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, 59 (12), 546-55

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder--A Review for Family Physicians

  • PMID: 16385176

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder--A Review for Family Physicians

S Karande. Indian J Med Sci.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic behavioral disorder characterized by persistent hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention that impairs educational achievement and/or social functioning. Its diagnosis is made by ascertaining whether the child's specific behaviors meet the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders-IV-revised criteria. Its etiology is still unclear but recent studies suggest that genetics plays a major role in conferring susceptibility. Comorbidity with psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorder, depression, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder; and with specific learning disability is not uncommon. Although medication works well in most cases of ADHD, optimal treatment requires integrated medical and behavioral treatment. Methylphenidate (MPH) and atomoxetine are the two drugs being currently prescribed and their efficacy in decreasing the symptoms of ADHD is well documented. Pyschoeducational interventions in school can help increase the successful functioning of affected children and improve their academic performance. Almost half of affected children continue to show significant symptoms of the disorder into adolescence and young adulthood. The family physician can play an important role in detecting this condition early, coordinating its assessment and treatment, counseling the parents and classroom teacher, and monitoring the child's academic and psychosocial progress on a long-term basis.

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