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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Read time: 5 mins
Last updated: 12th Jan 2021

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is thought to affect between 8 – 12% of children worldwide, making it the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder. Impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention traditionally characterise the core symptoms of ADHD.

A common misconception associated with ADHD is that symptoms do not persist beyond childhood. In fact, although onset usually occurs before the age of seven, ADHD can affect patients throughout their life, increasing the risk of academic under-attainment, unemployment, relationship and legal problems, substance abuse, and psychiatric illness. In addition, adults with ADHD also show higher mortality than the general population.

While no curative treatment has been identified, ADHD can be well managed through psychological and in some cases pharmacological interventions. Psychostimulants are the mainstay of ADHD treatment for children and, increasingly, adults. Adherence can be suboptimal and so it is important to optimise adherence and consider risks such as drug abuse, dependence and cardiovascular events.

To find out more about ADHD, visit our dedicated Learning Zone where world-leading experts discuss ways to diagnose ADHD, optimise adherence to medication and the treatment challenges for this condition.  

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