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Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects 3-5 percent of all American children. It interferes with a person's ability to stay on a task and to exercise age-appropriate inhibition (cognitive alone or both cognitive and behavioral). Some of the warning signs of ADHD include failure to listen to instructions, inability to organize oneself and school work, fidgeting with hands and feet, talking too much, leaving projects, chores and homework unfinished, and having trouble paying attention to and responding to details. There are several types of ADHD: a predominantly inattentive subtype, a predominantly hyperactive-impulsive subtype, and a combined subtype. ADHD is usually diagnosed in childhood, although the condition can continue into the adult years.

Treatment

The usual course of treatment may include medications such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) or dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), which are stimulants that decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity and increase attention. Most experts agree that treatment for ADHD should address multiple aspects of the individual's functioning and should not be limited to the use of medications alone. Treatment should include structured classroom management, parent education (to address discipline and limit-setting), and tutoring and/or behavioral therapy for the child.

Prognosis

There is no "cure" for ADHD. Children with the disorder seldom outgrow it; however, some may find adaptive ways to accommodate the ADHD as they mature.

Research

Several components of the NIH support research on developmental disorders such as ADHD. Research programs of the NINDS, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) seek to address unanswered questions about the causes of ADHD, as well as to improve diagnosis and treatment.

View a list of studies currently seeking patients.

View more studies on this condition.

Read additional information from Medline Plus.

Organizations

CHADD - Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Works to improve the lives of people affected by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) through collaborative leadership, advocacy, research, education, and support and offers the National Resource Center on AD/HD at www.help4adhd.org.

4601 Presidents Drive
Suite 300
Lanham, MD 20706
ruth_hughes@chadd.org
http://www.chadd.org
Tel: 301-306-7070 800-233-4050
Fax: 301-306-7090

Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)

Non-profit organization focused on the needs of adults and young adults with ADD/ADHD, their children, and families.

P.O. Box 7557
Wilmington, DE 19083-9997
info@add.org
http://www.add.org
Tel: 800-939-1019
Fax: 800-939-1019

Learning Disabilities Association of America

Dedicated to identifying causes and promoting prevention of learning disabilities and to enhancing the quality of life for all individuals with learning disabilities and their families by encouraging effective identification and intervention, fostering research, and protecting their rights under the law.

4156 Library Road
Suite 1
Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1349
info@ldaamerica.org
http://www.ldaamerica.org
Tel: 412-341-1515
Fax: 412-344-0224

National Center for Learning Disabilities

Provides information to parents, professionals and individuals with learning disabilities, promotes research and programs to foster learning, and advocates for policies to protect and strengthen educational rights and opportunities.

32 Laight Street
Second Floor
New York, NY 10013
ncld@ncld.org
http://www.ld.org
Tel: 212-545-7510 888-575-7373
Fax: 212-545-9665

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

National Institutes of Health, DHHS
6001 Executive Blvd. Rm. 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
nimhinfo@nih.gov
http://www.nimh.nih.gov
Tel: 301-443-4513/866-415-8051 301-443-8431 (TTY)
Fax: 301-443-4279

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