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Ncs/pots And Add


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Has there been any studies linking NCS or POTS to ADHD or ADD? My 13 year old son has been diagnosed with NCS, but I think it may be POTS. The doctor treating him said the two terms are almost interchangeable, but I have read different. My issue is that he also has other issues including migraine headaches, frequent nausea and vomiting, and ADHD (more ADD). He is having a lot of problems with attention and concentration at school. I am trying to get help from his school, but they have to do their "testing" before he can qualify. Does anybody know if there is a link between these issues that can support my effort to get help for my son in school?

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I found an article that mentions "They do experience significant inattention which may be an important source of disability." You can go to this link and read the whole article if you click on the free article link.


I know I looked up links for "dysautonomia+ADD", but there is alot of information on dys. and cognitive trouble.

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You know, after reading this is was thinking about it. And methylphenidate (rittalin sp?) is supposed to help with pots. Something to note is that i was diagnosed as having ADD as a child--really it was more that i just didn't care what my teachers were talking about and i wasn't being cognitively stimulated enough. I was on rittalin for two years ages 9-11 and it made me sedated and lazy. I spent a weekend with my grandmother and didn't bring the medication with me. No one thought it would be that big of a deal. It was. I was a 11 year old basket case. I was crying, angry and just plain freaking out behaviorally. My parents had to come pick me up. That was the end of the rittalin for me. I tried taking it again since this pots onset and it didn't seem to help. But am thinking about giving it a try again.

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NCS (neurocardiogenic syncope), also known as NMH (neurally mediated hypotension) and POTS are very closely related. Check out the very informative article by Dr. Peter Rowe at Hopkins that explains the differences and similarities both. http://www.cfids.org/webinar/cfsinfo2010.pdf Patients often have both conditions.

And, YES, there is enormous overlap between the ADD/ADHD phenomenon & dysautonomia, BUT it is hard to find in the medical literature, mainly because of semantics. The same phenomenon is called different things by different physicians. Dysautonomia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/CFIDS) are often used interchangeably. Studies have shown that over 90% of CFS patients also have dysautonomia. Perhaps by searching for the link between CFS and ADD/ADHD; you will find more information. Here's a few blurbs I found that describe the cognitive deficits dsyautonomia patients experience. My son was greatly affected. He is in college now, and very successful, due in large part to his 504 plan.


"Cognitive problems may be a primary symptom of CFS, particularly in children. Affected

children frequently experience difficulties in the school environment. They are typically unable to concentrate and demonstrate lack of memory skills. A common presentation is a child who is able to read a book, but cannot recall what was read, or a child who cannot remember what was said immediately after the teacher has delivered a lesson. One can appreciate what this has done to a child's self-image when applying the descriptions of this syndrome we have heard from its adult victims. Imagine a child who knows he is doing poorly in school, but has no basis for understanding why. It is a very frustrating situation because CFS/CFIDS children truly want to succeed. They want to go out and play and do all of the things they see their peers doing."



"While fainting has been considered a classic symptom of NMH, we have found that many

persons who develop NMH during tilt table testing do not faint in day-to-day life. Chronic

fatigue, muscle aches (or myalgias), headaches, nausea, and mental confusion can be prominent

symptoms of NMH in these individuals. The mental confusion takes the form of difficulty

concentrating, staying on task, paying attention, remembering, or finding the right words. Some

describe being in a “mental fog.” Some develop worse fatigue after mentally demanding

activities, such as reading and concentrating. This may occur because the blood vessels of the

limbs dilate rather than constrict in response to mental tasks, allowing more blood to pool."


Your son already qualifies for help from his school under a 504 plan because of his NCS DX. This great link from DynaKids with everything you need to know:


My heart breaks for you. I KNOW how hard it is. Your son is very lucky to have such a strong Mama fighting for him.



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Oh, I meant to add one more thing. Some of the ADD/ADHD meds are also used for dysautonomia- coincidence? I think not :rolleyes: My son began taking concerta for fatigue/bradycardia and for the vasoconstricting effect. after his first week, he said "Whoah- I can think so much better!" Great side effect for a student :D Now, that's one of his mainstay meds. He claims he can't get out of bed without it.

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