Current issues and trends in the diagnosis and treatment of adults with ADHD.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been commonly thought of as a childhood disorder that diminished over time. It is one of the most common developmental disorders and it is estimated that ADHD affects 5-10% of children. Two-thirds of children with ADHD will continue to have symptoms of ADHD that persist throughout adolescence. Longitudinal studies have demonstrated that symptoms of ADHD can also remain in adulthood, affecting 4.4% of the adult population. However, diagnosing adults with ADHD can prove difficult because they often find that their symptoms are egosyntonic. In addition, the development of comorbid conditions, such as anxiety, depression, personality disorders or substance abuse, can often overshadow underlying ADHD symptoms. Nonetheless, treatments such as stimulant and nonstimulant medication (e.g., atomoxetine), and cognitive-behavior therapy have been effective in treating adults with ADHD. This article reviews the prevalence of adults with ADHD, followed by a discussion of the neurobiological and genetic underpinnings of the disorder. Issues regarding the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD are also addressed.

Expert Rev Neurother. 2007 Oct;7(10):1375-90. Cumyn L, Kolar D, Keller A, Hechtman L. McGill University, Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology, 3700 McTavish St., Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1Y2.

Posted: 12/04/2007

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