Posted by: lynne | 2008/08/29



I wonder if you can tell me the differences between adhd and add?
what would make the child more one than the other or are they much the same? In treating a child with these disorders, if i can call them that, what would one concentrate on. my child is already on ritalin.

Expert's Reply


ADHD Expert

Dear Lynne,
ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder while ADHD stands for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder; both have the lack of concentration where ADHD has the added component of hyperactivity. The term hyperactive is easily used to describe a child with a lot of energy; however it is much more than this: it includes interrupting others in conversation, walking/running around and climbing on things at inappropriate times. It is often thought that Ritalin 'calms' children down; it is in fact a stimulant that stimulates focus and attention.
Kind regards.

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user comments


Posted by: Dan | 2008/09/09

Lynne, my research has focused on adult AD/HD. ODD could be there in the mix but in a different guise. But here is a thought you may want to consider regarding a possible link: when a stimulant has a pardoxical claming effect, it is simply replacing other forms of stimulation. Those ' other forms'  may include not only coffee, tea, chocolate but many apparently benign foods. In the same way, a household full of strife and angst may be as debilitatingly over-stimulating to a child as a household full of TV and gadgets and parents with high-powered careers. And for a similar reasons that ADHD folk may seek enlivening stimuli in risk or conflict just to feel normal - so may a child. The brain is a chemical soup, and it seeks to correct imbalances by the means I have mentioned. In my opinion a good point of departure would be to simplify both foods and lifestyle. But especially starting with foods.
This is just my opinion but I hope you find it useful.

Reply to Dan
Posted by: lynne | 2008/09/08

hi Dan

thank you for your very medical reply.
do you have any insight on the behavioual condition called oppositional difient syndrome? if so the similarity between it and ADHD?


Reply to lynne
Posted by: Dan | 2008/09/07

Ritalin attends mainly to a low level of Dopamine in the brain which is related to unease and physical restlessness - the need to move. However, mental inattention is related to a lack of noradrenaline which is also noted for its high-energy state (quite distinct from the need to move). But ritalin on its own helps restore a ' relative'  balance to both neuronal deficincies and therefore both problems are greatly eased. In a similar manner, drugs that boost noradrenaline assist dopamine, indirectly. It can get quite complicated from here on, but suffice to say that one may be calmed by ritalin, yet still have concentration and impulsivity problems because of a relative lack of norepinephrine. Notwithstanding a diagnosed medical condition, the diet alone can creat a predominance of one over the other.

Reply to Dan

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