The Facts about ADHD

By Michael Fumento


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What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental illness that dramatically affects behavior and mood, interfering with a person's ability to learn, socialize, work and otherwise lead a normal life.

What are the symptoms?
The core symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Some patients have the disorder without hyperactivity.

Who has ADHD?
  • ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed disorder of childhood, affecting three to five percent of school-age children. Experts say about one child in every classroom has ADHD.
  • Boys are at least three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls.
  • ADHD can affect individuals well into adulthood.

What causes ADHD?
ADHD is caused by irregularities in brain chemistry and tends to run in families. Many scientists suspect that malfunctioning genes disrupt communication between cells in parts of the brain that are in charge of self-control and inhibition.

How is ADHD diagnosed?
ADHD can be diagnosed with great accuracy. The diagnosis involves:
  • Identifying well-defined symptoms that have been present for at least six months in at home, school or work and in other social settings;
  • Ruling out other disorders;
  • Multiple visits to a doctor.

How is ADHD treated?
The most effective treatment combines drug and behavior therapies. ADHD is a chronic medical condition that needs medical treatment.
Sources: The National Institute of Mental Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics