Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a neuropsychiatric condition that affects preschoolers, children, adolescents, and adults, characterized by a pattern of diminished sustained attention, and increased impulsivity, or hyperactivity.
Rates of ADHD are higher in boys than girls and having a first-degree blood relative with the disorder also increases the risk for developing ADHD and other psychiatric disorders. Up to 70% of children with ADHD also meet criteria for 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 there is a dysfunction in the dopamine and norepinephrine systems that cause the symptoms of ADHD. Nonstimulants are also used for those patients who cannot tolerate stimulants and their side effects.
Diagnosis requires persistent, impairing symptoms of either hyperactivity/impulsivity or inattention in a least two different settings (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 (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:
- Diagnosis and treatment require a thorough medical and psychiatric history
- Qb Test computerized test for Attention
- Teacher/School evaluation may need to be obtained
- Discussion of a treatment plan that will be most effective for your child will be reviewed
- In some cases, hyperactivity will disappear, but the decreased attention span/impulsivity will persist to adulthood
- With proper medication, self-esteem can improve, grades can improve, and depressive symptoms can be eliminated
- Optimal outcomes are those where aggression is diminished, social functioning is improved, and improving family situations as soon as possible are achieved
If you or your loved one is suffering from symptoms of ADHD, we are here to help. Scheduling an appointment is easy. Just click on the link below for our availability and scheduling.