Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a neuropsychiatric condition that affects preschoolers, children, adolescents, as well as adults. It is categorized by a pattern of diminished attention, increased impulsivity, or hyperactivity.
Rates of ADHD are higher in boys than girls. Also, having a first-degree blood relative with the disorder can increase the risk for developing ADHD and other psychiatric disorders. Up to 70% of children with ADHD meet criteria for other disorders, such as: learning disorders, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, conduct disorders, and substance abuse.
Stimulants are the most effective and first line treatment for ADHD affecting both dopamine and norepinephrine. It is hypothesized that a dysfunction in the dopamine and norepinephrine systems causes the symptoms of ADHD. For those that cannot tolerate stimulants due to their side effects, non-stimulants may be prescribed.
Diagnosis requires persistent, impairing symptoms of either hyperactivity/impulsivity or inattention. This must be present in a least two different settings (i.e. school, home, structured activities, etc.) for at least six months.
Clinical Symptoms may Include:
- Short attention span
- Failure to finish tasks
- Poor concentration
- Careless mistakes in schoolwork
- Impulsivity (i.e. action before thought)
- Jumping up in class
- Squirms in seat
- Blurts out answers
- Talks excessively
- Lack or organization
- Memory and thinking deficits
- Aggression and defiance
Diagnosis and Treatment:
- A thorough medical and psychiatric history are necessary for diagnosis and treatment
- Teacher evaluation obtained and reviewed when necessary
- Treatment plans discussed and reviewed
- In some cases, hyperactivity will disappear, while the decreased attention span or impulsivity may persist to adulthood
- Grades and self-esteem often improve with proper medication, while reducing or eliminating depression
- Optimal outcomes are those where aggression is diminished, social functioning is improved, and improving family situations as soon as possible are achieved
We are here to help you or your loved one that may be suffering from ADHD. It is easy to schedule an appointment. Just click on the link below to view our availability and scheduling. We look forward to hearing from you.
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