Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

From Pheno Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Basic Characteristics

  • Description

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by impairments in life functioning due to symptoms of hyperactivity and/or impulsivity. Defining components of ADHD include poor sustained attention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. People with ADHD are considered lacking in age-apropriate traits such as impulse control. This neurobehavioral developmental disorder is thought to exist in 3-5% of the world population younger than 19 years. Indicators such as forgetfulness, poor impulse control, impulsivity, and distractability are often first observed in childhood and remain persistant and chronic with no medical cure into adulthood. It is estimated that 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD retain the disorder as adults. There exists an extensive list of symptoms including difficulty concentrating, short term memory loss, procrastination, trouble organizing ideas and belongigs, tardniness, and weak planning and execution. It should be noted that most of the normal population will experience some of these symptoms in their lifetime, but not to the extent that they experience disruptions in their work, relationships, or studies. In fact, ADHD is associated with poor school performance, lower academic acheivement, poor peer and family realtions, anxiety, aggression, depression, conduct problems, and early substance experimentation and abuse. Treatment for the disorder is usually a combination of medication, behavior modifcation, lifestyle changes, and counseling. A single cause for ADHD has not yet been identified although the disorder appears to be highly heritable. In-utero exposure to alchohol, tobacco, and lead are associated with ADHD along with malnutrition and head trauma. Developmental research has revealed that delays in the development of brain structures such as the frontal cortex and temporal lobe also play a role in ADHD. The frontal cortex and temporal lobe are brain structures which play key roles in control, focus, attention, and planning. People who experience head injuries with damage to these brain areas also display symptoms of ADHD.

  • History

Early references to ADHD were "minimal brain damage", "minimal brain dysfunction", "learning/behavioral disabilities", and hyperactivity. The DSM had a disoder known as "hyperkinetic reaction of childhood" and did not add ADHD/ADD until 1980 where it appeared in the DSM III. Today there are three categories for diagnosis of ADHD: mainly inattentive, mainly hpyeractive-impulsive, and both. Diagnosis for ADHD continues to grow. In 1996 ADHD accounted for more than 40% of chld psychiatry referals.

Back to Main Page

  • References

Barkley, RA, 1997. Behavioral inhibition, sustained attention, and executive functions: Constructing a unifying theory of ADHD PMID 9000892

Bellgrove et al, 2008. Genetics of cognitive deficits in ADHD: clues for novel treatment methods PMID 18416658

Findling, RL, 2008. Evolution of the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children: A review PMID 18555941

Related Information

  • Task or test associated with this construct (vote for your favorite, or nominate a new one by editing this page): Trail Making, Wisconsin Card Sort (WCST), Stroop
  • Indicators (dependent variables, conditions, or contrasts; measurement variables used for analysis) associated with this construct (vote or nominate by editing this page):
  • Closely related pages (vote or nominate related pages by editing this page):

Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • CNP Level
    • Syndrome

External Resources

  • Database links