Amphetamine-type drugs that raise the level of excitatory neurotransmitters in the cortex can reduce symptoms of ADD. Drug treatment for ADHD stimulates underactive areas, causing the brain to concentrate and focus. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 185. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

Adolescents with ADHD are at twice the risk of developing a drug or alcohol problem. Reasons for drugs use include attempts to decrease feelings of restlessness, anxiety, and poor self-image. Others use drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines to help them focus. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Secret Life of the Brain. p 79.Washington D.C.: The Dana Press and Joseph Henry Press, 2001.)

Study: Blood flow through the placenta can be reduced by up to 38% in pregnant women who smoke (e.g., can result in changes to the fetal brain such as lowered IQ and an increased risk for developing ADD/ADHD). (Williams, Jill Schlabig. NIDA NOTES. MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Volume 18, Number 6, Feb, 2004.

Two studies have linked ADHD with a deficiency of dopamine in the brain. This may be one reason for higher risk for substance abuse in people with ADHD as they attempt to self-medicate their brains. (Amen, Daniel, MD. The Brain in the News, Amen Clinic Newsletter. August, 2007.)

Conclusions from a groundbreaking study conducted by a team at the University of Central Florida indicate that some children (e.g., those diagnosed as ADHD) really DO need to move (fidget) in order to learn. The current educational model of sit down, be still, and be quiet does not work for these individuals. (Shrieves, Linda. Kids with ADHD need to fidget.

Ritalin, a mild central nervous stimulant, may work by stabilizing the neurotransmitter dopamine. This can help people to focus better. Also discusses another alertness-enhancing drug: Provigil may also be alertness-enhancing for some individuals. (Greenwood-Robinson, Maggie, PhD. 20/20 Thinking. p 150-151. NY: Avery, Putnam Special Markets, 2003.)

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