Differences in Brain Chemicals
The brains of people with executive functioning issues may not use norepinephrine effectively. Norepinephrine and dopamine are the main chemicals that help the brain maintain focus and control impulses.
As norepinephrine travels through nerve cells, it carries information to the prefrontal cortex and is used by other nerve cells to trigger the brain to react. But sometimes nerve cells in the prefrontal cortex block the use of norepinephrine. When that happens, kids with executive functioning issues aren’t able to control impulses or pay attention well. (The same goes for kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD.)