Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a nervous system disorder that makes it difficult for people to control their behaviour or to pay attention which leads to academic and social difficulties. It is usually diagnosed during childhood and in most cases lasts through adulthood.

Symptoms
ADD usually starts showing symptoms around the young age of 2 but will not be diagnosed until attending school where the problems experienced are more noticeable. These children show signs of:
  • short attention spans
  • irritability
  • no organisational skills
  • forgetfulness
  • social problems
  • hyperactivity (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD)
  • talk non-stop (ADHD)
  • can't keep still (ADHD)

Causes
The precise causes of ADD is still unknown although it can be diagnosed and it can be treated effectively.
Some studies suggest it is passed through gene material.
Mothers who smoke or drink during their pregnancy increase the child's risk of having ADD.
ADD is linked to the size and density of the cortex in the brain in the frontal lobe, as this is where the behavioural aspects lie - as well as nerve tissue being smaller, the way in which certain chemical reactions take place inside it and a lack of neurotransmitters in the brain regions associated with thinking, attention and behaviour.
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Adderall is a drug which stimulates the activity in the brain and is used to treat the symptoms of ADD.
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Treatment
There is no treatment for ADD. Medication and behavioural therapy can help control the symptoms experienced but even once the medication is stopped, the symptoms will occur again.
The ADD patients are required to take stimulants to increase the neurotransmitters released whereas the ADHD patients will take non-stimulants to release fewer neurotransmitter chemicals. A common stimulant is Ritalin and Adderall.

Prevention
  • eat healthy natural whole foods and drink lots of water
  • don't eat foods containing hormones/pestisides
  • avoid caffeine, sugar, processed foods, preservatives
  • proper sleep and daily exercise
  • don't smoke, drink or do drugs while pregnant
Informative Youtube video

Prognosis
Once a person has ADD, they will have it for the rest of their life. It is unlikely that they will grow out of it unless it is when the brain tissue is thinned and then in most cases, the child's brain will develop properly at a later stage. The children with ADD will also carry their social and academic difficulties through to adulthood - some may improve slightly but will stay show the symptoms.
Some people with ADD develop other disorders such as Oppositional Difiant Disorder where they are negative and unfriendly toward people in authority. Tourette syndrome may also develop as well as Conduct Disorder where they may steal, hurt people or animals or damage property.
Children with ADD are at the risk of having psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.

Lifestyle choices
Calendars should be made to act as a memory bank so that they don't have to rely on their own memory to avoid forgetfulness.
Plan the day before it comes so that either you or your child knows what to expect.
Clear boundaries need to be set and reinforced to know what is acceptable or not.
A healthy eating plan needs to be followed and to ensure enough sleep during the night.
Seeing a therapist helps to control behavioural issues and will give them good strategies to help cope with their outbursts, anger or to improve social skills.
Doing one task at a time and taking it step-by-step will help to reduce any reactions.
Setting up a work environment to help with concentration will allow more focus.
Goals and rewards once having reached the goals will allow for people with ADD to complete tasks they are set with.
Don't smoke, drink or do drugs as it will worsen the condition.
A proffessional should monitor ADD patients to detect further complications or problems.

Bibliography
http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-causes
http://www.essortment.com/causes-attention-deficit-disorder-16735.html
http://add.about.com/od/adhdthebasics/a/causes.htm
http://add.about.com/od/adhdthebasics/a/Inherited-ADHD.htm
http://add.about.com/od/treatmentoptions/a/ADHDtreatment.htm
http://add.about.com/od/childrenandteens/a/ADD-Family-Tips.htm
http://add.about.com/od/adhdinadults/a/DrGoodman2.htm
http://www.sharpermindcenters.com/add_faq/04_What_are_the_causes_of_ADD.htm
http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/problems-related-to-adhd/
http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/future-directions-in-adhd/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/adhd/DS00275/DSECTION=complications
http://www.douglas.qc.ca/info/attention-deficit-disorder-causes-treatments
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/adult-adhd/DS01161/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies
http://www.freemd.com/attention-deficit-disorder/treatment-lifestyle-strategies.htm
http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/adhd_adult/treatments/lifestyle_changes.aspx