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ADD in depth

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DanaJ Site Admin
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ADD in depth

Post Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:19 pm
Source: Veritas Prep

For years, people who have recognized that many children are inherently active have assumed that those who were particularly hyper would simply outgrow such a phase. Today some skeptics still believe that those diagnosed with ADD are simply people who lack willpower and discipline. Yet, given the progress that has been made in understanding the ADD mind, it is increasingly clear that ADD is a very real chemical impairment of the brain that persists in adulthood for 30-50% of those diagnosed as children.

For many years, what is now called ADD was perceived as childhood behavior characterized by impulsivity and an inability to sit still. In the 1970's, researchers first recognized that hyperactive children also had tremendous difficulty maintaining the attention required to complete tasks or listen to their teachers. This realization that inattention rather than hyperactivity was the principal problem led to the first major paradigm shift in understanding ADD syndrome.

Recently, there has been another major change in our understanding of ADD. Researchers have now recognized that ADD symptoms overlap with impairments in executive functions, the brain circuits that prioritize, integrate, and regulate other cognitive functions. Impairment in these functions stems from the brain’s inability to inhibit impulses. The brain of a person with ADD may have difficulty forestalling the impulse to speak out of turn, the inclination to intentionally irritate a sibling (despite knowledge that such action will lead to punishment), the distraction of paperclips on a desk, or the desire to play outside before math homework has been completed.

Persons with ADD who use stimulant medications often experience improvements in executive brain functions and impulse inhibition. There is now considerable evidence that executive functions depend on neurotransmitter chemicals such as dopamine. Stimulant medications like Ritalin affect these chemicals at neural synapse sites that control crucially important executive functions. Stimulants are not without risks and side effects, and stimulants do not cure ADD. But they do alleviate symptoms while the dose of medication is active.

Much remains to be learned about how the brain’s complicated neural networks operate to sustain attention. Yet it seems clear that impairment of executive functions, those brain processes that organize and activate what we generally think of as attention, are the result of the disruption of neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Given the often dramatic alleviation of ADD symptoms under the control of stimulant medications, it is difficult to give credence to the notion that ADD impairments are simply due to a lack of willpower.

Which of the following would be the best title for the passage ?

(A) “ADD: A Lack of Willpower”
(B) “ADD Research and The Six Clusters of Executive Function”
(C) “ADD Medications to Address Neurotransmitter Disruptions”
(D) “ADD: A Childhood Behavior Disorder of Hyperactivity”
(E) “Moving Towards Understand the ADD Mind”

I really like questions that ask for the title because they require you to convey the most and make it super short. Kindda sounds like b-school essays, right?

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Ganesh hatwar Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:27 am
DanaJ wrote:
Source: Veritas Prep

For years, people who have recognized that many children are inherently active have assumed that those who were particularly hyper would simply outgrow such a phase. Today some skeptics still believe that those diagnosed with ADD are simply people who lack willpower and discipline. Yet, given the progress that has been made in understanding the ADD mind, it is increasingly clear that ADD is a very real chemical impairment of the brain that persists in adulthood for 30-50% of those diagnosed as children.

For many years, what is now called ADD was perceived as childhood behavior characterized by impulsivity and an inability to sit still. In the 1970's, researchers first recognized that hyperactive children also had tremendous difficulty maintaining the attention required to complete tasks or listen to their teachers. This realization that inattention rather than hyperactivity was the principal problem led to the first major paradigm shift in understanding ADD syndrome.

Recently, there has been another major change in our understanding of ADD. Researchers have now recognized that ADD symptoms overlap with impairments in executive functions, the brain circuits that prioritize, integrate, and regulate other cognitive functions. Impairment in these functions stems from the brain’s inability to inhibit impulses. The brain of a person with ADD may have difficulty forestalling the impulse to speak out of turn, the inclination to intentionally irritate a sibling (despite knowledge that such action will lead to punishment), the distraction of paperclips on a desk, or the desire to play outside before math homework has been completed.

