Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Head | Neurology | Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) (Disease)


ADD (attention deficit disorder) is an inability to control behavior due to difficulty in processing neural stimuli. Attention deficit disorder is one of the three subtypes of Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADD is characterized primarily by inattention, easy distractibility, disorganization, procrastination, and forgetfulness. It differs from other subtypes by lethargy - fatigue, and having fewer or no symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsiveness typical of the other ADHD subtypes.

The observed symptoms could be: failing to pay close attention to details or making careless mistakes when doing school-work or other activities; trouble keeping attention focused during play or tasks; appearing not to listen when spoken to; forgetfulness; often making careless mistakes when having to work on uninteresting or difficult projects; often having difficulty concentrating on conversations; avoiding or delaying in starting projects that require a lot of thought; disorganized personal items; often distracted by activity or noise; often having problems remembering appointments or obligations, or inconveniently changing plans on a regular basis.

Causes and Risk factors

The cause of ADD has not been fully defined. One theory springs from observations in functional brain imagining studies between those with and without symptoms. However, it has been also pointed out that similar variations have been shown in studies of the structure of the brain of affected and non-affected individuals. Animal studies have demonstrated differences in the chemistry of brain transmitters involved with judgment, impulse control, alertness, planning, and mental flexibility.

Diagnosis and Treatment

An ADD diagnosis is contingent upon the symptoms of impairment presenting themselves in two or more settings (e. g. , at school or work and at home). There must also be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning. Recent studies indicate that medications in the treatment of ADHD tend to work well in individuals with the predominantly inattentive type. These medications include two classes of drugs, stimulants and non-stimulants. Along with medication, behavioral therapy is recommended to improve organizational skills, study techniques or social functioning. ...