The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder in children and adults.
Difficult concentration, excessive activity, and impulsive behavior characterize ADHD, which may account for about 5% of children under 18 years old. Nearly two in three of those diagnosed with ADHD continue to have symptoms after their adulthood. “Our findings confirm that people with ADHD have differences in their brain structure, which therefore suggests that ADHD is a disordered brain. We hope this will help reduce the stigma associated with ADHD with difficult children or poor nurturing. It’s definitely not their case, “said Hugman.
Well, there are a lot of factors that show the appearance of ADHD. The individuals face significant difficulties in focusing on one activity, and at the same time may experience physical over-activity. In particular, they are characterized by carelessness, clumsiness, and difficulties in committing to school obligations or complying with suggestions. The disorder translates as an inability to regulate behavior. Often, it is associated with negative performance at school, delays or deficits in learning and communication. According to researchers, ADHD appears three times more common in boys than in girls and affects 1 in 100 children under the age of 11.
“The hyperactive child is in constant excitement, constantly jumping from one activity to another, while the carelessness in his behavior is expressed by “I’m not finished with something I have begun”. In inattention, we also have hyperactivity and impulsivity. But don’t forget. A normal child can be lively, but he has no distraction, he can control himself.”
Adults with ADHD often have low self-esteem, mood swings, emotional instability and irritability, symptoms often confused with dysthymia, bladder, bipolar disorder or marginal personality disorder.
Furthermore, people with ADHD are likely to be creative, flexible thinkers with a lot of energy and spontaneity. There are different perceptions about ADHD around the world, and diagnosis and treatment change rapidly. In some countries, particularly in the US, diagnosis includes a limited range of behaviors, so children are easily diagnosed and treated with medicine.
In the rest of the world, ADHD was not easily recognized, until a few years ago. Very often, it can be confused with aggressive behavior or individual difficulties that are part of normal development and do not require treatment.
All above, the presence of ADHD in adulthood, either as a complete syndrome or as a suicidal disorder, is associated with an increased rate of comorbid conditions. Proper training of specialists, as well as the creation of specific structure, could contribute to increasing the understanding, the diagnostic accuracy and the treatment of ADHD in adulthood.
Statistics of the diagnosis of ADHD
Estimates show that ADHD is found in around 4% of adults. If this question arises in adulthood, it means that people did not get a diagnosis when it should. The more likely, therefore, is that they have experienced a difficult childhood while having negative qualities about their performance or behavior.
It is estimated that the percentage of school children with ADHD amounts to 3-7% or 1-2%, depending on whether the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV-text revised.
The ratio of boys to girls ranges from 3: 1 to 5: 1. Until recently, ADHD was seen as a disorder, which mainly declines during adolescence. However, the latest data show that in the majority, the incidence of cases persists in adulthood with clinical and psychosocial effects. A Recent meta-analysis revealed that in 15% of cases the disorder remains in its full form until the age of 25 years. While in 50% the disorder remains in partial recession, indicating essentially that 2/3 of ADHD children continue to experience clinically significant disorder in adults. It is important to note that the intensity of the symptoms decreases over the ages. The prevalence of ADHD in adults, according to epidemiological data, is 2-5%. This means that is a common disorder but is systematically under-diagnosed.
Factors of ADHD
According to researchers, the involvement of the pathogeny of ADHD are mainly genetic, neurobiological and environmental factors.
Genetic factors: Family studies show a greater risk of infection among first-degree relatives than the general population. Information from twin studies, according to parents and teachers’ responses to children and adults, show average heritability of 76%.
Neurobiological factors: The most common environmental risk factors associated with the onset of ADHD are intrauterine exposure to alcohol, smoking, drugs, high blood pressure and maternal stress during pregnancy, as well as prematurity and low birth weight.
Neuropsychological, neurophysiological and neurodevelopmental studies attribute the essential components of the syndrome, to both children and adults, in cerebral dysfunctions. MRI studies reveal a reduced volume of lenticular nucleus, mesolovirus, and cerebellum and right frontal regions.
Goal of therapeutic intervention
The frequency, with which ADHD is observed, is related to the criteria set in each society. So, the cultural factors play an important role. Rates vary from country to country. This is 3 to 6% worldwide, regardless of where they originate and their culture.
The goal of therapeutic intervention in ADHD is to alleviate the symptoms, to increase the person’s functioning and to improve the daily life of the disorder and his / her relatives. However, assessment of the response to treatment is often limited to assessing the intensity of the symptoms.
In any case, the child should be properly evaluated before diagnosing and starting treatment. The handling of ADHD includes educational and pharmacological treatments and behavioral therapies. These are not mutually exclusive and not required for all children.
The largest study nowadays that compared the brain of a range of people with ADHD, has identified differences in specific areas of their brain, relative to the general population. Differences are more noticeable in children than in adults. The researchers, led by Dr. Martin Hugman of the Rebound University Medical Center in the Netherlands, who published the publication in “The Lancet Psychiatry”, studied the brain of 1,713 people with diagnosed ADHD and – for comparison purposes – 1,529 without ADHD, aged four to 63 years.
Five brain regions have been found to have a smaller volume in ADHD patients: the caudate nucleus, the incline nucleus, the shell, the amygdala, and the hippocampus. Of these, only the caudate nucleus and the shell had previously been associated with ADHD. The researchers said the new study helps to better understand ADHD and overrules the perception that it is just a “label” for “hard” children, or that it is a consequence of their poor upbringing.
Fact is that the ADHD affects 5% of children and 4% of adults across Europe. A big rate, what means that it is a matter to be taken into consideration. After getting in contact with this issue, people would remember that “different” doesn’t necessarily mean “bad”. It’s important to remember that ADHD is a spectrum disorder. This means that ADHD symptoms are not exactly the same in every person. So, one person might be very active, while another could daydream and be quiet. But, all of them could still have ADHD.