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Causes of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD and ADHD)

Despite intensive research, the exact origins of ADD and ADHD have yet to be determined. There are, however, several theories about the causes of Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Chemical Imbalance of Neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters help the human brain to form thoughts, store and recall information, and translate thoughts into physical actions. One of these neurotransmitters, dopamine, is abnormally low in those who diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. Since problems with memory and attentiveness are attributes of those with ADD and ADHD, researchers believe that low dopamine levels may be responsible. Research had indicated that in 60% of ADD and ADHD sufferers, the genes controlling dopamine production are in some way abnormal .

Another neurotransmitter, Acetylcholine, has also been linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Acetylcholine plays a key role in the body by helping to control cognitive functions such as awareness, perception, reasoning, judgment, memory and attention. Learn more about Chemical Imbalance

Adult ADD / ADHD and Diet

Throughout the course of the last decade researchers have discovered that diet, which is closely tied to neurotransmitter synthesis and other bodily responses, may be an important factor in many of the symptoms associated with ADHD.

A growing collective of research shows that even a moderate adjustment to diet, such as removing packaged and processed foods, sugary soft drinks and excessive sweets can significantly decrease symptoms of ADHD, like hyperactivity and the 'crash' that may often follow. It is thought that the highs and the lows of consuming sugars can affect a the overall attentiveness, or lack there of, in both adults and children.

In addition to creating a healthy diet of more natural foods, like fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates, clinical research indicates that supplementation of the adult diet with specific vitamins and minerals, like the B-complex vitamins, zinc, and magnesium can further increase the chances of improvement. Learn more about ADD/ADHD and Diet

Structural Differences

Not all of those affected with ADD and/or ADHD have low levels of dopamine, and this has lead researchers to theorize that varying brain structures may have some effect on ADD and ADHD. The forebrain is the part of the brain that controls thoughts, behavior, and emotions. It controls the ability to reason, make decisions, and solve problems. A part of the forebrain, the frontal lobe, is most involved with judgment, behavior, memory, and motivation. Preliminary research into this theory has shown that a small percentage of people with ADD or ADHD have forebrains about 10% smaller than those who do not have ADD or ADHD.

Related ADD/ADHD Resources:

Herbs and Vitamins for Mental Clarity and Focus
Insight Journal: ADD and ADHD Home

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