Attention Deficit Disorder


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The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults

Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D.

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Myths about Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder(ADD/ADHD) abound. This disorder frequently goes unrecognized, and even when diagnosed may be inadequately treated. In this up-to-date and clearly written book, a leading expert offers a new way of understanding ADD. Drawing on recent findings in neuroscience and a rich variety of case histories from his own clinical practice, Dr. Thomas E. Brown describes what ADD syndrome is, how it can be recognized at different ages, and how it can best be treated.

This is the first book to address the perplexing question about ADD: how can individuals, some very bright, be chronically unable to “pay attention,” yet be able to focus very well on specific tasks that strongly interest them? Dr. Brown disputes the “willpower” explanation and explains how inherited malfunctions of the brain’s management system prevent some people from being able to deal adequately with challenging tasks of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. His book is an authoritative and practical guide for physicians and psychologists, parents and teachers, and the 7 to 9 percent of persons who suffer from ADD/ADHD

Thomas E. Brown, PH.D., is assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, and associate director of the Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders. He is author of the Brown Attention Deficit Disorder Scales for Children, Adolescents, and Adults and editor of a textbook, Attention Deficit Disorders and Comorbidities in Children, Adolescents, and Adults.

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"Dr. Brown has written an attractive and accessible account of the way that some findings from psychological science can be applied to understanding ADHD and its impact. People struggling with problems of organising themselves and concentrating will find much here to help them know and overcome their difficulties."—Professor Eric Taylor, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

"While rooted in science, this book goes far beyond the typical clinical explanations to get to the heart of the matter: living with AD/HD. Real people living with AD/HD will understand and embrace Dr. Brown’s 'AD/HD Syndrome' and identify themselves and their loved ones on every page."—Evelyn Polk Green, Attention Deficit Disorder Association

"Dr. Brown gives us valuable glimpses into the lives of people suffering from ADHD and explains the theory and science behind this complex disorder and the impact it can have on the lives of children, adolescents and adults. Readers will come away with new insights and a treasure trove of essential strategies to effectively manage ADHD and related conditions."—Harvey C. Parker, Ph.D., Co-founder of CHADD and author of Problem Solver Guide for Students with ADHD

"A timely, practical and much-needed text on a medical problem of enormous importance heretofore clouded by public misconception, scientific uncertainty and uninformed political debate. Brown provides us with a welcome entry into a lucid empirical discussion of the subject. His clinical rationale is exquisitely attuned to both the critical assessment of statistical fact and the unique human situation of each patient."—Joaquín M. Fuster, University of California, Los Angeles

"Dr. Brown has combined contemporary neuroscience with very good clinical examples. He brings together the essentials of what is currently known about ADD/ADHD in a way that will be very useful for patients, for students and clinicians."—Joseph Sergeant, Free University, Amsterdam

"I think this book makes a very useful contribution. I find the way that you have combined Neuroscientific information with clinical practice and very good examples of ADD bring together the essentials of our knowledge. This book will be very useful for ADD patients at all ages in giving them insight into their disorder. It will be very useful for students and clinicians entering the field to see the connection between basic science and clinical phenomena."—Joseph Sergeant, Free University, Amsterdam

"Attention Deficit Disorder documents Tom Brown's thirty years of listening to patients of all ages who tried, but could not 'pay attention.' Patients will recognize the quality of the deficits that have hampered them, and meet others with similar difficulties. Tom Brown's approach is not that of the DSM-IV and he does not shy away from controversy. This is the first book to take 'focus' itself as its primary focus, both clinically and in its summary of current science. This is in itself an important beginning."—Margaret Weiss, author of ADHD in Adulthood

"Dr. Brown's book clearly describes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and its treatment. Through many stories, it clarifies what is known and what are myths and misinformation."—Mark Wolraich, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

"This book provides a vivid and lucid description of the many and varied signs and symptoms of ADHD across the lifespan; as a clinical resource, it will be useful to mental health professionals and lay readers."—Martha Bridge Denckla, The Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University

"In this book, Dr. Brown provides a compassionate understanding and rich clinical description of individuals who experience persistent and impairing problems with inattention and self-regulation in their daily lives—individuals who manifest Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In so doing, he casts a fresh perspective on the symptoms of ADHD provided by the medical system (DSM-IV), by highlighting the marked cognitive dysfunctions and revealing how both the behavioral and cognitive manifestations of ADHD impact on daily life and change across childhood, adolescence and adulthood. In essence, this book advises clinicians to pay attention to inattention."—Rosemary Tannock, PhD, The Hospital for Sick Children & University of Toronto, Canada

"Dr. Brown has written a fine book, rich with clinical anecdotes that provide great insight into the manner in which ADD/ADHD can disrupt cognitive, behavioral, social, educational, and occupational domains of daily life activities. His explanations of the executive system of the brain and how ADHD may interfere with this crucial aspect of human self-regulation nicely demonstrates why ADHD is a far more profound disorder of cognitive development than many people believe. Dispelling many myths about the disorder and its treatment, this book provides scientifically based recommendations for the management of the disorder and its associated impairments. Well done and well worth reading."—Russell A. Barkley, 

SUNY Upstate Medical School

"A fine book, rich with clinical anecdotes that provide great insight into ADD/ADHD. . . . It demonstrates why ADHD is a far more profound disorder of cognitive development than many people believe. Dispelling many myths about the disorder and its treatment, this book provides scientifically based recommendations for the management of the disorder. . . . Well done and well worth reading."—Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., SUNY Upstate Medical School

