report abuse |
    • Laurie

      Many people have ADHD – with various sub-types – and do well. However, the battle with impulse control is ever present. What seems to differentiate these individuals and whether or not they succeed in life is self awareness, a determination for something better and the will not to give up on yourself. My will to succeed was and is consumming. I discovered my learning style – I had to write everything down in a place with no distractions. During college, I spent hours every night in the library in a cubicle writing and writing until my hand could no longer hold a pen. I developed various memory devices to aid in material retention. But, everyone's journey is different. I am writing this to let people know that it is worth it to keep trying and exploring what your mode of learning is. Life is hard but it is worth it.

      February 15, 2011 at 05:01 | Report abuse |
    • Laurie

      Many people have ADHD – with various sub-types – and do well. However, the battle with impulse control remains ever present. What seems to differentiate these individuals and whether or not they succeed in life is self awareness, a determination for something better and the will not to give up on yourself. My will to succeed was and is consumming. I discovered my learning style – I had to write everything down in a place with no distractions. During college, I spent hours every night in the library in a cubicle writing and writing until my hand could no longer hold a pen. I developed various memory devices to aid in material retention. But, everyone's journey is different. I am writing this to let people know that it is worth it to keep trying and exploring what your mode of learning is. Life is hard but it is worth it.

      February 15, 2011 at 05:16 | Report abuse |
  22. Jeremy

    Let's ignore the armchair psychiatrist trolls, people. Don't get all worked up because some moron with a computer is telling you how to raise your kids. In all likelihood, that person will never procreate anyways, so they have to boss someone around.

    February 15, 2011 at 01:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Ann Lindon

    I believe that ADHD might very well be a symptom of Asperger's Syndrome.

    February 15, 2011 at 02:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Sally Li

    This is a made-up condition, made up by a public education industry which has too much money and too much political power. That's why they pose as big anti-drug crusaders – and yet, they are the biggest drug pushers in America.

    February 15, 2011 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Garry, LICSW

    Hello all,
    Seems to me there's an enormous amount of "emotional response" (including cynicism) to this article rather than reasoned and informed response/debate, which is unfortunate. There is much known about ADHD (the official designation in the DSM-IV TR) and, I'm sure, much left to discover.

    At its core lies the issue of executive functioning (or with this condition, executive dysfunction/deficits) initially described in the 1950s and still relevant today. Impulse control ("by the time I think about what I'm going to do I've already done it") is certainly one aspect although not one solely limited to those with ADHD. And, comorbid aspects are always a concern.

    I'm trying to stay out of the rhetoric, misinformation peddling and cynicism. While debate rages on about over-diagnosing. mis-diagnosing and the use of psychotropic medications, the base remains intact in that ADHD is real and poses numerous challenges for those with it. Feel free to visit my website for more info: http://www.garryearles.com. Thanks and good luck.

    February 15, 2011 at 03:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Branden

    Imagine having every opportunity right in front of you and you know you can get that opportunity.... only if.... OONLY IFFF... you could freaking focus on getting there. Welcome to my life with ADD "oh EXCUSE ME" ADHD with ADD Subtype "F OFF"

    February 15, 2011 at 03:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. mariaavey

    Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. Clearance Auto Insurance will get you the lowest rate even for low credit scored.

    February 15, 2011 at 03:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Really?

    Too many kids out there are "diagnosed" with ADHD, it's easy to drug them then to deal with the underlining issue of most children. I do not disagree that it is not real but the "disease" is given out way to much. For instance my step sons mom decided her son had it and now he is on medication, he is just a normal kid who is testing his boundaries of being from a broken family. His father and I both disagree with her putting him on medications. But hey it's easier that way right? WRONG!! Stop drugging our children!!

    February 15, 2011 at 04:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • maryLand

      How much, exactly, is "way to much", dear? How did you come up with the idea that there's some correct number? Thanks so much, but I'll take my medical advice from someone who actually has the education and intelligence to know the difference between "to" and "too" and between "then" and "than".

      February 15, 2011 at 09:15 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      Good for the stepmother. No wonder she's not married to your husband any longer. You and he both sound like lunkheads.

      For your edification, the DOCTOR makes the diagnosis, not the parent. And it's based on a number of observations and input from teachers and the parent, as well as the doctor. Furthermore, I think what really gripes your azz is that the meds are working and the kid is doing better in school. Makes you and your hubby look bad, doesn't it?

