Dr Amen is an expert in Attention Deficit Disorder, and he has been measuring the bloodflow in thousands of brains through SPECT scans (single photon emission computed tomography). By measuring the bloodflow in different parts of a patient's brain, he can compare the results to a database of 111,000 other scans he has made, and draw conclusions that are revolutionizing the field of psychiatry.
"Psychiatrists are the only doctors that don't look at the organ they treat," he laughed during our interview.
When people with ADD try to concentrate, Dr Amen says, the SPECT scan reveals reduced bloodflow in the prefrontal cortex. The harder they try to conecntrate, the worse it gets. The brain betrays them. After helping his patients to change their diets, some people noticed a remarkable difference in just a couple of days. "Your diet is either helping you or hurting you," Dr Amen said. "By eating cheap food with cheap oils, you are increasing inflammation," which Dr Amen likens to a low-level fire in your organs that is cooking your brain.
Daniel's wife, Tana, is an RN who has created 90 recipes for reducing the inflammation in the brain and moderating the symptoms of ADD. It's part of a huge package he has put together for Aware Show listeners, including recordings of many of his public television specials on the 7 different types of ADD.
The 7 Types of ADD
I found this fascinating: the same ADD medication can be helpful or poisonous for someone, it all depends what kind of ADD they have. Each type has different treatments. You can't treat everybody the same - not everybody gets better with stimulants. Some get better, and some get worse.
All 7 types of ADD have the same classic symptoms: short attention span, disorganization, procrastination, and impulse control. He defines the 7 types of ADD as people with specific extra symptoms:
- Type 1 - ADHD - All the classic symptoms, and hyperactivity - they can't sit still.
- Type 2 - Inattentive ADD - Not terribly impulsive, not hyperactive, more common in girls.
- Type 3 - Over-focused ADD -This is the bully, who hold grudges, mildly obsessive, maybe bulimic, stuck in same thoughts all the time. They are pack rats who turn to alcohol to turn off their thoughts.
- Type 4 - Temporal lobe ADD - Learning problems like dyslexia, and emotionally moody and irritable.
- Type 5 - Limbic ADD - Classic symptoms plus depression.
- Type 6 - Ring of Fire - They don't have too little activity in the brain, they have too much. Give them stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall and you make them crazy.
- Type 7 - Anxious ADD - They never get up in front of the class to give a talk, and tend to predict the worst in any situation.
By segmenting the different types of ADD, he can prescribe a treatment that works best for that type of brain. For all these types, Dr Amen says, exercise and healthy foods are always beneficial.
If you are one of the 30% of people who have ADD, or you know someone in your life who is struggling with their attention, I highly recommend you look into Dr Amen's work. This material could help you improve your life dramatically.