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Articles by Dr. Billy Levin
ADHD: Confusion and misconception
Written in February 2012 and revised in January 2013
© Dr. W.J. LEVIN MB ChB (Pta)
It is well documented that the left and right brain have
specific functions. It is also well known that in the first
two years of life the right (temperamental) brain is more
dominant from birth, but the left (language) brain is
slowly developing to become naturally dominant by
school entry age - around six years of age.
If the left brain does not mature and become
dominant, it results in neurological dysfunction.
ADHD has been proven to be a genetically inherited
neurological dysfunction, where either the left brain
is immature (leading to ADD and a learning problem)
or the right brain is too well developed (leading to
hyperactivity and a behavioural problem), or various
degrees of both (ADHD). But it is important to note that
ADD and ADHD are not the same!
The classical mesomorphic features such as a high
palate, tiny ear lobes, wide nasal bridge, curved little
finger, symian palmer fold, webbed second/third toe, big
space between big toe and next toe, and bottle brush
hair seen frequently in ADHD cannot be caused by poor
diet, sugar, neglect, or poor parenting. These features
are there from birth. As superficial structures, such as
skin and the human brain are both of ectodermal origin
in the embryo, any genetically inherited dysfunction of
brain might well be accompanied by manifestations of
variation in the superficial structures like skin.
The conventional treatment of ADHD aims to boost
the left brain with stimulants (Ritalin) to provide better
neurological balance and to make the person more
amenable to being taught until, hopefully, the left
brain matures. Any sedative medication suppresses the
immature left brain more than right brain, exacerbating
The correct medication is safe and non-addictive,
however, in order to be effective, it has to be prescribed
at an optimal effective dose to cover at least 12 hours
in a day. Thus, monitoring on a monthly basis using
rating scales is essential. Equally important is parent and
teacher education and guidance.
It is equally well documented that good, healthy
nutrition is essential for a child to develop his or her full
academic and social potential while being given the
optimal environmental opportunity to do so. Deficits in
these areas will not cause a neurological dysfunction,
such as ADHD, but may certainly aggravate it. It is
essential to understand that food and the environment
cannot cause a genetically inherited neurological
condition. Therefore, diet plays no part in the treatment
of ADHD unless there is an additional nutritional
deficiency. This should be corrected if possible, but it is
not part of treating ADHD - there is no scientific research
to validate the concept that diet plays a part in ADHD
The same applies to the misconception that excess
sugar intake causes hyperactivity. How can sugar boost
the right brain and at the same time do nothing to the
left side? If sugar was implicated, all untreated diabetics
would be hyperactive.
There are, unfortunately, major misconceptions in
all medical conditions, but with time, research and
insight, they eventually become factually and correctly
documented. In ADHD this is no different. Feingold
suggested colorants were a problem many years ago.
Ignorant advisors suggested parents were to blame for
not disciplining their children. Anoxia at birth was also
blamed, as was bad teaching in overcrowded schools.
Even pharmaceutical companies have been accused of
having concocted a non-existent condition to be able to
peddle their pharmaceutical drugs.
Clearly, environmental and nutritional factors must
be looked at - but ADHD is inherited and nobody is
to blame for the condition. Some blame must rest on
ignorant professionals’ shoulders, as they are obviously
the ones to see, rectify and educate the lay person.
Major damage is done when unintended misinformation
is suggested by professionals – and it is even worse
when ulterior motives are at work!
A few years ago, 81 fully appointed academic professors
worldwide signed an official protest objecting to
misinformation about ADHD that might persuade
people not to seek expert medical advice and safe
Most experts working with ADHD suggest so many
ADHD patients arrive for the first neurological evaluation,
having already seen many other so-called “professionals”
already. Most have had so many unnecessary tests and
incorrect medical treatments with little or no success.
Some therapies have actually made the ADHD worse.
However, a world authority like Prof Keith Conners
suggests there is no controversy or confusion between
experts, only minor variations in opinion. There is major
confusion and disagreements between non experts!
There is a deeply serious need to rectify this very serious
situation for the sake of our children, their parents and
society. Neglect is causing our country and our patients
millions. The cost of treatment is far more economical
than the cost of neglect!
Dr.W.J. Levin, Written in February 2012 and revised in January 2013
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