Attention deficit is one of the causes of incontinence in children and young people

Attention deficit is one of the causes of incontinence in children and young people
Attention deficit is one of the causes of incontinence in children and young people
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More recently, however, doctors have come to understand that the path is two-way, drawing a triangle that connects dysfunctions of the lower urinary tract with constipation (yes, constipation!) and the brain. And, in the same way that these problems usually lead to mental and psychic issues, the opposite can be true.

“Today, research with functional magnetic resonance imaging, which reveals the brain in action, demonstrates that a deficit in attention can, indeed, cause or, at the very least, aggravate lower urinary tract dysfunction”, exemplifies urologist Ubirajara Barroso Júnior, who is professor at UFBA (Federal University of Bahia, where he coordinates the Urology discipline.

At the same brain address

In a study that the Bahian urologist’s group carried out with 806 children and adolescents aged 5 to 14 years, the probability of having emotional or behavioral problems was 2.6 times greater in those who had some urinary tract dysfunction. Like a chicken and an egg, these problems could have arisen even before and worsened later.

Barroso Júnior is not surprised by this relationship. “The nerve signals that the bladder sends to the brain — informing, for example, whether it is full or not — end up in the same area responsible for decision-making and controlling behavior, which would be the prefrontal cortex, at the time of our forehead. And these signals even reach more primitive regions, such as the cingulate gyrus, involved in emotional control.” The way back from these nervous messages, of course, also exists.

After 5 years

“You may be wondering why this and other works in the same vein only evaluate participants aged 5 or over”, asks the professor, before answering later. “It’s just that, from that age onwards, every child should already urinate like an adult. That is, their brain should be fully capable of interpreting when the bladder is full and making the decision to go to the bathroom to empty it, getting there with relative calm, without leaking urine along the way.”

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Attention deficit incontinence children young people

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