      February 15, 2011 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
  29. James

    I am 64 now. I am so glad my parents did not DRUG me to keep me quiet! ADHD did not "exist" back 60 years ago. It was called "hyper" on the street. My parents gave me something to keep my attention on. I can not STAND to see a drugged-up child today with ADHD!!! Yes, it controls the actions, but is that REALLY what parents want, or they just do not want to deal with the problem!

    February 15, 2011 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lotsaluck

      Oh, can it, you simple-minded nit. You wouldn't be able to tell if a kid were on medication for ADHD. What an azz. Kids who need treatment aren't "drugged up" and they aren't "zombies" as you would know if you had an education. But you're just another dolt.

      February 15, 2011 at 08:48 | Report abuse |
    • dtafil

      Well my parent tried to help my brother by dealing with the symptoms instead of the underlying problems. He died last year at the age of 50 because of their ignorance. Instead of giving him a controlled medication under the supervision of a doctor he got hooked on other "stimulants" to try and feel normal. Yup, all we want is to not "deal" with our kids. Idiot!

      February 15, 2011 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
  30. joe

    most of those people really just need a swift kick in the azz on a regular basis.. to fix ALL their problems..

    February 15, 2011 at 05:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robin Bray

      You are an idiot and are the one who needs the kick and an education.

      February 15, 2011 at 06:58 | Report abuse |
  31. Robin Bray

    The correct term is — ADD — not ADHD. ADHD does not exist as a term used in diagnoses. If you do not get the correct term right. I doubt you will have much else correct.

    February 15, 2011 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stacy


      ADHD is a term used in diagnosis. I have provided a link to back up my truths and dispel your UNtruths.

      February 15, 2011 at 07:54 | Report abuse |
  32. Dayna

    As a parent of 2 boys (1 with ADD and the other with ADHD), I find these comments to be quite interesting. Seemstyle has it right on the point~my boys are bright, creative and very intelligent. These days teachers just don't have the patience and therefore immediately pinpoint the kids as having ADHD. My children were bored in their classrooms and the teachers were always calling/writing to complain about my kids and them drawing pictures. Yes, they were on medication and classroom modications too.

    February 15, 2011 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lotsaluck

      Teachers are just as patient as they've ever been. What they do have is a better understanding of ADHD and its manifestation. It's "modifications", by the way, and obviously the interventions teachers made have helped. Otherwise, maybe your kids would have eventually fallen behind because they couldn't focus on the task at hand. No matter how "bright, creative, and intelligent" your kids are, if they aren't able to produce the work and demonstrate mastery of the material, they aren't going to be successful academically. That's what the teachers saw-not that they were just drawing pictures, but that they couldn't do the work.

      February 15, 2011 at 08:53 | Report abuse |
  33. RodRoderick

    I wonder if that movement theory is based on "before or after" drugging the kids up with narcotics.

    February 15, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • notation

      What "narcotics"? You mean the ones you take? Ritalin isn't a "narcotic", as you'd know if you had half a brain.

      February 15, 2011 at 09:34 | Report abuse |
  34. add-ster

    Ritalin has given me stable cognition and the ability to think through an issue to some kind of resolution. It has also reduced my incapacitating anxiety and delusional thinking. When I tried powder cocaine in the 70s I sat down in a chair and wrote some poetry. The sense of calmness that came over me was disturbing because I had never before experienced it. This paradoxical effect is a diagnosing criterion. There is multigenerational manic-dpressive illness in my family. This medication has saved my life.

    February 15, 2011 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Soldierboy35

    Here's how it works...God made everyone on this planet extremely unique, so much so, that even the color of our hair and the pigment of our skin is unique. Not one person is the same as another. I have had ADD for years. Mind you, there are many different versions of ADHD, but mostly there are three main ones. People need to stop looking at it like it does not exist. Some of the worlds greatest contributors have had ADD or ADHD. Einstien, Walt Disney, multiple Presidents, even astronauts and athletes.

