What causes ADHD?
ADHD is primarily caused by a brain pattern that is running too slow (underactive as described in the picture to the right). The brain’s reduced processing speed causes distractions, lack of focus, difficulty staying on task, forgetfulness, and difficulty following through on intended tasks. This pattern can also lead to anxiety over time as the brain attempts to compensate for the slowness.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
Typically, parents who witness excessive motor activity assume their child might have ADHD. Since impulsivity, inattentiveness, and active behavior are common in children, it makes common ADHD symptoms difficult to distinguish. If you are trying to discern if your or your child or loved one struggles with ADHD, a person would need to suffer from at least 5 of the common symptoms listed below.
- Short attention span
- Avoids tasks requiring mental effort
- Struggles to follow instructions
- Does not appear to list
- Does not pay close attention to detail
- Has difficulty with organization
- Fidgets around often
- Has difficulty sitting still
- Has difficulty in engaging in quiet activities
- Excessively runs and climbs
- Talks Excessively
- Has difficulty waiting
How is ADHD Diagnosed?
Traditionally, ADHD is diagnosed by a comprehensive assessment by a trained Neuropsychologist. This assessment includes questionnaires for parents and teachers, tests that the child takes to evaluate the ability to attend, focus, and hold items in memory. Also, physical symptoms are taken into consideration. A history of the symptoms associated with Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity are seen in the person for many years before a diagnosis should be made. There are holes in this approach, however. For a long time, it has been known that diagnosis by symptoms can result in the wrong diagnosis because many symptoms can be a product of a wide variety of brain-based challenges. Thus, with improvements in technology and science, there now exists a biological test that can tell if a person’s brain is impacted by ADHD.
At Leigh Brain and Spine, the doctors use a Neurological test that is FDA approved to confirm a diagnosis of ADHD by looking at the brain patterns that a child or adult is using. Simply put, there is a brain pattern for optimal functioning which involves easy use of calm, focused attention. There is a brain pattern for ADHD which involves difficulty attending and focusing. When the qEEG Brain Map is performed, the brain patterns that the person is using are easy to see and identify. The patterns involve too much use of slow processing speed and not enough use of faster processing speed that helps people get into the “zone” of calm-focus.
Neurofeedback, The #1 Way to Overcome ADHD!
Most people who have ADHD often show differences in brain behavior and the frontal lobe. This area of the brain is responsible for learning, behavior, and, personality. Any abnormalities in the brain can result in a change in behavior and vice versa. Neurofeedback’s aim is to fix the undesirable behavior by changing the brain without medication or invasive procedures.
Read Our Adult ADHD Success Story!
Neurofeedback is a form of treatment that measures the brains electrical waves with a cutting-edge device called an electroencephalograph (EEG). There are five brain waves the EEG can observe. These are known as alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and theta waves. If the EEG discovers that there are too many theta waves or too few beta waves then it can be determined that ADHD is present and can be diagnosed. A neurofeedback ADHD treatment will work to correct this by training people with ADHD to use their brains in a different manner.
Dr. Leigh will begin the ADHD Treatment by gently attaching electrodes to the patient’s head in order to measure brain activity. This allows Dr. Leigh to monitor brain waves while having them perform specific tasks. The process involves observing how the brain responds to sound and other forms of stimuli. Through behavior modification, this approach can alter, amplify, and interrupt brain activity based on the feedback from the EEG. This will slowly alter the brain waves. As the brain waves change, so do the symptoms of ADHD.
Neurofeedback is an effective treatment rated a #1 Best Support by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association. While Neurofeedback works well as an ADHD Treatment, it can also help children and adults overcome challenges associated with the brain-based conditions listed below:
How Do Brain-based Therapies Help ADHD?
Brain-based Therapies, Neurofeedback Therapy primarily, improve the ADHD brain pattern toward the optimal brain pattern. In doing so, attention, impulsivity, executive function, and thinking abilities improve. It is that simple. Neurofeedback Therapy addresses the underlying cause, not just symptoms, for lasting improvement.
Why Do I Need a Brain Map Test for ADHD?
qEEG Brain Maps are beneficial when trying to figure out how to help yourself or your loved one improve their ability to think, focus, attend, remember, and stay organized. The real information from a qEEG Brain Map is not a diagnosis, it is finding out what can be done to help get rid of your symptoms and the underlying cause. You can see for yourself what is actually happening within your brain. Then you know what needs to be done to be able to think, focus, and attend better.
Many times ADHD symptoms are due to other causes such as a head injury, anxiety, or slower information processing (not truly ADHD). Once you, and the doctors at Leigh Brain and Spine, see which patterns your brain is using, then you know which treatment options and which DIY strategies and techniques are best suited to improve brain functioning and your symptoms. The qEEG Brain Map identifies the biomarkers for ADHD or not. If not, it shows the biomarkers for the patterns that are there.
What Should I Expect From My ADHD Treatment with Dr. Leigh?
A Neurofeedback ADHD treatment session will start by having the patient answer specific questions about their symptoms, treatment history, and lifestyle. The same questions about the symptoms will be asked at the start of each session to help track improvements over time. Dr. Leigh will attach the patient to an electroencephalograph (EEG) machine by placing electrodes to the patients head. The number of electrodes will vary depending upon the session. The electrodes will not cause discomfort nor will they deliver any kind of electrical current into the brain.
When the treatment session begins, a real-time scan of the patient’s brain waves will be present on a screen. Based on the appearance of the brain waves, Dr. Leigh will provide a movie and instructions that will adjust the patient’s brain waves. Over time there may be more significant changes in the brain’s output. These changes create alterations in both behavior and thought.
The whole process typically lasts for 45 to 60 minutes. For the best results, around 40 Neurofeedback sessions over the course of 20 weeks are often recommended.