Abstract Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has long been described in children who demonstrate developmentally inappropriate symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and motor restlessness. In adults, symptoms are known to persist and the validity of adult ADHD as an entity is now recognized. There is an associated high proportion of other serious psychiatric comorbidities, especially substance abuse, mood and anxiety disorders. Advances have been made into the aetiology and management of ADHD. Many of these focus on the dopamine and noradrenaline pathways.