"Brown’s view [that AD/HD 'occurs along a continuum of severity'] rings true to many mental-health professionals. It certainly does to me. And I’m sure it will ring true to parents who have been told that their child’s 'significant symptoms of AD/HD' don’t quite meet the official criteria for a diagnosis of AD/HD. . . . Thanks to the clinical vignettes that complement Brown’s explanations, this intelligent book does a better job of explaining AD/HD than any book in recent memory. It’s a must-read for anyone with an interest in AD/HD, whether of a personal or professional nature."—Kathleen Nadeau, ADDitude Magazine

"His book is an authoritative and practical guide for physicians and psychologists, parents and teachers, and the 7 to 9 percent of persons who suffer from ADD/ADHD."—Adolescence

"Brown's book is thorough and compassionate. Consider it essential reading if you are concerned about a child or an adult who may be struggling with this syndrome."—Mary Beth Regan, Baltimore Sun

"An excellent account. . . . He delineates clearly how the syndrome evolved into a psychiatric disorder. . . . His explanation of how research in neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychology links to ADD is extremely interesting. . . . This book should be in all health care providers’ libraries. Highly recommended."—Choice

"Although many write of executive functions in rather general terms . . . Brown provides a very clear structure for defining and understanding this complex set of brain functions that are often impaired in those with ADHD. . . . Although there has been a growing consensus that current diagnostic criteria are more appropriate for children than for adults, Brown is one of the first to clearly outline developmental differences in ADHD symptoms. . . . Brown's book . . . proceeds to challenge nearly every current DSM-IV diagnostic criterion for ADHD. . . . Here's hoping that the DSM-V committee pays close attention to Brown's reformulation of ADHD."—Journal of Attention Disorders

"Brown successfully strikes a serious blow against the skepticism and ignorance promoted by the popular media in highlighting the complex nature of the disorder and its devastating impact on individuals, families, educational institutions, and the like. Every parent, teacher, or spouse of an ADD child or adult would be well served to have this book in his or her library."—Francine Conway, PsyCRITIQUES

"This book is a valuable resource for people who struggle with attention and concentration, as it not only describes ADD and ADHD but also offers suggestions for getting help."—Science News

". . . Separates myth from reality in a thorough account of the biology and treatment of ADD."—Yale Alumni Magazine

"Dr. Brown, who has treated sufferers of  attention deficit disorder for more than 20 years, separates myth from reality in a thorough account of the biology and treatment of ADD."—Yale Alumni Magazine

"In his provocative new book, psychologist Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D., suggests a novel way of looking at attention-deficit disorder and explains the neurological underpinnings of its symptoms."—ADDitude Magazine

"A compelling text that presents a clear explanation of current knowledge and best practice while proposing an innovative perspective on this complex disorder. . . . Because of its new ideas and helpful suggestions on evaluation and treatment, this book would be an excellent addition to the library of researchers and clinicians interested in fresh perspectives on AD/HD. Laypeople who have ongoing interest in AD/HD would also find this book informative and enjoyable."—ATTENTION! Magazine

"In accessible terms, Brown explains the neurobiology that underlies ADHD and describes the scientific research in both neuropsychology and neuroradiology that contributes to our present understanding of ADHD. . . . I would ask the families, young people, medical residents, and students with whom I work in my clinic to read this book. I would likewise invite teachers, social workers, and others who want to learn more about this condition to read it. Those who work with people with ADHD will hear about the nature of the disorder in the true voices of patients themselves—and about the potentially severe consequences associated with the mismanagement of the condition."—Marsha D. Rappley, New England Journal of Medicine

"This is an excellent book. . . . It is current, thorough, comprehensive and highly informative. It can be read not only by professionals with an interest in the area, but also by lay individuals with sufficient sophistication to read such a book with advantage. It is written in a straightforward style with little omission. This could be used as a companion or supplemental text in an advanced undergraduate or graduate course in psychopathology. Any course focusing on ADD would want to add this book to its reading list. . . . Any reader of this Journal who sees children or adolescents with ADD or ADHD will want to own or borrow it. The price . . . is remarkably reasonable, making this book easy to acquire."—Howard A. Paul, Child and Family Behavior Therapy

"Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults is a resource that provides a fresh perspective on understanding ADHD. Brown's discussions of his views regarding cognition and executive function in ADHD, along with his recommendations pertaining to adult ADHD criteria, set the stage for not only a better understanding of the disorder but for future work as well."—Vishal Madaan and Christopher Kratochvil, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

"A long-awaited, comprehensive book on ADHD that goes beyond mere clinical descriptions and background basic science to integrate the latest clinical, neurobiological and neuro-imaging findings in a manner which is both fascinating and persuasive. . . . This is an essential book on ADHD. It encompasses a broader definition of the disorder with an emphasis on cognitive, emotional and relational difficulties alongside the classic attention/hyperactivity symptoms."—Dimitrios Paschos, International Journal of Environmental Studies

"Tom Brown has lived and breathed—and researched and pondered—ADD for years, so it comes as no surprise that his new book is both reliable and innovative; tested and testing; authoritative and ground-breaking. This is a superb book. I recommend it highly!"—Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most Out of Life with ADD

"Authoritative and ground-breaking. This is a superb book. I recommend it highly!"—Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most Out of Life with ADD (approved edit)

Winner of the 2006 Will Solimene Award for Excellence in Medical Communication from the New England Chapter of the American Medical Writers Association

Selected for Association of American University Presses (AAUP) Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries, 2006

Selected as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2006 by Choice Magazine
ISBN: 9780300119893
Publication Date: November 15, 2006
384 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
8 b/w illus.

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