Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Imaging studies suggest that the brains of children with ADHD are different from those of other children. These children handle neurotransmitters (including dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline) differently from their peers.
ADHD may run in families, but it is not clear exactly what causes it. Whatever the cause may be, it seems to be set in motion early in life as the brain is developing.
Depression, lack of sleep, learning disabilities, tic disorders, and behavior problems may be confused with, or appear with, ADHD. Every child suspected of having ADHD should have a careful evaluation to determine what is contributing to the behaviors that are causing concern.
ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood. It affects about 3 - 5% of school aged children. ADHD is diagnosed much more often in boys than in girls.
Most children with ADHD also have at least one other developmental or behavioral problem. They may also have another psychiatric problem, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
The symptoms of ADHD are divided into inattentiveness, and hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Some children with ADHD primarily have the inattentive type, some the hyperactive-impulsive type, and some the combined type. Those with the inattentive type are less disruptive and are more likely to miss being diagnosed with ADHD.
Inattention symptoms: 1. Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork 2. Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play 3. Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly 4. Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace 5. Has difficulty organizing tasks and