Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurological disorder that affects children, although symptoms may persist into adulthood in 50% of cases.

Research suggests that the symptomatology of ADHD reflects complex interactions between genetic and non-genetic factors.

ADHD symptoms generally include inattention, impulsivity, poor social skills, academic performance challenges and hyperactivity.  

Treatments for ADHD include medications (e.g., methylphenidate, more commonly known by brand names such as Ritalin, amphetamines) and non-pharmacological interventions such as behaviour support, skills training, individual and family therapy and, more recently, neurofeedback.

One of the primary difficulties with ADHD medications is their range of adverse effects, which include loss of appetite, increases in blood pressure and mood changes. In adults with ADHD, treatment with medication can be even more complex given the range of drug interactions, and the likelihood of the individual having other conditions being treated with medications.

Published research shows the benefit of drug therapy for children with ADHD, but with significant drawbacks due to the adverse effects. There have been continuing calls to increase research into non-pharmacological interventions.

Neurofeedback has shown particular promise in this regard, with studies showing reduced impulsivity and distractibility as well as increased organisation ability.

A recent review has shown the effects to be similar to those of medication, without side-effects. More specifically neurofeedback training had long effects of on inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Another study of 104 school-age children with ADHD showed that those who underwent neurofeedback training, when compared to those who underwent other cognitive remediation training or no intervention, made more prompt and greater improvements in symptoms at a six month follow up.

Overall, research indicates that neurofeedback can help people feel more in control of their day-to-day lives, and can often reduce anxiety and stress around getting things done on time and being organised.

If you are wondering if your child has ADHD, you can read this article. You can read more about ADHD in Ireland here.

As with all of our interventions, we personalise all our plans on the basis of a formulation by one of our psychology team alongside brain data from our neuroscience team.

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