Exercise helps ADHD children, especially females.
"The implication is that exercising during development, as your brain is growing, is changing the brain in concert with normal developmental changes, resulting in your having more permanent wiring of the brain in support of things like learning and memory," says Bucci. "It seems important to [exercise] early in life."
Though the initial experiments were on rats, they also did human studies.
Moving forward, they investigated a mechanism through which exercise seems to improve learning and memory. This is "brain derived neurotrophic factor" (BDNF) and it is involved in growth of the developing brain.
The subjects in this new study were Dartmouth undergraduates and individuals recruited from the Hanover community.
Bucci says that, "the really interesting finding was that, depending on the person's genotype for that trophic factor [BDNF], they either did or did not reap the benefits of exercise on learning and memory. This could mean that you may be able to predict which ADHD child, if we genotype them and look at their DNA, would respond to exercise as a treatment and which ones wouldn't."
Exercise, in this case, does NOT include football.
...the research, which first focused on the effects of concussions, now shows something even more disturbing: More than half the players who never suffered concussions experience neurophysiological changes to their brain that often affects cognitive abilities. [emphasis mine]