ADHD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. Approximately 7.8 percent of all school-aged children, or about 4.4 million U.S. children aged 4 to 17 years, have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The disorder is also estimated to affect 4.4 percent of U.S. adults aged 18-44 based on results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, a nationally representative household survey, which used a lay-administered diagnostic interview to access a wide range of DSM-IV disorders. When this percentage is extrapolated to the full U.S. population, approximately 9.8 million adults are believed to have ADHD. ADHD is a neurobiological disorder that manifests as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. To be properly diagnosed with ADHD, a child needs to demonstrate at least six of nine symptoms of inattention; and/or at least six of nine symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity; the onset of which appears before age 7 years; that some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school and home); that the symptoms continue for at least six months; and that there is clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning and the symptoms cannot be better explained by another psychiatric disorder.
Although there is no "cure" for ADHD, there are accepted treatments that specifically target its symptoms. The most common standard treatments include educational approaches, psychological, or behavioral modification, and medication.
|SOURCE Shire Limited|
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