DAMP is form of ADHD

DAMP stands for deficits in attention, motor control and perception. It was first put into words by a Swedish psychiatrist called Christopher Gillberg in the 80s. DAMP is a form of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder) with an increased difficulty in developmental coordination skills (that is difficulty in concentrating, in conjunction with motor skills).

In Sweden, the term DAMP replaced the use of the term Minimal Brain Dysfunction (MBD) which was fully gotten rid of in the 90s.

DAMP is a milder form of ADHD.  However, people suffering from DAMP rarely get diagnosed. They have some difficulties with concentration and the inability to concentrate on the task that they have been given. In other cases, the interest of such people is in seconds. They easily get distracted once something new shifts around them.  With the ever changing interests and new activities brings about the impulse to do whatever comes to their minds without having any second thought s about the effects this new activity will cause.

Since people with DAMP have a low impulse control level, they usually are prone to accidents. They cannot be trusted to be in one place for a long time. The high risk injury is also associated with the fact that their developed motor skills are low when compared to that of their peers. Persons with ADHD have poor perception as well as a poor sleep rhythm.

However, people with DAMP are often quiet and not troublemakers.

Difference between DAMP and ADHD

The main difference between of DAMP and ADHD is that persons with DAMP have additional deficits that involve motor control and perception. DAMP patients always have deficits in

handwriting as well as other motor functions


sensory perception

Causes of DAMP

This condition is mainly due to the functioning properties of brain regions. This was discovered when an MRI was conducted in some children. Others argue that DAMP is a genetic condition. The diagnosis of this condition is usually made from the physical tests from parents and teachers on the specific symptoms displayed by the children.

An important thing worth noting is the fact that adults can as well be diagnosed with DAMP.

Further symptoms displayed by persons with DAMP include;

These people have less of the hormone norepinephrine (therefore, they low alertness levels), and dopamine (for muscle movement, enthusiasm, joy, creativity and muscle movement). Because the brain has insufficient levels of the aforementioned neurotransmitters, it tries to compensate that with adrenaline hence, their inability to sit still in an area for long periods). Insufficient of dopamine makes these people to be always sour and negative.

PET scans have revealed that people who suffer from DAMP use glucose differently. It was seen that the core region of the brain that is in control of activity levels uses less glucose that in the other brain parts.

Photo: David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo: David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

There are other several different findings that may try to explain the capability of the brain screening out information that is irrelevant is disturbed, in people with DAMP. Children with this condition seem to that ability way later than those without the condition.

Treatment options for this condition

Low doses of substances that contain amphetamine such as atomoxetine have been discovered to reduce the problems that result from this condition. There is no cure for this condition, however, the symptoms can change or be alleviated over time.

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