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Literature Review There has been considerable research published showing the effects of ADHD medication; however, there

is little research about ADHD in adults and how diet can help improve ADHD symptoms. Our proposed research will fill this gap in the literature. In our literature review, we will discuss what ADHD is, the current treatments used, the side-effects of these treatments, how diet affects the brain, and the benefits of the Paleolithic diet. Overview of ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, is the most common neurobiological disorder among children, but also is common in adulthood. ADHD continues into adulthood for an estimated two-thirds of the children who suffered from it and about 4.5% of adults meet the criteria for ADHD (Advokat et al., 2008). The DSM-V characterizes ADHD as a pattern of behavior, presented in multiple settings (e.g., school and home), that can result in performance issues in social, educational, or work settings which symptoms include failure to pay close attention to details, difficulty organizing tasks and activities, excessive talking, fidgeting, or an inability to remain seated in appropriate situations. ADHD is problematic among adults because it decreases educational achievement, socioeconomic status, and occupational status (Advokat et al., 2008). Also, people with ADHD are at an increased risk for developing anti-social disorders and drug abuse (Mannuzza et al., 1997). College students that are managing their ADHD symptoms can find it exceptionally difficult because it is the first time they are on their own. There is no cure for ADHD, though there are treatment methods for people managing their symptoms. The most common treatment method is prescription medications, though diverse side-effects often follow. Current Treatment Methods and Side Effects Prescription medications are the most common treatment method for ADHD, though unfortunately varying side-effects often follow. Current evidence shows using immediate-release Methylphenidate (MPH) as a first-line treatment is the most effective treatment method for adults with ADHD (Peterson et al., 2008). Dexamphetamine ( DEX) is another medication used to treat ADHD. The side-effects of MPH and DEX, which are stimulants, include insomnia, appetite suppression, irritability, proneness to crying, anxiousness, sadness/unhappiness, and nightmares (Efron et al., 1997). Other research shows that MPH and other stimulants also cause jitteriness, abdominal pain, and anorexia, and in rare cases Paranoia and psychosis can result from the ADHD medication (Hall et al., 2005). There are also many ADHD medications which are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. These types of medications have sideeffects that include mild nausea, headaches, odd dreams, sleep disturbance, decreased libido, and delayed orgasm, and more seriously anxiety, agitation, and increased obsessive thinking about suicide (Hall et al., 2005). Are these side-effects worth it to decrease symptoms in ADHD sufferers? Many ADHD sufferers decide to handle their symptoms on their own rather than experience these unpleasant side-effects, though research is pointing towards diet as an alternative method to beat these symptoms. How Diet Affects the Brain

Research shows that diet affects the brain in various ways. One study shows that healthy children perform better on tests than overweight children (Datar et al., 2004). It can be indicated that overweight children consume a less nutritional balanced diet than non-overweight children. Another study looked at the effects of breakfast on childrens cognition. The children were given various performance tests including addition, multiplication, grammatical reasoning, number checking, vocabulary, and creativity. They also gave endurance tests to the children. This study showed that the amount of energy intake at breakfast correlated with childrens cognitive functioning and academic performance (Wyon et al., 1997). These studies show the importance of nutrition on the brains cognitive functioning. Another study showed that the eliminations of trigger foods in children with ADHD, such as sugar and additives, caused them to not be considered to have ADHD anymore based on the DSM-IV-criteria (Toorman et al., 2009). There is an abundance of research that shows the effects of diet on the brain and on ADHD symptoms. While this research is mostly focused on children, our research will target college students. The Paleolithic Diet The typical diet of industrialized western societies is known as the Standard American Diet (SAD). The SAD has undergone considerable changes since in the 1950s by making calorie-dense and nutrient-poor food and beverages more readily available (Grotto & Zied, 2010). Although the SAD has undergone recent chance with the newly mass marketed processed food, the western diet is rooted in the agricultural revolution. Roughly 3,000 years ago when agriculture became widely adopted the health of many Europeans began to plummet (Gibbons, 2009). These changes were seen as revolutions, but the long-term consequences were not foreseen. The typical diet of industrialized western societies can contribute to the decline in cognitive function (Grotto & Zied, 2010). It has been suggested that a diet eaten by humans during the Paleolithic Era starting 10,000 years ago could reverse the negative effects of the SAD by providing the necessary nutrients for optimal functioning. This is known as the Paleolithic diet. The Paleolithic diet is a modern dietary regimen based on foods presumably eaten regularly during the Paleolithic era, which includes lean meat, fish, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, roots, eggs and nuts, but not grains, dairy products, salt or refined fats and sugar (Jnsson et al., 2009). The Paleolithic diet is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which have been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms (Sinn & Bryan, 2007). Freshly caught fish and grass fed beef is commonly eaten in the Paleolithic diet. Research shows that wild game has over five times more PUFAs per gram than domestic livestock (Crawford 1968). Strong evidence supports PUFAs reduce ADHD symptoms, which are plentiful within the Paleolithic diet. Our research plans to directly examine how well the Paleolithic diet can help reduce ADHD symptoms, which has not yet been researched. Changes in our diets have had detrimental effects. ADHD is on the rise, in which there is no cure. Medications can help manage symptoms, though there are often side-effects. Many people with ADHD have decided to opt out of medical treatment. Research has strongly pointed to the Paleolithic diet having benefits to people with ADHD. Though, research has focused little on ADHD in adults and mostly on children. Also, there is little discussion of diet as a treatment method for ADHD in current research. Our project proposal fills these gaps by studying how diet can be used as a healthier and natural alternative to help manage ADHD symptoms among college students.