Comparing And Contrasting ADHD And OCD
There are so many complex neurological disorders that continue to baffle and spark questioning and research among those who study them. Two such disorders are obsessive compulsive disorder or ocd and attention deficit disorder or adhd. While adhd and ocd are two separate disorders there are some definite similarities between the two. Each of these disorders can be debilitating on its own, but there are also those who unfortunately suffer from both. For this reason and others, research has begun to emerge on the links between the two ailments.
Key Similarities Between ADHD and OCD
While there is still a great deal of speculation and debate surrounding both of these disorders there are some ties that have emerged. Both disorders appear to affect the same areas of the brain, the main area being the prefrontal cortex which is located at the front of the head. Another similarity is that both disorders tend to become evident in the early years of life. People with adhd and/or ocd are usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. Also interestingly, both disorders are believed to involve incorrect levels of glutamate (a type of amino acid) in the body.
Key Differences Between ADHD and OCD
As previously mentioned both adhd and ocd are thought to affect the prefrontal cortex, but they are believed to affect it in different ways. With adhd it is thought that levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine are abnormally low, also blood flow seems to be reduced in this area, in affected individuals. In contrast, there is thought to be increased activity in this portion of the brain for those suffering with ocd. Due to the prefrontal cortex being responsible for judgment (among other things), it makes sense that decreased activity would cause adhd type symptoms such as lack of inhibition and increased activity in this area would create ocd symptoms like irrational fear of actions.
Also coming in on different ends of the same scale are the differences in levels of glutamate in the bodies of those affected by adhd and ocd. Glutamate is responsible for sending signals between cells in the nervous system. In those with adhd, glutamate has been found to be quite low. For ocd sufferers, the levels of glutamate are abnormally high.
This is, of course, just a basic overview of the similarities and differences between adhd and ocd. These are two of many very complex neurological disorders that continue to be researched and studied. There is sure to be increasing advances in our understanding of these multifaceted ailments in years to come.
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