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Case Reports
, 61 (5), 535-47

Diagnostic Issues for Adolescents and Adults With ADHD

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Case Reports

Diagnostic Issues for Adolescents and Adults With ADHD

Jeanette Wasserstein. J Clin Psychol.

Abstract

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood neuropsychiatric syndrome once thought to disappear with maturation. Current data indicate that ADHD remains "hidden" in many of the grown-ups who had it as children. Adult prevalence rates range from 1% to 6% of the population. Research suggests the core childhood symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity shift with development, perhaps transforming into more overt difficulties in executive functions and affect regulation. ADHD is also usually nestled with other comorbid psychiatric conditions, especially in adolescents and adults, further complicating diagnosis and treatment. This article discusses how to recognize and diagnose ADHD in older patients. Key points include core symptoms present during childhood, appropriate family history in this strongly genetic condition, management of comorbidity, and the evolving role of diagnostic testing. Other medical causes for similar symptoms are considered.

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