Attention Deficit Disorder

The content of this article is from the book “The Comprehensive Guide to Glutathione”
by Dr. Jimmy Gutman MD

ADD (attention deficit disorder) can also manifest itself as ADHD (attention deficit

hyper activity disorder) when symptoms of excessive physical activity are also present.

This is considered a neurodevelopmental disorder, implying that it usually starts in

childhood and may persist into adulthood.

As the name implies, it is characterized by problems paying attention, avoiding

distraction focusing  and controlling behavior. The frequency of ADD and ADHD are on the rise.

Whether this is due to an increase in actual cases or just that we only now recognize them

as disorders is an ongoing debate among mental health professionals and the public.

Due to this uncertainty, reported rates of ADHD in America vary from 5% (American

Psychiatric Association) to 11% (CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

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Curiously, the most successful drug treatments for ADD and ADHD have

been stimulants. You might wonder why stimulating an already-hyperactive individual

would be helpful. The paradox is resolved by the fact that the area of the brain which

governs hyperactivity has been discovered to actually underperform in ADD/ADHD.

Stimulation “wakes up” the brain area that normally restrains one’s behavior.

The links to oxidative stress were discovered late in ADD/ADHD research.

Only after 2005 was antioxidant therapy seriously considered. In 2006 and 2007, Eastern

European researchers used pycnogenols (a family of antioxidants) to ease the burden

on glutathione levels, but failed to improve symptoms. The correlation. between glutathione

deficiency and ADD/ADHD grew stronger as other researchers entered the arena.

Several teams noticed that children with genetic errors in glutathione metabolism

were more prone to the development of ADD/ADHD. In addition, these GLUTATHIONE

errors made the patients more susceptible to environmental pollutants, which may have

made their immune status even worse. I’m aware of only one study to date that

tried to directly raise glutathione levels in ADD/ADHD patients using NAC

(N-acetylcysteine). Although the results were favorable, it was done in patients who

also suffered from the autoimmune disease Lupus, making the finding much harder to understand. This certainly takes away from the relevance of this research. More work needs to be done.