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Friday
Oct292010

I Fell Into a Burning Ring of Fire...Of Adult ADD

I just learned that a form of Adult ADD is called Basal Ganglia ADD, or Ring of Fire ADD. I'm feeling pretty excited because I am just learning about Adult ADD, but am quite familiar with the prefrontal cerebral cortex, and did not know how closely they are related. The Basal Ganglia are important with motor skills and learning, two things which can become compromised in ADD. What's interesting is that the Basal Ganglia receive signals from the prefrontal cerebral cortex, which is also responsible for executive functions, decision making etc., AND houses anxiety disorders, as was discussed in a previous post. So Adults with ADD have a hard time making decisions, staying focused, and keeping their cool. (Note that altered behaviors such as irritabilaty and aggression can be associated with Basal Ganglia ADD). I'm not an expert on the brain (yet!) but here's the summary so far:

One form of Adult ADD called Ring of Fire ADD affects adults' abilities to stay focused, clear, and calm. Part of it comes from the relationship to the part of the brain just behind the forehead called the prefrontal cerebral cortex. Both of these parts of the brain are affected by dopamine levels, one of the most important neurotransmitters for happiness and social behaviors. Many people with severe clutter/hoarding become isolated and depressed.

For Johnny Cash, love and desire made him FALL into a burning ring of fire. For adults with ADD, this ring of fire burns us before we can get to love and desire. What's exciting is, there are some simple ways to target the effects which do not include medication, such as food and choice-making modifications.

Stay tuned, and please share any stories you have about Adult ADD.

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