ADHD and Stress in Children: Brain Scans

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Brain Scan Studies of ADHD and Stress in Children

As parents of ADHD kids know all too well, children with ADHD often have difficulty handling stress, or stressful situations. Now, a team of researchers in Australia may have found a biological reason why this is so.

ADHD Children Scanned

The researchers studied brain scans of 24 ADHD children (with hyperactivity) and found that the right parietal lobes in children with ADHD did not function as well as in children without ADHD. The right parietal lobes are associated with the development of coping strategies.

Prof Vance, who is based at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, says these children will do anything to feel in control of their situation. They have negative, oppositional ways of relating, for instance, changing the rules of a game endlessly and arguing back. "This discovery has the real potential to improve treatment strategies for ADHD, to enable these children to better manage the demands of their family and school relationships," he said. "It cannot be assumed that ADHD behavior is the fault of bad parenting or lack or discipline."

Further studies into brain regions and key environmental factors are underway to add to this research, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

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