Items in AFP with MESH term: Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Evaluation and Treatment of ADHD - Article
ABSTRACT: Symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are present in as many as 9 percent of school-age children. ADHD-specific questionnaires can help determine whether children meet diagnostic criteria for the disorder. The recommended evaluation also includes documenting the type and severity of ADHD symptoms, verifying the presence of normal vision and hearing, screening for comorbid psychologic conditions, reviewing the child's developmental history and school performance, and applying objective measures of cognitive function. The stimulants methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine remain the pharmacologic agents of first choice for the management of ADHD. These agents are equally effective in improving the core symptoms of the disorder, but individual children may respond better to one stimulant medication than to another. Achievement of maximal benefit may require titration of the initial dosage and dosing before breakfast, before lunch and in the afternoon. The family physician should tailor the treatment plan to meet the unique needs of the child and family. Psychosocial, behavioral and educational strategies that enhance specific behaviors may improve educational and social functioning in the child with ADHD.
ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common psychiatric disorder of childhood and often persists into adulthood. ADHD is a neurophysiologic disorder defined in behavioral terms and associated with significant morbidity in the realms of social and academic success, and self-esteem. ADHD is often associated with comorbid psychiatric disorders and learning disabilities, which further impede the successful development of these persons. It is essential that family physicians be knowledgeable about the presentation and diagnosis of ADHD. Stimulant medications continue to be the mainstay of treatment, although many other medications (such as antidepressants and alpha blockers) are helpful adjuvants to therapy. Current recommendations for treatment include an individualized, multimodal approach involving parents, teachers, counselors and the school system. Treatment follow-up includes monitoring response to medications in various settings, as well as side effects. With time and interest, the family physician can develop the skills needed to treat this disorder.
ABSTRACT: The American Academy of Pediatrics developed an evidence-based clinical practice guideline that provides recommendations for the assessment and diagnosis of school-aged children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This guideline, the first of two guidelines to provide recommendations on this condition, is intended for use by primary care clinicians. The second set of guidelines will address the treatment of children with ADHD. The guideline contains six recommendations for the diagnosis of ADHD: (1) in a child six to 12 years of age who presents with inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, academic underachievement or behavior problems, primary care clinicians should initiate an evaluation for ADHD; (2) the diagnosis of ADHD requires that a child meet the criteria for ADHD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; (3) the assessment of ADHD requires evidence directly obtained from parents or caregivers regarding the core symptoms of ADHD in various settings, the age of onset, duration of symptoms and degree of functional impairment; (4) the assessment of ADHD also requires evidence directly obtained from a teacher (or other school professional) regarding the core symptoms of ADHD, duration of symptoms, degree of functional impairment and associated conditions; (5) evaluation of the child with ADHD should include assessment for coexisting conditions; and (6) other diagnostic tests are not routinely indicated to establish the diagnosis of ADHD but may be used for the assessment of coexisting conditions.
Evaluation of Clumsiness in Children - Article
ABSTRACT: Parents and physicians often dismiss seemingly minor motor difficulties in children. Approximately 6 percent of school-aged children have coordination problems serious enough to interfere with academic performance and social integration. These problems often arise during the early school years and manifest in difficulties with such simple motor tasks as running, buttoning, or using scissors. Increasing evidence shows that rather than improving over time, these motor difficulties remain stable throughout adolescence and adulthood. While these children are initially singled out for motor difficulties, their problems are rarely limited to poor motor coordination. Many of them have a range of associated deficits, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, poor handwriting and drawing skills, and emotional immaturity. Associated problems magnify with time, and as teenagers, these children have higher rates of educational, social, and emotional problems. Diagnosis is determined by taking a careful history that includes a review of fine motor, visual, adaptive, and gross motor milestones, and performing a physical examination. Formal standardized testing may be indicated. Referral to occupational therapy that is appropriately individualized to the needs of each child appears to be effective. To aid in management, the family physician must be aware of this condition, as well as the associated coexisting deficits.
ABSTRACT: Substance abuse in adolescents is undertreated in the United States. Family physicians are well positioned to recognize substance use in their patients and to take steps to address the issue before use escalates. Comorbid mental disorders among adolescents with substance abuse include depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, and attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. Office-, home-, and school-based drug testing is not routinely recommended. Screening tools for adolescent substance abuse include the CRAFFT questionnaire. Family therapy is crucial in the management of adolescent substance use disorders. Although family physicians may be able to treat adolescents with substance use disorders in the office setting, it is often necessary and prudent to refer patients to one or more appropriate consultants who specialize specifically in substance use disorders, psychology, or psychiatry. Treatment options include anticipatory guidance, brief therapeutic counseling, school-based drug-counseling programs, outpatient substance abuse clinics, day treatment programs, and inpatient and residential programs. Working within community and family contexts, family physicians can activate and oversee the system of professionals and treatment components necessary for optimal management of substance misuse in adolescents.
School Problems and the Family Physician - Article
ABSTRACT: Children with school problems pose a challenge for the family physician. A multidisciplinary team of professionals can most appropriately assess and manage complex learning problems, which are often the cause of poor school performance. The family physician's primary role in this process is to identify or exclude medical causes of learning difficulties. An understanding of the complicated nature of school problems, the methods used to assess, diagnose and treat them, and the resources available to support the child and family are essential to successful management. Various references and resources are helpful for a more in-depth study of specific school problems.
ABSTRACT: Symptoms of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder affect cognitive, academic, behavioral, emotional, social, and developmental functioning. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder in children and adolescents. An estimated 2 to 16 percent of school-aged children have been diagnosed with the disorder. The prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the primary care setting is similar to that in the general community, depending on the diagnostic criteria and population studied. The causality of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is relatively unknown. Most recent studies focus on the role of dopamine; norepinephrine; and, most recently, serotonin neurotransmitters. The disorder is classified into three general subtypes: predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, predominantly inattentive, and combined. Screening tools and rating scales have been devised to assist with the diagnosis. Appropriate treatment can dramatically improve the function and quality of life of the patient and family. Pharmacologic treatment includes stimulants, such as methylphenidate and mixed amphetamine salts, or nonstimulants, such as atomoxetine. Behavioral approaches, particularly those that reward desirable behavior, are also effective. A combination of pharmacologic and behavioral therapies is recommended.
Stimulants, ADHD, and the Heart - Editorials