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. Felicidad Jonak

    I blog often and I truly appreciate your content. This great article has really peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.


    June 26, 2021 at 05:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now


    June 26, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Darnell Harpel

    I was able to find good advice from your blog posts.


    June 26, 2021 at 06:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 26, 2021 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Garfield Cleamons

    Right here is the right web site for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that's been written about for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!


    June 26, 2021 at 08:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    Itís hard to come by experienced people for this topic, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 26, 2021 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Kecia Roen

    Very good information. Lucky me I recently found your site by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved it for later!


    June 26, 2021 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    Good day! I could have sworn Iíve been to this web site before but after going through many of the posts I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím certainly delighted I came across it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!


    June 26, 2021 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV And Camper Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you need to write more on this topic, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people don't discuss these issues. To the next! Many thanks!!


    June 26, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Leadership Examples


    June 26, 2021 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. the red scare podcast


    June 26, 2021 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Bureaucratic Leadership

    Howdy! I could have sworn Iíve been to your blog before but after going through a few of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím certainly delighted I came across it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!


    June 26, 2021 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Wildlife Leadership Academy


    June 26, 2021 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. bill o'reilly podcast

    Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Thanks for providing this information.


    June 26, 2021 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. making a podcast


    June 26, 2021 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. podcast platforms

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the finest sites on the net. I most certainly will recommend this site!


    June 27, 2021 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. pharmacepticacom

    which erectile dysfunction foods work fast https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 01:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Global Leadership Summit Podcast

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and also the rest of the site is extremely good.


    June 27, 2021 at 01:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Bad Leadership Qualities


    June 27, 2021 at 08:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Silicon Valley Leadership Group

    This page really has all the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 27, 2021 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Tory Leadership Election


    June 27, 2021 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast


    June 27, 2021 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. michael lewis podcast


    June 27, 2021 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Frightliner Sprinter Repair Shop


    June 27, 2021 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Camper Repair Shop Near Me


    June 27, 2021 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Business Van Repair


    June 28, 2021 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Santa Ana


    June 28, 2021 at 04:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Rv Wrap

    Excellent article. I'm going through some of these issues as well..


    June 28, 2021 at 06:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. fb88blog

    Somebody essentially help to make severely articles I would state.
    This is the very first time I frequented your website page and so far?

    I surprised with the analysis you made to make this actual put
    up incredible. Magnificent process!

    June 28, 2021 at 06:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Nearest RV Repair


    June 28, 2021 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Egr Def Repair Mercedes Sprinter

    You made some really good points there. I looked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    June 28, 2021 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Ram High Top Van Repair Shop

    This is a topic that's close to my heart... Many thanks! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 28, 2021 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Technician

    After checking out a number of the blog articles on your web page, I honestly like your way of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my web site as well and tell me your opinion.


    June 28, 2021 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Sprinter Repair Near Me


    June 28, 2021 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Dodge Sprinter Vacuum Pump Repair


    June 28, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 28, 2021 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Repair Sprinter


    June 28, 2021 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repair Orange County


    June 28, 2021 at 21:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. www.pharmaceptica.com

    erectile medications https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Ram Luxury Van Repair Shop

    Hello! I could have sworn Iíve visited this website before but after browsing through some of the articles I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím definitely delighted I came across it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back often!


    June 28, 2021 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Ford High Top Van Repair Shop

    Iím amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I came across this in my search for something regarding this.


    June 28, 2021 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Sprinter Van Upgrades Shop Near Me

    Very good post! We will be linking to this great post on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    June 29, 2021 at 01:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    You made some decent points there. I looked on the net to learn more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.


    June 29, 2021 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Nearby RV Repair

    Hello there, I do think your site could be having browser compatibility problems. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, great site!


    June 29, 2021 at 03:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. tạo tài khoản fb88

    Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my blog thus i came to go back the prefer?.I am trying to in finding issues to improve my website!I
    assume its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

    June 29, 2021 at 07:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Dodge Sprinter Auto Repair


    June 29, 2021 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Rv Windshield Replacement


    June 29, 2021 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Nearby


    June 29, 2021 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Prestige Collision Sprinter Repair Mission Viejo


    June 29, 2021 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Leave a Reply to Ram Luxury Van Repair


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.