ADHD: Diagnosis, Treatment, Etiology, and Treatment Outlook Essay

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ADHD: Diagnosis, Treatment, Etiology, and Treatment Outlook

Attention Deficit with hyper activity Disorder commonly known as ADHD is classified as a disruptive behavior disorder usually diagnosed in childhood. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavior disorder of childhood. It appears to be more common in boys than it is girls. This Disorder is more common in boys than in girls and approximately five in one hundred children are affected (Busing). There are three subtypes: Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, predominantly inattentive, combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive (most children have the combined type of ADHD)(nimh.nih.gov).The age of onset of ADHD is usually in preschool to early elementary school years.
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Some possible triggers or contributing factors are: brain injury, environmental factors, alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy. There have also been a number of “mythical causes” that have been ruled out. Some of these are: bad parenting (although a dysfunctional home can exacerbate symptoms), too much or too little sugar, artificial sweeteners, allergies and lack of vitamins. Scientific research does not currently support any of these indicated potential causal factors (nimh.nih.gov)

According to the Surgeon General website, “Because the symptoms of ADHD respond well to treatment with stimulants, and because stimulants increase the availability of the neurotransmitter dopamine, the “dopamine hypothesis” has gained a wide following. The dopamine hypothesis posits that ADHD is due to inadequate availability of dopamine in the central nervous system. The neurotransmitter dopamine plays a key role in initiating purposive movement, increasing motivation and alertness, reducing appetite, and inducing insomnia, effects that are often seen when a child responds well to methylphenidate. The dopamine hypothesis has thus driven much of the recent research into the causes of ADHD.” (Surgeon General website). It does make sense that neurotransmitters are involved, since the mechanism of medications that seem to effectively reduce the symptoms of ADHD impacts the neurotransmitters. This may explain why these medications are effective for many people
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