Have you ever wondered why a child with ADD can play videos games for hours but can’t concentrate on his homework for a few minutes? This is one of the paradoxes of attention-deficit disorder that John J Ratey, MD, co-author of Driven To Distraction : Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood, explains in Episode 45 of the Brain Science Podcast.
During this interview Dr. Ratey discusses the latest findings about the biological basis of what he calls “attention variability disorder.” He also offers practical advice for patients and parents dealing with ADD/ADHD. One very important, and somewhat surprising, fact that he shares is that patients who are treated with medications during adolescence have a significantly lower risk of developing problems with addiction and drug abuse later on compared to those who are not treated. Also, successful “ADDers” like Michael Phelps show that “having a mission” makes a huge difference.
Dr. Ratey’s most recent book is Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, which he discussed with me (Dr. Campbell) in Episode 33.