Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children (Childhood ADHD or ADD)
John Mersch, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children facts
- What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
- What is the cause of ADHD in children?
- What are childhood ADHD symptoms and signs?
- How is ADHD in children diagnosed?
- Is ADHD inherited?
- Is childhood ADHD on the increase? If so, why?
- Can ADHD be seen in brain scans of children with the disorder?
- What is the role of alternative therapies in ADHD?
- What are behavioral treatments for ADHD in children?
- Which educational interventions have been studied and shown to be effective in the treatment of ADHD?
- What medications are currently being used to treat ADHD in children?
- What is the relationship between ADHD and other disorders, such as learning disabilities, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, or depression?
- What is the prognosis for individuals with ADHD?
- What is the history of ADHD? How is it related to ADD?
- What are the future research directions for ADHD?
- ADHD FAQs
- Patient Comments: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - Tests and Diagnosis
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children facts
- ADHD refers to a chronic disorder that initially manifests in childhood and is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattention.
- The cause of ADHD has not been fully defined and may involve brain-chemical and genetic factors.
- The diagnosis of ADHD involves many disciplines to include comprehensive medical, developmental, educational, and psychosocial evaluations.
- ADHD can cluster in families.
- Children with ADHD may require adjustments in the structure of their educational experience, including tutorial assistance and the use of a resource room.
- Medications are available to treat ADHD and can improve overall function.
What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
ADHD is a chronic biobehavioral disorder that initially manifests in childhood and is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattention. Not all of those affected by ADHD manifest all three behavioral categories. These symptoms can lead to difficulty in academic, emotional, and social functioning. The diagnosis is established by satisfying specific criteria and may be associated with other neurological, significant behavioral, and/or developmental/learning disabilities. Treatment options include the use of medication, behavioral therapy, and adjustments in day-to-day lifestyle activities.
Studies in the United States indicate approximately 8%-10% of children satisfy diagnostic criteria for ADHD. ADHD is, therefore, one of the most common disorders of childhood. ADHD occurs two to four times more commonly in boys than girls (male to female ratio 4:1 for the predominantly hyperactive type vs. 2:1 for the predominantly inattentive type). Three subtypes of ADHD are described: (1) predominantly inattentive, (2) predominantly hyperactive and impulsive, and (3) combined. While previously believed to be "outgrown" by adulthood, current opinion indicates that many children will continue throughout life with symptoms that may affect both occupational and social functioning. Some medical researchers note that approximately 40%-50% of ADHD-hyperactive children will have (typically non-hyperactive) symptoms persist into adulthood.
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