ADHD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. Worldwide prevalence of ADHD is estimated at 5.3 percent (with large variability), according to a comprehensive systematic review of this topic published in 2007 in the American Journal of Psychiatry. In the United States, approximately 7.8 percent of all school-aged children, or about 4.4 million 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 US adults aged 18 to 44 based on results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. When this percentage is extrapolated to the full US population aged 18 and over, approximately 9.8 million adults are believed to have ADHD.
ADHD is a psychiatric behavioral 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. The specific etiology of ADHD is unknown and there is no single diagnostic test for this syndrome. Adequate diagnosis requires the use of medical and special psychological, educational and social resources, utilizing diagnostic criteria such as Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV-TR) or International Classification of Diseases 10 (ICD-10).
Although there is no "cure" for ADHD, there are accepted treatments that specifically target its symptoms. Standard treatments include educational approaches, psychological, or behavioral modification, and medication.
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