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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental mental disorder characterized by several pervasive symptoms observable in children as young as three years old. Neuroscientists have yet to discover a specific cause of ADHD but suspect the following factors may contribute to development of ADHD: genetics, cigarette/drug/alcohol use during pregnancy, low birth weight and exposure to lead, asbestos or other toxins in the environment. Children and adults diagnosed with ADHD are likely to suffer other psychological or cognitive issues such as anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, conduct disorder, or substance addiction.
Common behavioral symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder include:
Parents concerned about whether their child is suffering ADHD should take their child to their primary physician who may be able to refer them to a child psychologist specializing in ADHD, Asperger's syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders emerging in childhood.
Even though a variety of ADHD medications are available that may help reduce the severity of ADHD symptoms, none of them cure attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Instead, ADHD meds are prescribed in either short-acting and long-acting forms to potentially improve or suppress ADHD symptoms. Short-acting medications begin working within two to three hours of administration but need taken two to three times a day. Extended release ADHD medication will continue reducing symptoms for up to twelve hours and are taken only once daily.
Unfortunately, ADHD drugs often cause unwanted side effects that make taking these medications undesirable by the parent and the child. Insomnia, headaches, nausea, moodiness, dizziness and heart palpitations are just a few of the side effects reported by ADHD patients.
Because of these side effects, more parents of children with ADHD and adults with ADHD are now choosing alternative treatments for managing ADHD symptoms. Additionally, children diagnosed with ADHD may be tested for food allergies, hormone imbalances and other physiological disturbances that could provoke some signs of ADHD.
Brain mapping (QEEG) creates an actual map of brain functioning in real-time to identify areas that are not performing as well as they could be. When someone with ADHD has their brain mapped, the QEEG shows level of brain wave activity throughout all brain regions. Symptoms such as hyperactivity and anxiety may be exhibited as increased brain wave activity while moodiness and inability to concentrate may show up as reduced brain wave activity. Brain mapping also measures coherence within the brain, or how well communication is coordinated among different brain regions. If one area is communicating too much or not enough with another area, this may interfere with efficiency of overall brain functioning.
When used in conjunction with brain mapping, neurofeedback can help someone with ADHD control how their brain waves "act" using focus-based methods of altering brain wave activity. During a neurofeedback session, we place electrodes on the scalp to map and measure brain waves that are not working normally. For example, if brain waves are too slow in one area, the patient will receive instruction on how to speed up brain wave activity by focusing on techniques for training the brain to function differently.
Brain mapping and neurofeedback are rapidly increasing in popularity among parents of children with ADHD because no medications are needed and children receive continuous, beneficial feedback during each session. In addition, improvement of ADHD symptoms is not dependent on taking drugs every day at certain times of the day. By learning how to train the brain to modify abnormal brain wave activity, children and adults with ADHD enjoy better quality of life and insight into why they have difficulty managing troublesome behaviors.
We invite you to learn more about this innovative and successful ADHD treatment by calling Summit Medical Care Center today at 303-466-3232 to schedule a consultation appointment with our neurofeedback specialist.