The number of individuals diagnosed with ADD continues to rise. While the diagnosis rate inflates, as do the pharmaceutical sales of habit forming and side effect laden prescriptions.
Is this is a condition that is being over diagnosed for the sake of big business? If not entirely, then what is causing this widespread, suboptimal cortical functioning? Chemical exposure? Cultural influences? Horrific nutrition? Or maybe a combination of them all.
Regardless of the answers to these questions, the fact remains that the signs and symptoms that land you under the umbrella of an ADD diagnosis and subsequent prescription are societally prevalent. It’s important to recognize these traits, and do what you can naturally first in order to stave off any chemical intervention.
Let’s first look at some of the issues at hand. These include short attention span or lack of focus, distractibility, lack of perseverance, impulse control problems, hyperactivity, chronic lateness/poor time management, disorganization, procrastination, unavailability of emotions, misperceptions, poor judgement, trouble learning from experience, short term memory problems, and social and test anxiety.
The handling of these issues is largely governed by an area of your brain called the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is touted as the most evolved part of your brain. Overall the PFC is the part of the brain that watches, supervises, guides, directs and focuses your behavior, governing “executive functions” such as time management, judgement, impulse control, planning, organization and critical thinking.
This area continues to develop as we age, and doesn’t fully develop until well into adulthood. This explains why we tend to become more responsible and less reckless as we age, and why youth tends to exemplify the opposite. It also explains why people’s personalities may change after a concussion or trauma to the dome.
Identifying potential areas of deficit and providing patients with targeted brain based therapies and exercises is a practice we incorporate at Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness. We may have the patient perform eye exercises or interactive metronome.
If you think you may be dealing with an under functioning PFC based on the descriptions above, feel free to give us a call (321-848-0987) for an evaluation and if warranted, subsequent therapies.
In the meantime, here are a couple of at home remedies to give that PFC a jolt:
THE CLASSICAL STYLINGS OF MOZART
A study published in the International Journal of Arts Medicine found that listening to Mozart actually reduced the slow brain activity (theta brain-wave) that is often excessive in ADD. Subjects (children ranging from ages 7 – 17) displayed better focus and mood control, diminished impulsivity, and improved social skills after incorporating sessions of Mozart at least three times a week.
DIET AND EXERCISE
(yet another reason to implement these seemingly simple lifestyle changes)
In order to fully appreciate why this suggestion is relevant, we need to understand that it is the neurotransmitter dopamine that helps to prevent the PFC shutdown that happens in ADD. Drugs like Adderall work by stimulating dopamine.
A diet high in refined carbs (simple sugars: cakes, candies, ice cream, pastries, soda and simple carbs: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes) has a negative impact on dopamine levels in the brain.
Exercise naturally triggers the release of dopamine, and subsequently norepinephrine which is another neurotransmitter that stimulates the PFC.
So as stated, another reason to clean up the diet and get moving with some regular exercise. This is not just a over-stated, lazy suggestion for wellness. As explained above, these two suggestions carry actual, natural chemical repercussions similar to the effective ingredients in some of today’s most over prescribed drugs.