attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD

A childhood disorder affecting boys ten times as often as girls and featuring constant excessive physical activity, restlessness, unthinking impulsiveness, short span of attention and concentration, lack of responsiveness and unwillingness to participate with others in normal childhood activities. An MRI study published in late 2003 showed that children and adolescents with ADHD had reduced brain volume in the dorsal prefrontal cortices and in the anterior temporal corices. Even so, the condition is believed to be grossly over-diagnosed. In some areas in the USA 5 per cent of boys aged 10–11 are being treated for this condition, mostly with methylphenidate (Ritalin). The drug ATOMOXETINE, which is neither a psychostimulant nor an amphetamine derivative, was introduced in mid-2004. Recent studies suggest that ritalin does not, in the long-term, improve education, relationships or behaviour. Memory training and cognitive behaviour therapy seem preferable.
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