ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has been a debated topic for sometime. A lot of this has to do with its updated terms (ADD is no longer used to describe a type of ADHD), and the further understanding of the ‘disorder’ (not only boys have ADHD).
ADHD is a relatively new term, coined in 1902. In 1937, people began to use stimulants to treat ADHD, but there’s been various controversies about using medication (for children and adults), and there’s even some people who would like to suggest that ADHD is not a real condition at all. Some blame the behavior on bad parenting, or a laziness on the person’s fault. There’s also the worry that ADHD is over diagnosed, but some experts also think that it could be under diagnosed.
With all of this looming over, the legitimacy of the condition is always in question.
However, recent studies have shown that people with ADHD do have differences in several regions of the brain from those who don’t have the condition.
A study published in the Lancet in February concluded that ADHD is as a result of a slower maturity rate in the brain. This study was the largest brain imagery study of its kind.
The study found that “ADHD involves decreased volume in key brain regions, in particular the amygdala, which is responsible for regulating the emotions. “ Probably unsurprisingly to most, this seemed to effect children more than it did adults, though they showed a decreased volume in that brain region as well. In addition to this brain region, four other regions of the brain were showed to have a decreased size as well. These included the the caudate nucleus, putamen, nucleus accumbens, and the hippocampus.
This study shows that, without a doubt, ADHD is a real condition. And it does negatively effect the lives of those who have it, but those with ADHD will also tell you that there are some benefits to their minds working differently than the average person.
More research needs to be done to see how ADHD effects someone from childhood into adulthood.