ADHD: A Defintion


Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or AD/HD or ADD) is a neurobehavioral|LS|1|RS| developmental disorder.|LS|2|RS| It is primarily characterized by "the co-existence of attentional problems and hyperactivity, with each behavior occurring infrequently alone" and symptoms starting before seven years of age.|LS|3|RS|

ADHD is the most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children, affecting about 3% to 5% of children globally|LS|4|RS||LS|5|RS| and diagnosed in about 2% to 16% of school aged children.|LS|6|RS| It is a chronic disorder |LS|7|RS| with 30% to 50% of those individuals diagnosed in childhood continuing to have symptoms into adulthood.|LS|8|RS||LS|9|RS| Adolescents and adults with ADHD tend to develop coping mechanisms to compensate for some or all of their impairments.|LS|10|RS| 4.7% of American adults are estimated to live with ADHD.|LS|11|RS|

ADHD is diagnosed two to four times as frequently in boys as in girls,|LS|12|RS||LS|13|RS| though studies suggest this discrepancy may be due to subjective bias of referring teachers.|LS|14|RS| ADHD management usually involves some combination of medications, behavior modifications, lifestyle changes, and counseling. Its symptoms can be difficult to differentiate from other disorders, increasing the likelihood that the diagnosis of ADHD will be missed.|LS|15|RS| Additionally, most clinicians have not received formal training in the assessment and treatment of ADHD, particularly in adult patients.|LS|15|RS|

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