Which neurologic/executive functions are disrupted in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Updated: Sep 09, 2021
  • Author: Maggie A Wilkes, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Answer

The major neurologic functions disturbed by the neurotransmitter imbalance of ADHD (ADD) fall into the category of executive function. The 6 major tasks of executive function that are most commonly distorted with ADHD (ADD) include (1) shifting from one mindset or strategy to another (ie, flexibility), (2) organization (eg, anticipating both needs and problems), (3) planning (eg, goal setting), (4) working memory (ie, receiving, storing, then retrieving information within short-term memory), (5) separating affect from cognition (ie, detaching one's emotions from one's reason), and (6) inhibiting and regulating verbal and motoric action (eg, jumping to conclusions too quickly, difficulty waiting in line in an appropriate fashion).


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