As a special education teacher, I often have students in my classes whose evaluations indicate they have ADD / ADHD, so I make it a point to read up on the latest research on the brain and its functions.
Dr. Daniel Amen, neuropsychiatrist is one of the leading experts in the field of brain research today. Due to his pioneering work, there are many facilities across the U.S. that use new types of brain scanning technologies called SPECT which ascertain where and why there are malfunctions in the brain. SPECT technology is a nuclear medical study that evaluates blood flow and activity in the brain. The scans show where the malfunctions are located. For instance, with classic ADD which accounts for 65% of subjects, there is decreased frontal cortex activity. The scan indicates that there is a generally healthy brain at rest but during concentration, there tends to be decreased blood flow in the pre-frontal cortex and cerebellum. This population is distractible, inattentive, disorganized, often hyper-active, restless and impulsive. If you have an ADD child you will probably recognize some or all of these symptoms, and it is more frequent with boys.
The brain is involved in everything we do, how we think, feel, act, and how well we get along with other people. It determines the quality of our lives. According to Dr. Amen, there are many things that harm the brain. They would include brain injury in an accident, drugs, excessive caffeine, smoking, poor nutrition, too little or too much exercise, excessive stress, insomnia, sleep apnea and physical illness.
Dr. Amen says that proper nutrition, exercise, stress management techniques, omega 3 fatty acids will help. Depending upon the type of ADD / ADHD there are medications that will of course be advised by your physician. For more information on the brain and cutting edge research as well as information on institutions that give scans and recommend treatments find books and videos from Dr. Amen. Google him and his institute online. There are two centers where he treats adults and children – one in NYC and one in Southern California. His book / audio made the New York Times best seller list and is called, “Healing ADD“.