    I read an article where a 12 year old boy was asked what it was like having ADD. His answer, to this day, both impresses me and continues to be my perfect defination of what it is like having this issue...He said, "Having ADD is not having a learning disablity. Its more like having an over-learning capability. When I am in class and the teacher is giving a lesson and a boy and a girl are passing notes in the back, and two rows across from another kid is tapping his pencil on the desk and a girl sitting in front of me is chewing her gum and blowing bubbles with it, I have the ability to take everything that is going on wround me and learn from it at the same time, though equally not being able to master any of it, I can take in more information at once then most other kids. I have the ability to filter into different levels of priorities and levels of concentration needed to use to focus on what I think is more important at that time, but what I cannot do is stop the amount of information that comes in. Sometimes its like whatever I do and wherever I go, I am always surrounded with incoming information. I don't have a focus problem, I have an over-focus ability."

    February 15, 2011 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. matt

    ADHD isn't necessarily a kid disease today. Many adults are being treated for ADHD today because they were largely undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as kids. There's also a huge overlap in symptoms between ADHD and manic depressive disorder. Early detection and education is key.

    February 15, 2011 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LiberateUs

      Its not a disease. Its a gift

      February 15, 2011 at 19:22 | Report abuse |
  37. matt

    I'll tell u the real problem in medicine.....a cookie cutter diagnosis. All cases r special and unique as r all humans.

    February 15, 2011 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Josh

    I have been diagnosed with ADD. The "impulse" problem seems to be the exact opposite for me. Sometimes I over analyze which prevents me from having a little fun sometimes.

    February 15, 2011 at 10:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Fuego

    My sons handwritting is very neat, but he writes very tiny and it takes him a long time to write. He gets very frustrated when he's asked to write larger and to try to write a little faster, because he then says his handwritting is sloppy. Yet he is very athletic, so I think they are talking about small motor skills like writing.

    February 15, 2011 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Spaceroy

    I have had ADHD since birth...I love my wild energy and my fluid rapid thoughts...never,never try and change it and never never drug a child because of it, just teach them how to harness it, because its a gift. I ws raised in the 60's and our parents taught us self control, thats all thats needed. Parents are too lazy today to have a child with extra energy.

    February 15, 2011 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rocksor


      February 15, 2011 at 12:41 | Report abuse |
    • Spaceroy

      I am completely serious.

      February 15, 2011 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • dtafil

      Just because you have extra energy doesn't mean you have ADHD. My son who has been diagnosed isn't hyper at all, though my second is bounce off the walls hyper. He doesn't have ADHD. You sound like you were one of those people who were misdiagnosed if you ever were.

      February 15, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
  41. becca

    young children have young behaviors. however, if the behaviors and tendencies don't improve over time, it's a stronger sign of a disorder that can impede learning at school. impulsive tendencies can certainly have significant effects on social development with peers and learning academics.

    February 15, 2011 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Spaceroy

    Also, about 15 years or so ago I saw a PBS special on ADD, they mentioned 2 physical conditions associated with it, a slight flap of skin around the eye by the bridge of the nose and the ability to spread your toes very wide, I have both, but have never heard about these signs again.

    February 15, 2011 at 12:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. suzygrl

    As a mom w/ a sweet daughter w/ ADHD, it is very frustrating to say the least. Continuity and consistancy is key, but not always a perfect fix. I dont allow my daughter to use ADHD as an excuse. She must learn other coping skills for her success. Good luck. it aint easy!

    February 15, 2011 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • the Wash

      I'm 32 with ADHD. I was diagnosed with it at 14 and again at 30. I have issues with impulse control and a short attention span. On another note, I wonder how the kids in the study would do if they were given a drum set to play with.

      February 15, 2011 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
  44. david

    also thanks to your mothers who smoked while pregnant, you probably got ADHD. So thank her when you get the chance..if you can concentrate long enough to do it.

