Asperger Syndrome is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (or Pervasive Developmental Disorder) characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors and interests. Those with Asperger Syndrome, or AS, may exhibit a lack of empathy for their peers, clumsiness, and atypical use of language, though none of these symptoms are required for a diagnosis.1
The pain of coming to terms with having Asperger's is still very real for me right now. There is a tremendous sense of grief. Grief for all that I suffered through to try to be "normal" and grief for how short of "normal" I always have been. There is also great relief to know that I am not crazy and that not everything can be traced back to an abusive past in the sense that some of what I experience is not choice/emotional but neurons/physical. The greatest challenge I face right now is trying to figure out which is which. This is not easy.
One of the most common side effects of a number of antidepressant medications is loss of sex drive. I could forgive our friends at fine companies such as Eli Lilly, Bristol Meyers Squibb, and Pfizer if dry mouth, irritability, disrupted sleep patterns, loss of appetite, sloth, and social phobia were the sole issues related to the medications I take on a daily basis. However, it is the sex thing I find most challenging.
Anhedonia is the technical term for the inability to experience joy. When people are in the depths of depression, nothing touches them, not the most intensely pleasurable activities, not the most familiar comforts. They are emotionally frozen. In this state, people either have to get professional help or simply wait for weeks or months until the depression lifts by itself; nothing is going to make them feel better.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects one person in every hundred.
Depression is perhaps the most common of all mental health problems, currently felt to affect one in every four adults to some degree. Depression is a problem with mood/feeling in which the mood is described as sad, feeling down in the dumps, being blue, or feeling low. While the depressed mood is present, evidence is also present which reflects the neurochemical or "brain chemistry" aspects of depression with the depressed individual experiencing poor concentration/attention, loss of energy, accelerated thought/worry, sleep/appetite disturbance, and other physical manifestations. When this diagnosis is present, the individual will exhibit at least five of the following symptoms during the depressive periods:
ADHD is characterized by a lack of attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors. Which makes a person with this condition distracted, restless and fidgety, with a lack of regard for social niceties. There are a number of medications that can be prescribed to address the behaviors of ADHD, however to avoid or reduce dependence on medications, some people have looked at other alternatives like the DMAE ADHD connection.
DMAE or the dimethyl-amino-ethanol is a substance that is produced in the brain and is believed to increase the levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. DMAE is also found in fish, like anchovies, and sardines.
There were a couple of studies carried out in the 1970's that looked at using DMAE as a treatment for ADHD. In one ten-week double blind study of 50 children (6-12yrs) compared DMAE to a placebo. At the end of the study those children taking DMAE had showed significant improvements in their test scores.
A second 10-week double blind study of 74 children compared DMAE with Ritalin and a placebo. Both the DMAE and Ritalin group showed significant improvements.
However, since then the focus on the use for DMAE has been on improving memory and moods, with no actual clinical studies taking place regarding the effectiveness of DMAE on ADHD.
There is however, quite a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that DMAE could be beneficial to children and adults with ADHD. DMAE has shown promising results in reducing hyperactivity and also in improved concentration. This could prove invaluable in classroom settings where ADHD children could often become restless, distracted and bored.
It has been reported that DMAE may offer the following benefits to ADHD sufferers:
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Taking DMAE in recognized doses has shown it to be tolerated well although, there are some possible side effects, which include headache, insomnia, restlessness, depression, and irritability.
As DMAE is non-toxic these side effects will diminish when DMAE is stopped. Should any of the side effects occur then stop the dosage and restart a few days later at a lower level and wait a week before increasing again.
If you were considering supplementing your child's diet with DMAE it would be worthwhile consulting your doctor prior to starting any new regime.
There does seem to be a dmae ADHD improvement link, but larger controlled studies are required to confirm this for sure.
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