ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) / ADHD

Prevention

There is no specific way to prevent ADHD. When a woman is pregnant she should adhere to the recommendations of her physician, abstaining from ingesting any potentially harmful substances and avoiding environmental toxins. Children should be protected from ingesting harmful substances and exposure to environmental toxins. Some things that do not cause ADHD are too much sugar, Aspartame sugar substitute, and allergies. A disorganized, chaotic home and school environments do not cause ADHD but can make symptoms worse.

Treatment

Medications are the most common form of treatment. The medications are called psychostimulants. Some of their names are methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, and atomoxetine. The medications are stimulating in most people, but they have a calming effect in people with ADHD. The psychostimulants decrease impulsive and disruptive behaviors while improving concentration and attention. Other medications used at times include clonidine, desipramine and bupropion.

Parents, teachers and doctors working as a team is best for children with ADHD. They need more structure, consistency and adult supervision than usual. A powerful treatment tool is a schedule, with regular times for waking, eating, homework, play, chores, bedtime and other activities.

Recent Debates and Developments

There is little research or literature about ADHD in adults. Previously it was thought that children “outgrow” ADHD. That is changing as more adults are diagnosed. ADHD has been accepted as a primary, valid diagnosis in adults, which stimulates research.

More Information

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd
MedlinePlus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder.html
American Academy of Family Physicians: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd.html

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