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Health Condition

Attention Deficit–Hyperactivity Disorder

About This Condition

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADD or ADHD) is defined as age-inappropriate impulsiveness, lack of concentration, and sometimes excessive physical activity.

ADHD has been associated with learning difficulties and lack of social skills. Obviously what constitutes “normal” in these areas covers a wide spectrum; thus it is unclear which child suffers true ADHD and which child is just more rambunctious or rebellious than another. No objective criteria exist to accurately confirm the presence of ADHD. ADHD often goes undiagnosed if not caught at an early age, and it affects many adults who may not be aware of their condition.

Symptoms

ADHD is generally recognized by a pattern of inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity estimated to affect 3 to 5% of school-aged children. Learning disabilities or emotional problems often accompany ADHD. Children with ADHD experience an inability to sit still and pay attention in class, and they often engage in disruptive behavior.

References

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12. Mitchell EA, Aman MG, Turbott SH, Manku M. Clinical characteristics and serum essential fatty acid levels in hyperactive children. Clin Pediatr 1987;26:406-11.

13. Stevens LJ, Zentall SS, Deck JL, et al. Essential fatty acid metabolism in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;62:761-8.

14. Aman MG, Mitchell EA, Turbott SH. The effects of essential fatty acid supplementation by Efamol in hyperactive children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 1987;15:75-90.

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43. Milberger S, Biederman J, Faraone SV, et al. Is maternal smoking during pregnancy a risk factor for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children? Am J Psychiatry 1996;153:1138-42.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

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