at·ten·tion def·i·cit hy·per·ac·tiv·i·ty dis·or·der (ADHD), [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). 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.
Patient discussion about hyperactive child syndrome
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.More discussions about hyperactive child syndrome
Was it only discovered recently?