For many years, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) maintained that it was impossible for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism to be present in the one patient. As a result, doctors remained reluctant to diagnose a child with both conditions. The APA, however, changed its stance in 2013 in the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-5). This was after researchers found, in 2014 that between 30 to 50 percent of ADHD patients also exhibit symptoms of Autism.
ADHD is a very common behavioral disorder among children. An estimated 11% of American children 4 to 17 years old have ADHD. The condition generally develops at around the age of 7. Boys are more prone to ADHD than girls. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is also known to affect a significant number of children. It is a combination of complex disorders of the brain which distort behavior, communication, and development. One out of 68 children in America has been diagnosed with ASD. The likelihood that boys will be diagnosed with autism is four and a half times greater than girls.
The link between Autism and ADHD
ADHD can coexist with autism in that a person can be diagnosed with both conditions. They are characterized by problems in concentration, communicating with age mates, impulsivity, and different degrees of hyperactivity. They are both more prevalent in boys and typically manifest before school-going age. Both conditions have a known genetic cause. In addition, they both lead to notable academic, behavioral, emotional, and adaptive problems in all aspects of the patient’s life. It has further been found that children with ADHD have language problems just like children with Autism. Also, children diagnosed with ADHD could not be easily differentiated from children with Autism. A study investigating social perspective taking found that children with ADHD used lower levels of social perspective taking compared to those without ADHD, and these discrepancies persisted even when the significance of language capabilities, intelligence, and oppositional and conduct problems were considered. Studies have demonstrated 30 to 50% of Autism patients present ADHD symptoms and likewise two-thirds of ADHD patients present features of Autism. The Autism Treatment Network database has argued that the coexistence of ADHD and Autism is linked to a poor quality of life and weaker adaptive functioning compared to each individual condition.
One Pediatrics study showed that 18 percent of ADHD children presented behavior traits particular to Autism. These children further presented more debilitating symptoms compared to children who did not exhibit Autism traits. This implies that children with symptoms of both ADHD and Autism have a higher chance of developing learning and social skills difficulties as opposed to those with only one of the two.
Autism has increasingly become more of a prevalent problem in the United States of America in recent times. An approximate of one out of 68 children delivered in the USA are diagnosed with autism in the long run. The autism spectrum is a rather broad one as it affects each child differently. As a result, it has forced researchers to investigate how to handle these situations effectively in diverse ways. Autism spectrum disorder is known to cause notable social, behavioral and communication difficulties. Nevertheless, valuable improvements have been made in the treatment process, and people diagnosed with autism are now able to lead normal and healthy lives. Still, each breakthrough in treatment is crucial as it promotes understanding of the condition while undoubtedly improving the situations of those affected be it directly or indirectly.
ADHD is generally seen as a less severe diagnosis than autism, but it can still affect the behavior and social skills of a child. Children who have ADHD act without first considering their actions, have difficulty concentrating on their tasks and are very hyperactive. Such children often just comprehend what they expected to do but face difficulties doing the same as they are unable to pay attention, sit still or concentrate on details. However, with the right treatment, kids diagnosed with ADHD are able to learn how to live with the condition and effectively manage the symptoms as they manifest.
The difficulties resulting from ADHD cause substantial inabilities in social, work or school functioning. It is often challenging for some individuals with ADHD to express symptoms that they may be going through, so it is most helpful to consider how you would behave or react to familiar events in your daily life.
Common behaviors that are associated with ADHD entail impulsiveness, disorganization, difficulties in managing time, forgetfulness, procrastination, unstable relationships, premature shifting of activities, criminal offenses and unstable jobs.
The significance of oxidative stress in Autism and ADHD
A healthy immune system and a healthy gut are paramount for the development of a healthy brain. These three systems are all immature at birth. Genetic interactions and environmental factors both impact the ratio of GSH/GSSG within cells and the maturation of all three systems. GSH refers to reduce glutathione while GSSG refers to oxidized glutathione. This ratio reflects the degree of toxicity within the cells. Glutathione is the master antioxidant of the human body which eliminates toxic free radicals thereby protecting red blood cells from damage.
Toxic environmental elements such as solvents, heavy metals, and industrial chemicals stimulate oxidative stress thereby diminishing the levels of glutathione in the body. A combination of these factors can accumulate to toxic levels. This means that the amount of free radicals in the body would increase leading to an imbalance in the body’s natural redox state.
Data showing a higher ratio of oxidative to antioxidative capabilities in ADHD puts forward the likelihood that ADHD patients are unable to put up a sufficient defense against higher oxidative stress. It is the lack of balance between the free radicals (free radicals) and antioxidant defenses such as glutathione that eventually culminates in oxidative damage of lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins. The resultant oxidative stress causes damage to these tissues and creates a modified protein structure. It also leads to activity and interaction networks, localization, apoptosis, epigenetic modification to DNA chromatin structure, distorted membrane lipid integrity and even malfunction of mitochondria.
Glutathione has been shown to provide health benefits and be supportive in relation to a large number of conditions. In order to maintain optimal glutathione levels, consider supplementing with Nano Glutathione.