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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Einstein verses ADD/ADHD

By Cheryl Schoonmaker

Had Albert Einstein, the man who revolutionized physics years ago, lived in America today he would have been a prime candidate to be labeled ADD/ADHD and prescribed drugs. He and many other great icons of history were considered unmanageable and/or dreamed too much in class. More and more children today are testing teachers and supervisors with uncontrolled behavior.

With millions of American children labeled and on ADD/ADHD drugs, could it be that more gifted children are evolving? The cerebral cortex is responsible for higher brain functions, including sensation, voluntary muscle movement, thought, reasoning, and memory. New studies published in the journal Nature found that the cortex continued to thicken in gifted children until around age 11 or 12, much later than in children of average intelligence, whose cortex thickening peaked by age 8. By the late teens they even out with the average student. This may give insight to why the so many gifted children act different and/or show signs of immaturity than that of the same age children with average intelligence. These behaviors may be mistaken as a perfect ADD/ADHD candidate.

It is during the cortex development, neurons in the brain make many connections. Drugs may affect how these connections are made. They could alter how neurons are generated or "born," how neurons migrate to the proper places in the brain, how axons grow, or how synapses form. Several studies that suggest ADD/ADHD drugs cause changes in the brains of young animals. Young rats exposed to these drugs developed memory problems that persisted into adulthood.

Albert Einstein quoted: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Without the exploration of using imagination the wheel would not be. Why not incorporate more usage of imagination in class, knowledge would be sought after and a deficit would disappear.

On Einstein's 72nd birthday in 1951, the UPI photographer Arthur Sasse was trying to persuade him to smile for the camera. Having done this for the photographer many times that day, Einstein stuck out his tongue instead. The image is used in a poster used in the UK as part of dyslexia education, which has a string of posters showing great scientists, thinkers and artists and talks about the unfounded (not specified within the posters) claims that they had/have dyslexia. May 13th 2007

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