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Old 01-10-2011, 06:30 PM   #14
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Re: ADHD education of critical importance

The target:

Psychotropic meds cause more neurotransmitter to enter the synapse or cause the neurotransmitter to remain in the synapse longer and in many cases, the meds affect both actions.

Why they help.

Key point: The neuron will not fire an action potential until the sum of all of its synaptic electrical charges (potentials) at any one moment equals or exceeds its threshold.

Each neuron is said to be "all or nothing." Either the neuron fires or it doesn't fire. The postsynaptic neuron fires when the sum total of all its postsynaptic receptors put-through charges equal or exceed the neuron's threshold. The neuron "spikes" on >= threshold and outputs its neurotransmitter. Each charge dissipates rapidly on synaptic neurotransmitter (signal) termination. The input is lost if the neurotransmittor signal terminates before the postsynaptic neuron reaches its threshold.

Therefore, if we get more neurotransmitter into the synapse and we get it to stay in the synapse longer, we stand a much better chance that the postsynaptic neuron threshold will be reached and fires just like we want it too.

Different medications work on different mechanisms in the synapse and in the neurons on both sides of the synapse. The more powerful meds, such as amphetamines, work on many mechanisms causing a cascading increase in both quantity and time of the effected neurotransmitters in the synapse.

The above is a pretty accurate layman's description.

How does it help me?

If we can add more synapses between each neuron to neuron connection, we increase the odds that the postsynaptic neuron threshold will be reached and fire its output.

It could be that psychotropic meds are over-boosting each synapse to compensate for the lack of synapses in an under developed system. Many top shelf experts subscribe to the "developmental delay" theory to explain ADHD. I lean heavily toward that opinion. Kids can grow out of ADHD. Adults can too with medication and therapy and time. Severity can monkey wrench some into a life-time with ADHD. For the latter, life-long medication can manage the disorder well enough so they function satisfactorily.

Please, note, everything I've written including what I've deemed "accurate" is grossly over simplified. I tried going from the micro view to the macro view. I take one step up into the macro and I lose everything I think I know into an unbelieveable, heck, unimagineable complexity of the CPU we can our "brain." Wow. I'm done with it for the sake of keeping the little sanity I possess.

Bob