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Pediatricians and Psychiatrists Debate Wider Diagnosing, Prescribing Guidelines for ADHD
Date:10/21/2011

NORWALK, Conn., Oct. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Physicians on UBM Medica's physician-led web sites are protesting and debating new guidelines just released for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. The guidelines, "ADHD: Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis, Evaluation and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder," were released earlier this week by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). They call for children as young as 4 years old to be diagnosed and treated with medications for ADHD.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111021/CG90660)

But psychiatrists and pediatricians on Pediatrics Consultant Live (www.PediatricsConsultantLive.com) and Psychiatric Times (www.PsychiatricTimes.com) are debating whether that is sound advice.

Dr. Allen Frances, chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and of the department of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C., calls the guidelines "reckless."

"This radical suggestion will further the already problematic overdiagnosis of ADD and expand the inappropriate prescription of medication to young children," he comments. "It is absolutely clear that medication can be very helpful for ADD in carefully diagnosed school-age kids who have moderate/severe problems and who have not responded to patient watchful waiting, parent training, and behavioral interventions. But in busy practice settings, ADD is often inaccurately diagnosed and prematurely treated with medication. This should be a treatment of very last resort in preschoolers, rese
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