Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Diagnosis

by Helen Farrell, MD

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    00:01 Let's move on now and talk a little bit about ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    00:07 This is defined as at least six symptoms involving inattentiveness, hyperactivity, or both that have persisted for at least a 6-month period. Inattention means problems listening, concentrating, paying attention to details, organizing tasks, or being easily distracted or forgetful.

    00:28 Hyperactivity and impulsivity requires blurting out or interrupting others, fidgeting, leaving one's seat, or talking excessively. The onset is before age 7 and the behavior is inconsistent with the age of development. Now, let's take a look at ADHD, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder. So two-thirds of children with ADHD will actually also have either a conduct disorder or ODD. There's a 3-5% prevalence in school-age children and it is far more common in boys to have ADHD than in girls.

    01:06 There's also an increased incidence of personality disorders, mood disorders, conduct disorders, and oppositional defiance. Most cases remit in adolescence but 20% of people will have symptoms that persist well into adulthood. Also worth noting, there is an adult variant of ADHD.

    01:26 So what causes it? Well, there are genetic factors, maybe exposure to prenatal trauma or toxins, neurochemical factors, neuropsychological, and psychosocial factors.

    01:39 The treatment again is multimodal, involving pharmacotherapy, often stimulants or antidepressants.

    01:47 So when it comes to treating ADHD, there's a medication that was initially formed as an antidepressant called atomoxetine which is actually now useful in the treatment of ADHD.

    02:00 Similarly, buproprion a classic antidepressant is used for the treatment of ADHD and then be on that stimulant medications such Ritalin and Adderall can be very helpful.

    02:13 Psychotherapy can also be useful, parent counseling and group therapy.

    02:18 Never overlook the importance of encouraging the child or your patient to organize their tasks better and be a little bit more aware of their surroundings and develop organizational skills. This can go a long way in helping with their ADHD symptoms.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Diagnosis by Helen Farrell, MD is from the course Mild and Major Neurocognitive Disorders.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Onset occurs after the age of 7 and before 10 years
    2. The patient presents with hyperactivity and/or inattentiveness.
    3. The symptoms last for at least 6 months.
    4. There are problems listening, concentrating, paying attention to details, or organizing tasks.
    5. The behavior is inconsistent with age and development.
    1. Up to 2/3 of children with ADHD also have a comorbid conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).
    2. ADHD is more common in girls as compared to boys.
    3. ADHD has a prevalence of 20-30% in school-age children.
    4. There is an increased incidence of comorbid diabetes and hypertension.
    5. Most of the symptoms persist even in adulthood.

    Author of lecture Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Diagnosis

     Helen Farrell, MD

    Helen Farrell, MD

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