Retained Primitive Reflexes and ADHD in Children

Results of this study show that ADHD children have high occurrence of primitive reflexes compared to the control group, which indicates that ADHD symptoms may present a compensation of unfinished developmental stages related to diminishing Moro and Galant reflexes

Jana Konicarova


Scholarcy highlights

  • According to current evidence brain functions in their developmental stages are vulnerable to postnatal developmental deficits that likely may have various etiological backgrounds and may cause persisting of the so-called primitive reflexes.Recent findings indicate that persisting of the primitive reflexes may be linked to certain specific neuropsychiatric disorders according to current scientific findings there is no evidence whether these persisting reflexes play a role in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Results of the analysis show that the ADHD participants have higher ratings of primitive reflexes i.e. Moro reflex and Galant reflex in comparison to healthy participants who had lower scores of the primitive reflexes and descriptive statistics shows high differences between the ADHD and control group of participants
  • These persisting developmental stages related to certain motor and cognitive functions may indicate that ADHD present a compensation of unfinished developmental stages related to diminishing of primitive reflexes that may occur as a response to various stimuli
  • These changes possibly may explain ADHD symptoms as consequence of a conflict between higher and lower levels of cognitive and motor functions during brain processing. This finding in ADHD patients is in agreement with few reported studies in patients with dyslexia documenting higher level of persisting primitive reflexes
  • In the light of current findings these data are in agreement with neurological concept proposed by Jacksonian theory according to which persisting primitive reflexes may cause “dissolution” that may result in ADHD patients into various symptomatic forms
  • This process of dissolution related to retained primitive reflexes is based on disinhibition of neural functions or their release from control that leads to dysregulation of later developed adaptive functions and may be linked to various neuropsychiatric syndromes

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