Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Expert Interview

For my expert interview, I spoke with Dr. Will Sampson, the professor of my abnormal psychology class. He began the meeting by introducing the disorder to me with a general definition and then summarized DSM-IV checklist for the diagnosis of the disorder. Before we got to the good stuff, he also gave me some interesting statistics, such as the fact that 90% children diagnosed with ADHD are boys and 35% - 60% of them continue to have ADHD as adults.

My main research topic is on the cause(s) of ADHD. Dr. Sampson answered this question by telling me about various theories, some of which I had already learned about on my own. This was a positive thing because I could easily understand what he was talking about and could give my own input as well. Today, clinicians generally consider ADHD to have several interacting causes. Abnormailities in the frontal-striatal regions of the brain and high levels of dopamine are the main answers from a biological point of view. High levels of stress and family dysfunction also have recieved some research support. Dr. Sampson also talked about sociocultural theorists who suggest that ADHD symptoms and its diagnosis create further problems and produce additional symptoms in a child. Finally, Dr. Sampson talked about a few other possible causes that have less research to back them up. These include exposure to television, sugar and additives, and environmental toxins.

Speaking with an expert on the subject solidified my own opininon on the causes of ADHD. Based on Dr. Sampson's objective answers and my own research, I think that that biological abormalities are the main causes of ADHD. In cases where other causes are evident, biological factors still provide a predisposition to the disorder. That is, if a child was diagnosed with ADHD because of stress and family dysfunction, he probably already had an abnormality in his brain.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blogsignment- research update

So I have been making some process in my research. Under normal circumstances, I would have waited until the last minute possible to make progress, but the structure of this class has allowed me to continuously keep up with my project. Good job on the strategically assigned assignments leo. Anyways, from my experience in dealing with the annotated bibliography assignment, I think I will stay away from books dedicated to ADHD from now on. subjects and ideas in these type of books are kind of above my intellectual capacity.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Research Update

I wish that my main project was actually on 3D gaming, which is my assignment for my group project. The way that I had to research the topic was very unique, different from anything that I've ever researched. In terms of ADHD, there is a book out there that will give me all the basic background information and insight. Then all I would have to do is search current news, trends, theories, etc. Not so with 3D gaming. I had to read up on the history of the internet, history of 3D graphics, history of the PC, history of console/PC gaming, etc. Much more interesting indeed.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Research Update

In preparation of the annotated bibliography assignment, I have been looking through some prospects for sources. While doing this, I have learned much more about ADHD in general as well as risk factors and causes. One thing is certain. There is no single definitive cause. Viruses, harmful chemicals in the environment, genetics, problems during pregnancy or delivery, or anything that impairs brain development can play a role in causing the attention problems in ADHD.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Developing and Advancing project

ADHD is a developmental disorder affecting about 5% of the world's population.

ADHD is usually diagnosed during childhood but is considered to be a chronic condition with no cure. The exact cause of the disorder is not clear. Researchers have found that ADHD often runs in families, signifying that it could be passed through genes. Currently, research is being conducted on identifying the actual genes that causes a person to be susceptible to ADHD. Researchers have also found positive correlations between ADHD and a number of other things. For example, the National Institute of Mental Health has suggested a possible link between alcohol and tobacco consumption during pregnancy and ADHD.

A better understanding of the current theories on the cause(s) of ADHD would give me an idea of the possibility of curing this disorder. In the near future, pinpointing the cause of ADHD would help people create better treatment options for the disorder.

What is the current method used for identifying genes?
Whats going on in genetics right now?
What are the main theories?
What are current subjects of debate within this area of interest?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blogsignment - Research Update

I went to the Health and Sciences library today as part of the Search Logs assignment. I found the experience to be tremendously helpful. I went in thinking the lady would just ramble on about the same things as the lady that gave us the Davis tour. As a senior, I have already had the same presentation given to me 4 times prior to that. I knew how to work the website. However, I was shocked by this lady's expertise. She asked me general to specific questions and began filling in the blanks as she guided me through databases. Those databases seemed to be much more advanced than the ones on Or maybe the reference librarians at Davis just failed to explain or mention the more advanced searching techniques, I'm not sure. All I know is that these search results were on point. Extremely on point. They were also obtained very fast. I would document the entire process on this blog since I took notes, but no one will read this except me and Leo anyways.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Blogsignment - Research Update

After scouring the Internet for information on the causes of ADHD, I came across some insights that support the argument for genetics as the main factor. If a trait is genetic, adopted children should resemble their biological relatives more closely than they do their adoptive relatives. Studies conducted by psychiatrist Dr. Dennis Cantwell compared adoptive children with hyperactivity to their adoptive and biological parents. Hyperactive children resembled their biological parents more than they did their adoptive parents with respect to hyperactivity. I think that the research done by Cantwell was very useful and relevant. I am leaning more and more towards the genetics POV. In fact, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence for this side of the argument.