How the Brain Causes ADHD


By Dr. Trish Leigh, Ph.D., BCN, Certified Brain Health Coach

A healthy brain directs every thought and action with no effort. It runs smoothly, like an automatic transmission adjusting speed without the driver having to think about it. People with ADHD, in contrast, lack the chemical messengers that send impulses jumping from one nerve cell to the next. Thus, people with ADHD can get stuck at one level of functioning. Unfortunately, that level of functioning is not focused or calm. ADHD patterns are characterized by using too much slow processing speed, called Theta. 

The neuron’s powerhouse is the axon, whose radiating branches unleash tiny jolts that shoot electrical signals from one nerve cell to the next.

ADHD & Electrical Energy in the Brain

ADHD & Neurochemicals

Neurotransmitters smooth the biochemical pathways as axons fire and impulses jump the gaps between nerve cells. ADHD results, at least in part, from a deficiency in a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. Norepinephrine plays a critical role in attention, focus, energy levels, and memory. Therefore, levels of another key neurotransmitter — dopamine — are also lower than normal.

The brain struggles to function without adequate levels of these critical chemical messengers. Neurons in the brain and nervous system have higher concentrations of proteins that block dopamine transmission from cell to cell. Dopamine regulates emotional responses and feelings of pleasure and reward. Scientists have linked lower levels of dopamine to symptoms of ADHD.

Scientists are trying to identify how faulty wiring in different brain circuits causes inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, in research labs, advanced neuroimaging with functional MRI (fMRI) pinpoints regions of abnormal brain activity.

Watch the video I made for a quick explanation and keep reading below to learn more about the topic.


More Information

If you’re looking for more information about ADHD in the brain, contact Dr. Trish Leigh using the phone number or website. Get the help you need or a loved one TODAY!