Attention Deficit Disorder

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Mon Jan 20 22:00:49 EST 1997


In <32E29996.2736 at acs.ucalgary.ca> Akira <aryamamo at acs.ucalgary.ca>
writes: 
>
>Hello. I am curious about the neurophysiological or neurochemical 
>causation of ADD. I realize that the medical community has been rather

>unsuccessful at discovering a definitive cause for the disorder, but 
>being an undergrad, I am not familiar with the different explanations.
If 
>someone is knowledgeable in this specific disorder could you provide
me 
>with information or refer me to some documents.


Having been involved in organizing the New York Neuropsychology Group's
annual conference last year, which dealt with Adult ADD, and trying to
put together a NY Academy of Sciences _Annals_ based on it, I would
also be grateful for any solid info on neurochemical bases!

Anatomical and cognitive/behavioral data presented at the conference
tends to emphasize the role of prefrontal cortex--Martha Denckla told
us we should think more in terms of INtention than of ATtention--but
other levels of biological analysis are weak or confusing.

We do know, of course, on a pragmatic level, that boosting adrenergic
and/or dopaminergic activity can be helpful, and there is a concept of
noradrenergic "focusing" of neural activity, but whether this is really
the relevant mechanism and what this tells us about the basic nature of
the disorder both remain uncertain.

For replies too lengthy for e-mail, consider FAX (914) 947-3350,

or:        F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
           Helen Hayes Hospital
           West Haverstraw, NY 10993, USA



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