Why Does ADHD Seem So Common?

It would be great if people with ADHD could have their brains scanned and the results would illuminate a flashing neon sign that definitively diagnosed the condition, but of course it’s never that simple. In the final episode on ADHD, we’ll dive into how it’s diagnosed and what the most common treatments seem to be.

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Research indicates the ADHD brain looks and behaves differently from neurotypical brains, but imaging technology like CT scans, PET scans, or MRIs can’t be used to diagnose it, in part because they’re not sensitive enough yet to work on a case-by-case basis or differentiate between other possible causes.

There are a wide malady of tests that can be given, but frankly, you don’t even need any tests necessarily to diagnose ADHD. It could be diagnosed through observation, interview, that sort of thing. Often it just comes down to the observations of a trained medical professional like a psychiatrist, psychologist, or pediatrician.

To meet the criteria for an ADHD diagnosis the symptoms have to negatively impact work, school, or social functioning, be persistent for at least 6 months and in at least two settings like at school and at home, and they have to appear before age 12. Patients under 17 must have at least 6 symptoms, and those 17 and up must show at least 5. Still, even detailed guidelines applied by medical professionals don’t guarantee an accurate diagnosis.

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Diagnosis
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“Diagnosing ADHD in adults is more difficult because there’s some disagreement about whether the list of symptoms used to diagnose children and teenagers also applies to adults. In some cases, an adult may be diagnosed with ADHD if they have 5 or more of the symptoms of inattentiveness, or 5 or more of hyperactivity and impulsiveness, listed in diagnostic criteria for children with ADHD.”

ADHD Medications for Adults and Children: ADD Stimulants, Nonstimulants & More

“Adderall. Vyvanse. Ritalin. Strattera. Concerta. The number of ADHD medication options is staggering, and finding the right treatment feels overwhelming at times. Here, an ADHD specialist explains the stimulant and nonstimulant options for adults and children in terms we can all understand.”

How Technology Can Help You Cope With ADHD
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“Technology helps ADHDers by providing brain stimulation, but technology can also help the brain slow down through meditation practices and apps such as Calm, Headspace, and Open, which includes movement with mindfulness. Do we need technology to meditate? Absolutely not. But can it help achieve results? Absolutely.”

Neuro Transmissions
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“Neuroscientist Alie and clinical therapist Micah created Neuro Transmissions with a singular mission in mind: explain the brain . . . simply!”


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