Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD hereafter) is a disorder associated with the impaired development of the child's nervous system and can be prolonged to adulthood with the symptoms such as impulsivity, inattention, issues with remembering of information.
Stress, especially chronic stress, also negatively affects brain function and causes nearly the same symptoms as ADHD. The symptoms are almost parallel. Recent research is shedding more light on the relationship between stress and ADHD. There might be a combination of genetic and environmental factors that influence ADHD onset, and, interestingly, the majority of environmental factors are related to chronic stress during pregnancy or in life.
The aim of this review is evaluating the similarities and differences between ADHD and chronic stress, and analyze the nature of alterations caused by ADHD and chronic stress.
Research findings showed that in several brain areas both ADHD and stress create similar structure alterations (mainly reduction) (Saenz et al., 2019; Blix et al., 2013). But that data is not 100% consistent and may need more research. Also, in the amygdala (Hoogman et al., 2017; Perlov et al., 2008) and in the hippocampus (Hoogman et al., 2017; Plessen et al., 2006), we see not consistent data and even have an opposite direction of data that needs further review and might explain that these brain structures both are not properly functioning but in different ways