ADHD Inattentive is Different

Luckily for those of us with who deal with ADHD/I (Primarily Inattentive ADHD), there are some folks trying to figure out what makes this disease different. Only when we figure this out can we get down to treating it with the right kind of medicine.

A great study was done last Spring. The researchers at the University of Kentucky discovered that all ADHD types had trouble with completion of voluntary, non-reflex, actions but only the Hyperactive and combined types of ADHD had trouble with control of reflex actions. The ADHD-PI types did not. You can read the abstract to this study here:

In a normally functioning brain, voluntary behavior can trump reflex behaviors. A person can slow their heart rate down when stressed by relaxing. What the study above shows is that ADHD/I folks can do this as well but the other sub-types cannot.

It appears that our ability to control our autonomic nervous system reflexes through volunteer actions is tied to our brain's executive functioning and working memory. If our working memory in flawed, our control of reflexes will be flawed. So the hyperactive ADHD types and the combined types seem to have a defect in executive functioning of the brain but the executive function problems that they have may not be the same as the executive function problems of people with the ADHD Inattentive type.

It may make sense, given the above, that the stimulant dose needed to treat ADHD-PI would be one that would speed up voluntary actions but not necessarily stimulate the entire autonomic nervous system. Just a thought.

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