attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

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Related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: attention deficit disorder

at·ten·tion def·i·cit hy·per·ac·tiv·i·ty dis·or·der (ADHD),

a behavioral disorder manifested by developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattentiveness (short attention span, distractability, inability to complete tasks, difficulty in following directions), impulsiveness (acting without due reflection), and hyperactivity (restlessness, fidgeting, squirming, excessive loquacity). To meet diagnostic criteria of ADHD as set forth in DSM-IV, the patient must display six or more specific symptoms of inattention, or six or more symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level. In addition, symptoms must have been present before age seven and there must be clear evidence of functional impairment in at least two settings (for example, domestic, social, academic, occupational).

Attention deficit disorder, with or without hyperactivity, is a common, chronic behavioral disorder, most evident in children but often persisting through adolescence and into adulthood. The prevalence among children of school age is 3-15%, depending on how stringently diagnostic criteria are applied. As many as two thirds of patients continue to meet diagnostic criteria in adulthood, and it is estimated that 4% of the adult U.S. population is affected. Strong evidence suggests a genetic predisposition: about 25% of patients have at least one parent with the disorder, and it is about eight times more common in males than in females. Children with this disorder have a higher incidence of anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, academic underachievement, antisocial behavior, and substance abuse. Affected adults may manifest social and occupational maladjustment, chronic anxiety, substance abuse, and bipolar disorder. The diagnosis is strictly clinical. Central nervous system stimulants (dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate, pemoline) and the selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine administered regularly improve symptoms in about 80% of patients, but a positive response to these agents does not confirm the diagnosis of ADHD.

Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

n. Abbr. ADHD
A neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in childhood, characterized by persistent impulsiveness, difficulties in focusing on tasks or paying attention, and often hyperactivity, and interfering especially with academic, occupational, and social performance. Also called attention deficit disorder.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

A condition characterised by the inability to control one’s own behaviour due to difficulty in processing neural stimuli, resulting in increased motor activity and decreased attention span.
Epidemiology ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed neurobehavioural disorder of childhood, with a prevalence of 2% to 18% depending on defining criteria; in children, the male:female ratio is 2:1; in adults, 1:2.
Clinical findings Impulsiveness and distractibility, variably accompanied by hyperactivity and/or aggressiveness, immaturity, and emotional lability. While ADHD is considered idiopathic, neurochemistry and genetics play a role.
Diagnosis ADHD is a diagnosis of exclusion and, per many workers, vastly overdiagnosed.
• MRI Some data suggests that ADHD brains may have slightly smaller anterior frontal cortices, right caudate, and globus pallidus.
• PET ADHD patients have greater temporal blood flow, and lower glucose metabolism, especially in the premotor cortex and superior prefrontal cortex (brain regions involved in control of attention and motor activity).
Management Stimulants (methylphenidate/Ritalin®, dextroamphetamine, pemoline); antidepressants (desipramine, imipramine, bupropion); alpha-adrenergic agonists (clonidine).
DiffDx Sensory deficit, receptive language disorder, learning disability, seizures, emotional problems, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, problems of parent-child interaction, mental retardation. Family stresses (e.g., divorce, parental death, depression and sickness) must be evaluated before labelling a child “hyperactive”.
Molecular pathology Parents and sibs of children with ADHD are 2 to 8 times more likely to develop ADHD. The mean heritability of ADHD is 76%, making it one of the most heritable of all psychiatric disorders. Vulnerability to ADHD may be due to multigenetic effect linked to dopamine receptors or serotonin products—e.g., DRD4, DRD5, DAT, DBH, 5-HTT, and 5-HTR1B. The risk of ADHD is significantly increased in the presence of 1 risk allele,DRD2; odds ratio (OR) of 7.5, which increases in DRD2 homozygotes to 55. ADHD patients may have a blunted response to dopamine signals and less inhibited behaviour due to a defect in the D4 dopamine receptor gene (DRD4), the so-called novelty-seeking gene.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

at·ten·tion def·i·cit hy·per·ac·tiv·i·ty dis·or·der

(ADHD) (ă-ten'shŭn def'i-sit hī'pĕr-ak-tiv'i-tē dis-ōr'dĕr)
A disorder of childhood and adolescence manifested at home, in school, and in social situations by developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity; also called hyperactivity or hyperactive child syndrome.
See also: attention deficit disorder
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

at·ten·tion def·i·cit hy·per·ac·tiv·i·ty dis·or·der

(ADHD) (ă-ten'shŭn def'i-sit hī'pĕr-ak-tiv'i-tē dis-ōr'dĕr) [MIM*143465]
A behavioral disorder manifested by developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattentiveness (short attention span, distractability, inability to complete tasks, difficulty in following directions), impulsiveness (acting without due reflection), and hyperactivity (restlessness, fidgeting, squirming, excessive loquacity).
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Q. What Is ADHD? I have heard parents talking about ADHD at my son’s school. What exactly is this syndrome?

A. I am a mother of 4 children, all of whom have been diagnosed with ADHD as was I. My youngest son and daughter took medication for ADHD (Adderall). I found that it made my son very zombie-like. He showed little to no emotion and when he did it was mostly anger and aggression. I spoke with his Psychiatrist and we adjusted his meds. This unfortunately did not work. But his psych. said that the benefits of the drug outweighed the bad side effects. I slowly weened him off the meds. It takes a lot more patience to get him to do his homework and an IEP (individual education plan) at school has helped a great deal. You can request this at any public school. My daughter on the other hand takes a very low dose of adderall and is doing just fine. They are both in counseling to learn how to deal with ADHD and are doing fine. I also think that this diagnosis is used way too much. It might be a symptom to a bigger problem or something stressful the child is experiencing.

Q. Is ADHD hereditary? I had ADHD as a young boy. Does this mean my children will have ADHD too?

A. I have to tell you people - this is really bad news. As a kid I just couldn't sit still which was hell at school... what are the chances are that our child will suffer from it? Is there anything me and my wife can do to prevent it?

Q. Is adhd an illness? what happens if not treated at all? can it just pass by itself?

A. ok, good to know. I hear more and more people talking about adhd lately.
Was it only discovered recently?

More discussions about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
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References in periodicals archive ?
Iron deficiency in Indian children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Indian Pediatr 2010; 47:955-958.
[Association Studies of G352A Polymorphism of dopamine transporter gene in Han Chinese attention deficit hyperactivity disorder patients].
Relationships between serum free fatty acids and zinc, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a research note.
Mania and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in a prepubertal child: Diagnostic and treatment challenges.
Learning styles of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: who are they and how can we teach them?
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
The FDA originally approved the medication in 1975 as a treatment for childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD.
The patent covers claims for use of the drug for the treatment of attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Multicenter studies are underway to evaluate different dosages, therapeutic benefits and the potential for reduced side effects of the Celgene pharmaceutical.
These campers' behaviors may have a common link - attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
This activity book provides dozens of ways to spark and hold the interest of young readers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Designed as the companion to Putting on the Brakes: Young People's Guide to Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, this book allows children to put their understanding of ADHD into action.
Hyperactivity, also called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), can be a devastating illness.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by persistent and developmentally inappropriate levels of impulsivity, attention problems, and hyperactivity.

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