Table of Contents
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neuro-behavioral problem in children. According to the latest statistics made available by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), 3% to 7% school going children in the US suffer from ADHD. However, parental surveys reveal that almost 9.5% of children between the ages of 4 and 17 years (5.4 million) have been diagnosed as suffering from ADHD.
The likelihood of boys being diagnosed with ADHD is much higher than the likelihood of girls being diagnosed with the condition (13.2% boys compared to 5.6% girls). The common symptoms of ADHD involve difficulty in staying focused or in paying attention, unruly behavior and hyperactivity. The symptoms usually start during the childhood but continue through the adolescence and into adulthood.
There are three different categories of ADHD based on the symptoms, namely:
- Predominantly hyperactive- impulsive
- Predominantly inattentive
- Combined hyperactive- impulsive and inattentive
It has been seen that the majority of children belong to the category of combined hyperactive- impulsive and inattentive type. To be diagnosed with ADHD, a child must have the symptoms of the disease for 6 months or more and the degree of symptoms should be greater than other children belonging to the same age group.
Symptoms of inattention may include
- Getting distracted easily leading to switching from one activity to another within no time.
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Difficulty in completing the task in hand
- Difficulty in turning in homework assignments on time
- Slowing of reflexes
- Difficulty in following instructions clearly and rapidly
Symptoms of hyperactivity include
- Constantly fidgeting or squirming
- Constantly in motion
- Talking relentlessly
- Touching and playing with anything in sight
Symptoms of impulsivity include:
- Blurting out whatever they have in mind without considering about the feeling of others
- Difficulty in waiting for their turn
- Interrupting others in their conversations
As this neurobehavioral disorder is fairly common, scientists have been constantly trying out different methods to cure it. However, at present, there is no permanent cure for ADHD. But there are numerous medications available to take adequate care of the symptoms. After taking these medications, children suffering from ADHD can achieve success in their academic lives. Apart from the routine medications, scientists are trying to find out other means of treating ADHD. For this, they are using innovative tools like brain imaging to understand better, the changes taking place in the brain. This would help them to treat the condition better.