Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects eleven percent of kids ages 4-17. In the first hour of 'Think', we'll talk about the root causes of A.D.H.D. and a natural approach to treating the condition with Dr. Richard Friedman, who recently wrote an article in The New York Times about the disorder.
The research for A.D.H.D. is extensive, with so many aspects of the disorder being studied and analyzed. Recently, the National Institute of Health found that children living in areas with high levels of air pollution are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder than others.
It's also well known that symptoms of A.D.H.D. can significantly affect a person's life from school to the workplace. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, parents of children diagnosed with the disorder report 3 times as many peer-related problems than those without the disease.
In his article, Friedman explains the connection of A.D.H.D. to the reward center of the brain. Those diagnosed with the disorder often have a less sensitive reward center - meaning they are bored with routine and repetitive tasks. This would explain why so many children find it hard to focus in school and why teachers see this as a lack of focus and impulsive behavior.
Friedman found that many adults who have the disorder report to being able to live with it by being in a work environment that can be more spontaneous and interesting, that allows higher dopamine levels in their brain and satisfies the reward center. Some report having gotten rid of the symptoms completely or "growing out" of the disorder after finding more rewarding work condition for themselves.
Listen to "Think" from noon-2 p.m. Monday-Thursday on KERA 90.1 FM.