ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a common neurobehavioral developmental disorder. The hallmarks of ADHD are problems with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ADHD usually occurs in childhood and can continue into adulthood. It is estimated that three to five percent of the children in the U.S have ADHD, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The predominant symptoms or behaviors of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These behaviors result in further symptoms, including difficulties with concentration, controlling behavior, and remaining focused on a task or activity. People with ADHD may also experience hyperactivity or over-activity. For more information about symptoms, refer to symptoms of ADHD.
ADHD does not directly cause complications, but people with the condition are more likely to have or develop such conditions as Tourette syndrome, anxiety disorder, depression, conduct disorder, and learning disabilities.
The cause or causes of ADHD are not yet known, although researchers believe that genes may be one factor in its development. It is most likely that the disorder is the result of a combination of elements, including environmental factors, exposure to toxins, traumatic head injury, nutrition, and/or social influences.
A common misnomer about the cause of ADHD is that children with the disorder are "spoiled" or that they consume too much sugar and caffeine. Although caffeine may have some impact on energy levels, ADHD is a true medical disorder and is not cause purely by "bad parenting" or too much candy. Current studies have not linked the use of sugar to a difference in behavior.
There is no single test for ADHD, and a diagnosis of the condition is based partly on symptoms. Only a full evaluation by a licensed health care professional can truly diagnose or rule out ADHD. It is generally accepted that person must exhibit symptoms to an extent greater than the average person of the same age for six months or more.
It is important that a person who is exhibiting symptoms of ADHD be evaluated for other medical conditions that might be affecting their behavior. These include petit mal seizures, diabetes, learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, and conditions that can affect hearing or vision, such as ear infections or a need for glasses.
Although there is no cure, ADHD is treatable and can be successfully controlled to effectively reduce symptoms and allow a person with the condition to live a normal, productive life. This can be achieved by developing an individualized treatment plan that may include the use of a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
This is no way to directly prevent ADHD, but there are ways to help ensure that a person is as healthy as possible and best able to live effectively with ADHD. These include not smoking, avoiding toxins, and keeping a daily routine. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of ADHD. ...more »
ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a common neurobehavioral developmental disorder that usually occurs in childhood and can continue into adulthood. The predominant behaviors of ADHD include:
These behaviors result in difficulties with:
- Remaining focused on a task or activity
- Controlling behavior
- Hyperactivity or over-activity
The symptoms of ADHD can be treated, but there currently is no cure for the disorder. Most people with ADHD can be successfully treated and lead normal, productive lives at home, work, school and with friends and family. ...more »
Symptoms of ADHD are categorized into those of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These categories of ADHD are the same for children and adults although they may exhibit symptoms in different ways.
Symptoms of inattention include an inability to stay focused on tasks appropriate for age, having difficulty concentrating on one thing, loosing ...more symptoms »
Symptoms of ADHD can be successfully controlled with medications. Drugs call stimulants are commonly prescribed. Stimulants actually work in reverse in people with ADHD and can produce a calming effect and improved concentration.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medication treatments for ADHD are generally considered safe when given under regular medical ...more treatments »
A diagnosis of ADHD may missed because its symptoms can mimic symptoms of such conditions as anxiety disorder, depression, conduct disorder, and learning disabilities. It is important to understand that although these disorders are separate conditions from ADHD, they often accompany ADHD.
The symptoms of ADHD can also mimic such conditions as petit mal seizures, diabetes, ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of ADHD
See full list of 38
symptoms of ADHD
Treatments for ADHD
- General lifestyle changes
- Stress reduction techniques
- Dietary changes - aimed at treating any possible hidden food allergy causes, although this is considered of dubious value by some health professionals.
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
- more treatments...»
See full list of 19
treatments for ADHD
Home Diagnostic Testing
Home medical testing related to ADHD:
Wrongly Diagnosed with ADHD?
Types of ADHD
- Predominantly inattentive ADHD subtype (type of ADD)
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD subtype (type of ADD)
- Combined inattentive-hyperactive ADHD subtype (type of ADD)
- more types...»
