Taken from Dr. Daniel Amen
Core symptoms Short attention span for routine tasks, dis-tractibility, organizational problems, difficulty with follow through and poor internal supervision. However, the short attention span is not for everything, most often they can pay attention to things that are new, novel, highly stimulating, interesting, or frightening. Sensibility to taste is another common problem many add clients will only eat foods with a certain taste or texture, clients complain they have a terrible time finding foods their kids will eat. (Note - It's possible to have more than one of these types of ADD. For example, a common combination is over focused, limbic, and anxious types.) Type 1 Classic - Hyperactive, restless, impulsive, disorganized, dis-tractible, trouble concentrating Personal note: type one babies are colicky, highly active, hard to sooth and hold (they are very wiggly) They have less eye contact with older children, parents have a difficult time bonding with them. Type one children are restless, in constant motion, noisy, talkative, and demanding. They need constant excitement, see people upset, they have low self-esteem, they are conflict driven and impulsive and usually in trouble with someone every day of their lives. Cause: relative deficiency of dopamine (A chemical that is heavily involved with attention span – focus – follow through – and motivation. What works People with Classic ADD have reduced blood flow in the brain area of the prefrontal cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia. The basal ganglia help produce dopamine.
The goal of the treatment is to increase dopamine levels in the following ways: Either using stimulant medication, such as Adderall or Concerta, or using stimulating supplements, such as Rhodiola, green tea, or ginseng. The amino acid L-tyrosine is also used, as it's a building block of dopamine. Exercise is encouraged because it boosts dopamine. A fish oil supplement that's higher in omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). For example, a 60:40 ratio is recommended. A diet that's higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates is encouraged. Type 2 Inattentive: Easily distracted, difficulty sustaining attention span for most tasks in play – school – work. Trouble listening, when others are talking, organizing their room, trouble with time and space (they are frequently hurrying or late), homework is last minute etc. They tend to lose things, make careless mistakes, poor attention to detail, forgetful, excessive, daydreaming, complain when they are bored, they appear apathetic or unmotivated. Tired, sluggish, slow moving, spacy, preoccupied. What works – This type is more common in girls than boys and is often diagnosed later in life because these people don't have behavior problems. People with Inattentive ADD have reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex as well as low levels of dopamine. Treatment is the same as for Type 1.
Type 3 Over focused: worried excessively, oppositional & argumentative, gets locked into negative thoughts, same thoughts over and over, tendency to have impulsive behaviors, holds grudges, trouble shifting from one subject to another, trouble seeing options in situations, tendency to hold on to their own opinion and not others, gets lock into a course of action whether it’s good for them or not, needs things done a certain way or they get upset, often criticized for excessive worry.
What works supplements first. Medications only if supplements aren't effective. Treatment includes: Supplements are used to boost dopamine, such as L-tryptophan. 5- Hydroxytryptophan, a naturally occurring amino acid known as 5-HTP, is used as an antidepressant. Other supplements include saffron and inositol, which increase focus and mental clarity. Antidepressant medication examples are Effexor, Pristiq, or Cymbalta. Neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback, is also recommended. It teaches people to regulate their brain function. People who have this ADD type do not do well on a high protein diet as it can prompt mean behavior.
Type 4 Temporal Lobe: Periods of quick temper or rages without provocation, misinterprets comments as negative when they are not, has a tendency to become increasingly irritable, then explode then recede, and is often tired after the rage, has periods of spaciness, or confusion, has periods of panic and or fear for no reason, imagines visual changes, such as seeing shadows or objects changing shape, frequent periods of déjà vu (the feeling like you have been somewhere before), even though they never have, sensitive or mildly paranoid, experiences headaches, or abdominal pain of an uncertain region, has history of a head injury, family history of violence, or explosiveness, has dark thoughts, may involve suicidal or homicidal ideas, has periods of forgetfulness or memory problems, has a short fuse or periods of extreme irritability. What works – The goal of treatment is to soothe neuronal activity and stop nerve cells from over-firing or firing unpredictably. Treatment includes: The amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to help to calm the nerve cells. A magnesium supplement helps with anxiety and irritability.
Anticonvulsant medications can help stabilize moods. Gingko or vinpocetine can assist with learning and memory issues. A ketogenic diet, which is a diet that is higher in protein, might be recommended.
Type 5 Limbic: Moodiness, negativity, low energy, frequent irritability, a tendency toward social isolation, frequent feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or excessive guilt, lowered interest in things that are usually found to be fun, sleep changes (too much or too little), chronic low self-esteem. What works – People with Limbic ADD have excessive activity in the limbic section of the brain, which is where moods are controlled. They have reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex both when relaxing and focusing on a task. Treatment includes: DL-phenylalanine (DLPA), L-tyrosine, and SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) are the most effective supplements. An anti-depressant, Wellbutrin or imipramine, might be prescribed. Exercise, fish oil, and an appropriate diet are also recommended. An elimination diet, where dairy, sugar, wheat, and corn are eliminated from the diet for three weeks, will help to determine if the person has these food sensitivities. Type 6 Ring of fire: is angry or aggressive, sensitive to noise, light, clothes, touch, frequent cyclic mood changes (high and low), is inflexible or rigid in thinking, insists on having their way, even when told no several times, periods of mean nasty or insensitive behavior, periods of excessive talkativeness, periods of excessive impulsivity, exhibits unpredictable behavior, exhibits grandiose or larger then life thinking, talks fast, has a sensation that thoughts go to fast, appears anxious or tearful. What works -
People with Ring of Fire ADD have an overactive brain. There are excessive amounts of activity in the cerebral cortex and other areas of the brain. Treatment includes: Beginning with an elimination diet if it appears a food allergy might be present. Stimulants alone could make symptoms increase. GABA, 5-HTP, and L- tyrosine supplements help to increase GABA and serotonin levels. Medications that might be prescribed include anticonvulsants and blood pressure medications like guanfacine or clonidine to help reduce hyperactivity.
Type 7 Anxious: inattentive, easily distracted, disorganized, anxious, tense, nervous, predicts the worst, gets anxious with timed tests, social anxiety, and often has physical stress symptoms, such as headaches, and gastrointestinal symptoms. May or may not be hyperactive. What works – The goal of treatment is to help with relaxation and increase GABA and dopamine levels. Treatment includes: Supplements that have a calming effect, like L-theanine, relora, magnesium, and holy basil. Stimulants taken on their own can cause more anxiety. However, helpful medications to lower anxiety are the tricyclic antidepressants imipramine or desipramine. Neurofeedback can help lower anxiety and calm the prefrontal cortex.