Inattentive ADD Treatment Must be Tailored to Individual Symptoms

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Inattentive ADD treatment ought not be the same as the treatment for the other subtypes of ADHD. The symptoms of persons with Inattentive ADD (ADHD-PI) and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) are dissimilar and their response to stimulant medication is also rather dissimilar. Inattentive ADHD treatment proves to be more unmanageable for numerous psychiatrist and psychologist because people without hyperactive or impulsive symptoms will not respond to stimulants as well or in the same way as patients with the typical ADHD symptoms will.

When using stimulants for Inattentive ADD treatment, the Adderall family of stimulants may work better than the Ritalin family. Ritalin has been found in studies to make persons with no hyperactive symptoms, like those with SCT or ADHD-PI, feel strange, anti-social or downhearted. Ritalin acts differently than Adderall on the Neurotransmitters that are thought responsible for the symptoms of Inattentive ADHD but it is not clear why a lot of persons treated for ADHD-PI with Ritalin tolerate it so poorly.

Adderall, which is in the amphetamine class of stimulants, may on occasion also cause the side effects described above but studies have proved them to have less of these negative side effects and be better tolerated by patients with SCT and Inattentive ADD when compared to the Ritalin or Methylphenidate family of stimulants.

When using stimulants for Inattentive ADD treatment, practitioners must follow a "start low and go slow" approach because researchers have found that the treatment of ADHD-PI is best achieved with low doses of stimulants that are titrated or adjusted to higher doses in a slow manner.

Russell Barkley, arguably the most well known expert in the ADHD scientific community, has reported that Inattentive ADHD treatment is distinctive and that physicians will have to foresee that only one in five Inattentive ADD patients will show a sufficiently therapeutic response to stimulant therapy to warrant continuing them on medication. Two thirds will show a mild betterment but those improvements are not sufficient to call them clinical responders. Barkley goes on to say that the dosing applied to treat ADHD-PI is also dissimilar. He reports that the other subtypes do much better on moderate to high doses of stimulants whereas, "Inattentive children, if they are going to react at all, respond at very light doses, very little doses. "

There are a great number of researchers who feel that Inattentive ADHD treatment must not require stimulants at all. One researcher reported that the treatment response to stimulants of patients with Inattentive ADHD was "hauntingly reminiscent to that seen in normal children placed on stimulants" (Rapoport and colleagues). These researchers found that 'normal' children and children with ADHD-PI become hypo-active and report feeling 'strange' while on the stimulants.

These same researchers have observed that when stimulants are prescribed to treat persons with Inattentive ADD or SCT, that these patients become sluggish and their symptoms appear to worsen. Decreasing the motor activity level of persons who have low motor activity levels to begin with, as is the case in Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, or normal levels of motor activity, as is the case of ADHD-PI is, they report, unsuitable.

A lot of psychiatrists have found that a few ADHD-PI and SCT patients do much better when their ADHD-PI symptoms are treated with Atomoxetine (Strattera) or Guanfacine (Tenex). These Inattentive ADHD treatment medications act on dissimilar neural pathways that are thought to be amiss in ADHD-PI and SCT. These medicines act less on motor activity and some psychiatrists and researchers believe that they are, hence, better alternatives for treating Inattentive ADD symptoms like slow cognitive processing and working memory deficiencies.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been found to be more utile for treating the Inattentive subtype of ADHD than it is for treating the combined type or Hyperactive/Impulsive type of this disorder. The CBT treatment programs that work best for Inattentive ADD treatment are behavioral therapies that distinctively target the symptoms that are most problematic in ADHD-PI and SCT. Cognitive behavioral programs that address motivational deficiencies, memory troubles, organizational abilities deficiencies and time management troubles have been shown to offer great promise for the treatment of Inattentive ADD and SCT.

Cognitive Behavioral Programs designed for the Hyperactive/Impulsive and Combined types of ADHD will not be almost as utile for the Inattentive ADD treatment. These programs tend to address dissimilar areas of trouble like impulsive conduct that do not need remediation or treatment in patients with Inattentive ADHD and SCT. These programs many times pay less attention to the distinctive difficulties seen in ADHD-PI, like the daily memory failures and motivational deficits that may cause major disruptions in the lives of persons with ADHD-PI and SCT and for these reasons, they will be less effective.

Inattentive ADD treatment and SCT treatment poses various challenges for health care workers and physicians not only because the symptoms of this disorder are dissimilar but also because their response to medication and behavioral therapies are dissimilar. Health care workers and physicians ought to be cautious when using stimulants for Inattentive ADHD treatment or SCT treatment.

Inattentive ADD therapies that involve a stimulant drug should take a ‘start slow and go slow’ approach to treatment. All behavioral Inattentive ADD treatments should be tailored to treat only the problematic symptoms seen in these disorders. It is imperative that psychiatrist take these considerations into account because all inattentive ADD treatment programs will be more successful if an approach such as this one is implemented.

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Tess Messer has 1 articles online

Tess Messer has published over 200 articles on Inattentive ADD, the Inattentive subtype of ADHD. She works as a Physician Assistant and parents two boys with ADHD. For a free Inattentive ADHD Organizational tool visit: [Inattentive but Organized]

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This article was published on 2010/12/25