Persons with ADD who use stimulant medications often experience improvements in executive brain functions and impulse inhibition. There is now considerable evidence that executive functions depend on neurotransmitter chemicals such as dopamine. Stimulant medications like Ritalin affect these chemicals at neural synapse sites that control crucially important executive functions. Stimulants are not without risks and side effects, and stimulants do not cure ADD. But they do alleviate symptoms while the dose of medication is active.

Much remains to be learned about how the brain’s complicated neural networks operate to sustain attention. Yet it seems clear that impairment of executive functions, those brain processes that organize and activate what we generally think of as attention, are the result of the disruption of neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Given the often dramatic alleviation of ADD symptoms under the control of stimulant medications, it is difficult to give credence to the notion that ADD impairments are simply due to a lack of willpower.

Which of the following would be the best title for the passage ?

(A) “ADD: A Lack of Willpower”
(B) “ADD Research and The Six Clusters of Executive Function”
(C) “ADD Medications to Address Neurotransmitter Disruptions”
(D) “ADD: A Childhood Behavior Disorder of Hyperactivity”
(E) “Moving Towards Understand the ADD Mind”

I really like questions that ask for the title because they require you to convey the most and make it super short. Kindda sounds like b-school essays, right?
I choose E
As There is detailed information of research on ADD from 70s to nw

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ArunangsuSahu Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:14 am
(D) is over generalized.

(E) is Correct as Author tries to deconstruct the idea

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Java_85 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:25 am
IMO E is the right answer too.

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ihatemaths Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:02 am
can we have more questions of this type ? say title , content , main idea , and authors point of view.it would be very useful as this can largely help understanding the full content of the passage

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Kshitij Sharma Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:58 pm
E!

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aftableo2006 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Post Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:28 am
answer is E

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Post Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:09 am
Went with A initially. B,C and D are incorrect. I had found E too general.

I realize that A is wrong, because the passage contradicts it. E wins.

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parul9 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:33 am
E!

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DhruvXVII Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Post Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:18 am
Good Passage. I got this one right Smile

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vekchaudhary Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:52 am
IMO E, good question.....different from the ones I tried so far. Can the Title be the topic which is discussed the most in the passage?

The toss up was between D and E, all others are fairly easy to recognize as not the answer. The reason why I didn't go for D was because the passage isn't only about the childhood behavior disorder rather it also talks about the medication and the after effects.

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Post Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:25 pm
This is a science passage so that is often considered to be more difficult in terms of vocabulary. It is also a longer passage so I would say that the passage itself is fairly difficult.

In this case we have just the one question and it is a main idea question, so it is tough to assign the difficulty.

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tgou008 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:33 am
IMO E.

My approach was as follows

A - Is discredited by the final sentence of the last para. Eliminate
B - Some relevance to passage, however no mention anywhere in passage of 'six clusters'. Eliminate
C - Medications and stimulants are mentioned in the passage, however not in the 'crucial' 1st para. Hold for now
D - Eliminate based off final sentence in 2nd para
E - Clearly supported by the first para. In fact "understanding the ADD mind" appears in the 1st para twice, word for word

E clearly superior over C, as E's title is supported by the skull of the passage. While C is supported in a few of the limbs of the passage, it is less CORE to the overall meaning / pt of the passage.

What level difficulty would this be?

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Post Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:08 pm
Here is the official explanation for this question:

Correct answer: (E)

Solution: Answer (E) is correct because the passage describes the progress that has been made in understanding the ADD mind and points out that much more remains to be understood. Answer (A) is incorrect because the author contradicts the suggestion that ADD is simply a lack of willpower. Answer (B) is incorrect because, while executive function is one important topic here, it is not the primary focus of the passage. Also, the six clusters of executive function are never discussed. Answer (C) is incorrect because medications are the focus of only 2 of the 5 paragraphs. This answer is too narrow in scope. Answer (D) is incorrect because, according to the passage, this understanding of ADD was common only until the mid 1970s. The passage is concerned with changes in the understanding of ADD since that time, so this answer ignores the focus of the final three quarters of the passage.

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Post Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:17 am
D: ADD: A Childhood Behavior Disorder of Hyperactivityâ

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