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ADHD

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) previously known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), is generally considered to be a developmental disorder, largely neurological in nature, affecting about 5% of the world´s population.[1][2][3][4] The disorder typically presents itself during childhood, and is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity, as well as forgetfulness, poor impulse control or impulsivity, and distractibility.[5][6]ADHD is currently considered to be a persistent and chronic condition for which no medical cure is available. ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children and, over the past decade, has been increasingly diagnosed in adults.

About 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD retain the disorder as adults.[7] Studies show that there is a familial transmission of the disorder which does not occur through adoptive relationships[8]. Twin studies indicate that the disorder is highly heritable and that genetics contribute about three quarters of the total ADHD population[9]. While the majority of ADHD is believed to be genetic in nature[10], roughly about 1/5 of all ADHD cases are thought to be acquired after conception due to brain injury caused by either toxins or physical trauma prenatally or postnatally.[11]

According to a majority of medical research in the United States, as well as other countries, ADHD is today generally regarded as a chronic disorder for which there are some effective treatments. Over 200 controlled studies have shown that stimulant medication is an effective way to treat the symptoms of ADHD.[12][13] Methods of treatment usually involve some combination of medication, behaviour modification, life style changes, or counseling. Certain social critics are highly skeptical that the diagnosis denotes a genuine impairment and question virtually all that is known about ADHD. The symptoms of ADHD are not as profoundly different from normal behavior unlike other chronic mental disorders. Still, ADHD has been shown to be impairing in life functioning in several settings and many negative life outcomes are associated with ADHD.

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