Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder across the lifespan

Annu Rev Med. 2002:53:113-31. doi: 10.1146/


Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurobehavioral disorder presenting for treatment in youth. ADHD is often chronic with prominent symptoms and impairment spanning into adulthood. ADHD is often associated with co-occurring anxiety, mood, and disruptive disorders, as well as substance abuse. The diagnosis of ADHD by careful review of symptoms and impairment is both reliable and valid. Recent genetic, imaging, neurochemistry, and neuropsychological data support the biological underpinning of the disorder. All aspects of an individual's life must be considered in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. Pharmacotherapy, including stimulants, antidepressants, and antihypertensives, plays a fundamental role in the management of ADHD across the lifespan.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / etiology
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants