Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of several childhood disorders that encompass behavioral difficulties. Diagnosis of this disorder requires multiple symptoms of either inattention or hyperactivity that have persisted a minimum of six months; some of these symptoms must have been present prior to age seven. It is important to realize that simple inattention or hyperactivity by itself is not sufficient for diagnosis. ADHD has been overdiagnosed in both children and adults by parents, teachers, and even by the patients themselves. Misbehavior by children or teens has been inappropriately diagnosed and treated by persons looking for a "simple" solution to personality difficulties in hopes of avoiding psychotherapy. ADHD is thought to affect 30% of school age children.
The cause of ADHD has not yet been determined. There is thought to be a neurochemical basis involving catecholamines (adrenaline-related chemicals). Studies over the past 20 years involving twins, adoptions, and more recently, molecular investigations, have provided evidence of a genetic basis for the disorder.
The standard method of treatment consists of medication. Often a combination of agents is used.
The Medifocus Guide on Attention Deficit Disorder provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of attention deficit disorder?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing attention deficit disorder?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of attention deficit disorder?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of attention deficit disorder?
What treatment options are available for the management of attention deficit disorder?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in attention deficit disorder?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for attention deficit disorder?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about attention deficit disorder?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
ADHD in parents. 2000
Attention deficient disorder -- part I. Harvard Mental Health Letter. 2000
Collaborative possibilities for molecular genetic studies of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: report from an international conference. The ADHD Molecular Genetics Network. American Journal of Medical Genetics. 2000
Genetics of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: are we ready for molecular genetic studies?. American Journal of Medical Genetics. 2000
The Texas Children's Medication Algorithm Project: Report of the Texas Consensus Conference Panel on Medication Treatment of Childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Part II: Tactics. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. 2000
The Texas Children's Medication Algorithm Project: Report of the Texas Consensus Conference Panel on Medication Treatment of Childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Part I. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. 2000
Clinical practice guideline: diagnosis and evaluation of the child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatrics. 2000
Bipolar disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2000
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a neuropsychiatric disorder with childhood onset. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology. 2000
Are stimulants overprescribed for youths with ADHD?. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry. 2000
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