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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of several childhood disorders that encompass behavioral difficulties. Diagnosis of this disorder requires multiple symptoms of either inattention or hyperactivity that have persisted a minimum of six months; some of these symptoms must have been present prior to age seven. It is important to realize that simple inattention or hyperactivity by itself is not sufficient for diagnosis. ADHD has been overdiagnosed in both children and adults by parents, teachers, and even by the patients themselves. Misbehavior by children or teens has been inappropriately diagnosed and treated by persons looking for a "simple" solution to personality difficulties in hopes of avoiding psychotherapy. ADHD is thought to affect 30% of school age children.

The cause of ADHD has not yet been determined. There is thought to be a neurochemical basis involving catecholamines (adrenaline-related chemicals). Studies over the past 20 years involving twins, adoptions, and more recently, molecular investigations, have provided evidence of a genetic basis for the disorder.

The standard method of treatment consists of medication. Often a combination of agents is used.

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The Medifocus Guide on Attention Deficit Disorder provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:

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