    February 15, 2011 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Ken

    Thank you to so many for showing your lack of education and your absolute ignorance. It makes the rest of us look so much smarter! As to the issue at hand... In recent years, Dr. Russell Barkley has been researching ADHD as an impulsivity-inhibition disorder. This changes the playing field for so many of us who have been coping with the blessing of ADHD. I consider the "disorder" a blessing because I am highly intelligent and am capable of processing copious amounts of data at one time, while still managing to function in a regular work and social environment. ADHD is all in what you make it. Just as with any diagnosis, you can lie down and let the world fall upon your shoulders, or you can grab yourself and go through life full steam ahead. I have two speeds, stop and go. I am typically about five steps ahead of most people and the typical flow of conversation, work and other activities is entirely too slow for me. I have learned to make my "disorder" a blessing. While some of these things might be "known" by some of you armchair quarterbacks, until you actually get on the field and play the game with us, don't pretend to know anything! I grew up in special education classes because I was so bored with the learning pattern of "normal" people. I doodled on tests because the questions were ridiculous and insipid to me. I tended to randomly mark answers on exams, even on the SAT and GRE exams. Until you try to put out the fire that is my brain, don't even dare try to pretend that you know anything. Let these people research and better understand. If you don't have an answer, then just be quiet! Oh, and to the underdeveloped neanderthal who thinks that ADHD is caused by a smoking mother... Well, newsflash buddy, my mother never smoked nor used drugs or alcohol of any type. Perhaps you are the one with the disorder?

    February 15, 2011 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • stephgob

      Amen! I second this entire post!!!

      I too struggled through school out of boredom. I am still convinced that I am the only person who has managed to fail a gifted algebra class in high school by simply never doing homework (even though I aced every exam)...I went on to study engineering and graduate from Georgia Tech with an architecture degree. I couldn't have done THAT w/o my ADHD! 🙂

      I'm also offended at these morons assuming that mothers smoking causes ADHD... my mom is also insanely ADHD and is a school counselor who has helped countless students who've struggled through school with ADHD-related issues (which do often co-exist with other learning disabilities).

      People are often too ignorant to realize that ADHD minds have proven to be some of the most intelligent, creative minds of the past century.

      February 15, 2011 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
  46. sealchan

    I think that we should all not assume that ADHD is only a disorder or only a scam. ADHD symptoms are so generally that everyone has some of them. Diet, discipline, exercise or whatever may impact anyone whether they have a real disorder, another unrecognized disorder or not. Frankly, when it comes to the human brain, Western medical science has a long ways to go before we can confidently diagnose and treat all possible disorders of the human brain and the biochemistry of our other complex organic bodily systems.

    A study like this might help bring understanding to sufferers and their families.

    February 15, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. look_a_bunny

    I think that this study... look a bunny... rabbits can have mating seasons through out the year so, spading... oh a butterfly... spading the garden in the spring would bring better results.... what was the question?

    February 15, 2011 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. irnnc

    If the situation is beyond the expert's expertise then blame it on something that they are not expert in. O wait – forgot experts have ADHD so they cannot wait to come to sensible conclusion

    February 15, 2011 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jeff

    ADHD is not an attention deficit, it is perceived as such by the majority. Since when is an inability to ignore stimulus an attention deficit? It's all about popular perception. It's about selective attention – some people have it, and some don't. It's natural and completely logical that some people are wired this way. We need to get away from the excessively conservative thinknig that there is an ideal "normal" kid to fit int our cookie cutter school systems. It doesn't work. Fix the system, not the kids. There are kids who are just wired differently and these are very intelligent kids too. In nature a creature who is abundantly aware of its surroundings, lives antoher day. In "civilization", this is a deficit? Come on. It is a difference and it's the system that is broken – not the kids. Just read any book about inventive people like Bejamin Franklin. Here's a guy who had many many interests and achievements. A founding father of America. What does the system do to imaginative, inventive kids today who do not fit into the cookie cutter mold of the school system? They get a label like ADHD. Anybody heard of boredom? Give the kids more challenging, stimulating environment and teachers who understand that differences are not deficits. Remember the Nazis with their eugenics and superior race ideas were defeated with a lot of sacrifice. Why repeat the mistakes of the past? Embrace the differences, nurture tem and enjoy the fruits of these young geniuses.

    February 15, 2011 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. stm

    Everyone has ADHD and some get labeled. How many are focused in 30 min meetings or classrooms? How may actually remember every sentence of any speech or commentary? Everyone has selective hearing. Everyone has a choice-some choose to sleep or play with iphone or scrible on notepad or look outside window or just stare. If experts have solution to this then we need ROBOTS and not human.

    February 15, 2011 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • maryLand

      What part of the description of ADHD in the article escaped your understanding? Try reading it again. Move your lips if it helps.

      February 15, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
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