Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

AttentionDeficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a health ailment that oftenoccurs in kids and can go all the way to adulthood. General symptomsinclude trouble in paying attention, losing focus, over-activity(hypersensitivity) and trouble controlling behaviors, for example,the child is impatient or continuously interrupts people. There arethree types of ADHD, defined according to most symptoms observed.Predominantly Inattentive Type is the first one. The person affectedby this type of ADHD finds it difficult to pay attention toconversation and instructions and have a difficulty in coordinatingor finishing a chore. The second one is PredominantlyHyperactive-Impulsive Type where most of the symptoms are in the overactivity categories and the child must have more than six of thesesymptoms. A smaller child may be continually running or jumping. Theother one is the combined Type a person includes all of the firstand the second types’ symptoms which are equally predominant. Mostchildren are affected by this type of ADHD . Although the exact causeof this disorder is not known, premature births, low birth-weight,lack of early bonds with the caregivers or the parents or hastraumatic experiences which are related to the attachments (Weiss, etal. 1993). Also, smoking or abusing alcohol during pregnancy areamong the factors suggested as having a role in ADHD.

Bodysystem affected by ADHD

ADHDis a neurodevelopmental disorder it affects the nervous system andthe brain. When the nervous gets affected, there is no proper impulsecoordination, and this ends up affecting the normal brainfunctioning.


Stimulantsare best and most used drugs to treat the disorder. They have acalming effect on children by increasing dopamine and norepinephrineto improve concentration and reduce fatigue and can last up to 12hours. For example, Amphetamines.

Non-stimulantdrugs are also used for medication, but their effects on the brainare different to that of the stimulants. They can be used when thestimulant drugs are ineffective or unsafe or to avoid the sideeffects of the stimulants. They affect neurotransmitters but do notraise the level of the dopamine (Weiss, et al. 1993).

Antidepressantsdrugs are not yet approved to treat ADHD, but those patients withcomplex diagnoses may be prescribed to take them along with othermedications.

ADHDcounseling whereby therapy may proof beneficial to children andadults with this disorder.


Adverseside effects can occur to patients after using the prescribed drugs.The side effects can vary by age of the patient. Stimulants may causeside effects such as decreased appetite, headaches, weight loss,sleep disturbance, irritability, stomachache, and insomnia. Othersmay increase the rate of developing heart disorders or increasedblood pressure. Sedation, nausea and gastrointestinal problems arecan occur commonly on non-stimulants. Mood disturbances are common instimulants


Thediagnosis of ADHD is based on clinical examination considering thesymptoms that began in childhood and continued into adulthood, andthere are no laboratory tests that can be done to confirm thediagnosis. Basic laboratory studies that may aid in medicationinclude CBC count using a serum, computing for the levels ofelectrolyte, or the thyroid functions (Weiss, et al. 1993).


Thereis no cure for ADHD, but it is not non-degenerative or fatal it mayhave lifetime effects, but the disorder can be managed withappropriate advice, educational support and support for the affectedchildren along with the medication.


Weiss,G., &amp Hechtman, L. T. (1993). Hyperactive children grown up: ADHDin children, adolescents, and adults. Guilford Press.