Vol. 4, No. 2, 1998 Page 4


ADHD/Driving Abilities and
Frontal Lobes/Social Improvement

A recent study supports earlier findings (see related article, Crime Times, 1997, Vol. 3, No. 2, Page 6) linking attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to poor driving.

S. Nada-Raja and colleagues studied 916 adolescents with ADHD, conduct disorder, anxiety, depression, or no mental health problems. Both self-reports and traffic conviction records were used to identify teens who had committed traffic offenses between the ages of 15 and 18.

The researchers found that "ADHD symptomatology and conduct disorder were strongly associated with driving offenses." In particular, they note, ADHD in females appeared to be a significant risk factor for driving offenses and traffic crashes.


"Inattentive and hyperactive behaviors and driving offenses in adolescence," S. Nada- Raja, J. D. Langley, R. McGee, S. M. Williams, D. J. Begg, and A. I. Reeder, Journal of the Am. Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 36, No. 4, April 1997, pp. 515-522. Email address: S. Nada-Raja, shyamala@gandalf.otago.ac.nz.


Injuries to the frontal lobes of the brain often cause behavior to worsen, but Lawrence Labbate et al. recently reported on three cases in which such injuries caused patients' behavior to improve. Two of the patients exhibited antisocial behaviors before but not after their injuries, while a third was "cured" of overinhibition. The researchers say, "Frontal brain trauma may occasionally produce acceptable changes in behavior by altering preexisting frontal lobe dysfunction, perhaps similar to ways in which surgical lesions of frontal pathways have been used to treat pathologic mood or anxiety."


"Salutary change after frontal brain trauma," Lawrence Labbate, Deborah Warden, and George Murray, Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1997, pp. 27-30. Address: Lawrence Labbate, Mental Health Services, VA Med. Center No. 116, 109 Bee St., Charleston, SC 29401.

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