Read more about Types of ADHD
Curable Types of ADHD
Possibly curable types of ADHD include:
- In utero exposure to toxic substances related ADHD
- Food additives related ADHD
- more types...»
Rare Types of ADHD:
Rare types of ADHD include:
Diagnostic Tests for ADHD
- Parent consultant interview
- Teacher consultation interview
- Psychology assessment
- Dietary changes - Can be used diagnostically to rule out certain food intolerances or allergies/reactions.
- more tests...»
Read more about tests for ADHD
Review possible medical complications related to ADHD:
Causes of ADHD
Read more about causes of ADHD.
More information about causes of ADHD:
Disease Topics Related To ADHD
Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, ADHD:
ADHD: Undiagnosed Conditions
Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:
Misdiagnosis and ADHD
Mild worm infections undiagnosed in children: Human worm infestations, esp. threadworm, can be overlooked in some cases,
because it may cause only mild or even absent symptoms.
Although the most common...read more »
Parental fears about toddler behavior often unfounded: There are many behaviors in infants and toddlers
that may give rise to a fear that the child...read more »
Rare epilepsy misdiagnosed as ADHD: The less common disorder of temporal lobe epilepsy
is a type of epilepsy without physical seizures.
Some patients suffer from hyperactivity and similar symptoms,
making a...read more »
Various conditions misdiagnosed as ADHD: The hyperactivity type symptoms that are often diagnosed
as ADHD, can also be caused by a number of physical conditions,
as reported in the book A Dose of Sanity.
Some possibilities are...read more »
ADHD diagnosis overlooked hidden nutritional disorder: The book "A Dose of Sanity" reports on a case of a boy
diagnosed with ADHD and receiving Ritalin.
His symptoms included tiredness, irritability, poor...read more »
Undiagnosed stroke leads to misdiagnosed aphasia: BBC News UK reported on a man who
had been institutionalized and treated for mental illness
because he suffered from sudden inability to speak....read more »
Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for
a patient to show mental decline to dementia.
Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical conditions,
such...read more »
Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the
more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed
(it...read more »
Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue
with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure.
The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood...read more »
ADHD under-diagnosed in adults: Although the over-diagnoses of ADHD
in children is a well-known controversy, the reverse side related to adults.
Some adults can remain undiagnosed, and indeed the condition has usually been
overlooked...read more »
Bipolar disorder misdiagosed as various conditions by primary physicians: Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder)
often fails to be diagnosed correctly by primary care physicians.
Many patients with bipolar...read more »
Eating disorders under-diagnosed in men: The typical patient with
an eating disorder is female.
The result is that men with eating disorders often fail to be diagnosed or
have a delayed...read more »
Depression undiagnosed in teenagers: Serious bouts of depression can be
undiagnosed in teenagers.
The "normal" moodiness of teenagers can cause severe...read more »
Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be
correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients.
These patients are not the typical migraine sufferers, but migraines can also occur in children.
See misdiagnosis...read more »
Undiagnosed anxiety disorders related to depression: Patients with depression (see symptoms of depression)
may also have undiagnosed anxiety disorders (see ...read more »
Vitamin B12 deficiency under-diagnosed: The condition of Vitamin B12 deficiency
is a possible misdiagnosis of various conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (see ...read more »
Read more about Misdiagnosis and ADHD
ADHD: Research Doctors & Specialists
Research related physicians and medical specialists:
- Nerve Specialists:
- Mental Health Specialists:
- Child Health Specialists (Pediatrics):
- more specialists...»
Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:
Hospitals & Clinics: ADHD
Research quality ratings and patient safety measures
for medical facilities in specialties related to ADHD:
Hospital & Clinic quality ratings »
Choosing the Best Hospital:
More general information, not necessarily in relation to ADHD,
on hospital performance and surgical care quality:
ADHD: Rare Types
Rare types of diseases and disorders in related medical categories:
Prognosis for ADHD
Prognosis for ADHD:
ADHD is not fatal and non-degenerative. May have lifelong effects but improvement with correct diagnosis and treatment.
More about prognosis of ADHD
Research about ADHD
Visit our research pages for current research about ADHD treatments.
Statistics for ADHD
ADHD: Broader Related Topics
Types of ADHD
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