Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a diagnosis that affects an approximated two million American children. The condition has grown to become the most commonly diagnosed behavioral childhood disorder. According to The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the cause of the condition remains unknown. ADHD is acknowledged to be multifactorial, involving both environmental and biological influences. Genetic, molecular and pharmacological studies have suggested the involvement of the neurotransmitter system in the pathogenesis of the condition. Several genes have been discovered to have polymorphic variants which are involved in regulating dopamine and neurotransmitter pathways alterations reported to be associated with ADHD.
Nutrients Deficiencies And ADHD
Deficiencies in nutrients such as fatty acids (EPA, DHA), the amino acid methionine and minerals such as selenium and zinc have been known to have an influence on neuronal function and to produce defects in neural plasticity as well as impact children behavior. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the result of a biochemical reaction between vitamin pyraxidal and the glutamic acid along with decarboxylase (GAD). GABA is the natural tranquilizer produced in the brain. GABA supplements are not able to cross the blood-brain blockade and therefore fail to influence the central nervous system. However, they benefit the peripheral nervous system and are used to treat hypertension. GABA is available in many local stores, including moms and pops.
Benzodiazepine drugs are used to improve the accessibility of GABA in the brain by enhancing its receptor ability, leading to reduced anxiety and relaxation. GABA is often referred to as an amino acid as it utilizes Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B. Vitamin B3 helps handle stress by combining with benzodiazepine receptors. In fact, lack of the Vitamin can negatively affect the functioning of the brain. GABA plays an important role in relieving the ADHD symptoms in both children and adults. It helps curb the major symptoms such as restlessness, impulsivity, hyperactivity, distractibility among others.
The symptoms, which are stress-triggered, cannot be alleviated until the person is away from the stressing situation or the stressor is removed. A study conducted at Kyorin University Medical School in Japan indicates a potential use of GABA for ADHD. In the study, a natural form of GABA called PharmaGABA was made and almost sixty students given 100g of the GABA supplement. They were then administered a math test. It was discovered that the group that was administered with GABA gave 20% more correct answer, an indicator that GABA improves mental performance. Though no studies have directly established a connection between ADHD and GABA, Dr. Murray suggested that the findings point that GABA can be effective in enhancing the brain health, and GABA is sold as a supplement in many store and online shops.
Other ADHD Treatments vs. GABA
Unlike the other ADHD treatments that are anti-depressants, amino acids play a major part in restoring the balance between the mind and body. GABA has been used currently as a replacement for ADHD drugs and has been termed as safe to use.