ADHD is a multitude of disorders

Oregon Health and Science University, have today released findings from a study that has found Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to be more than just one disorder. Rather, ADHD similar to cancer has multiple subtypes.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a behaviour disorder most commonly seen in young children marked by symptoms including hyperactivity, lack of attention or focus and the inability to inhibit undesired or inappropriate behaviour.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, the research team compared children diagnosed with ADHD and a control group on a magnitude of cognitive tests including memory, inhibition, concentration and comprehension.

The study concluded that ADHD much like cancer cannot be diagnosed or treated with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Currently diagnosing ADHD is based on secondary observations from parents or teachers matching the requirements of the diagnostic criteria (DSM). The research suggested that even if these observations are valid and accurate, there may be a number of different reasons underpinning symptoms which isn’t taken into account. What appears to be the solution is to define the symptoms as ADHD and treat it as such. Consequently, one universal treatment course is taken which could be treating children with an array of causal factors and symptoms.

The research is important and its publication in the respectable journal is confirmation. It could be an indication that health care professionals may coming round to the idea that illness is an individual experience and that there is more to health than a label and a drug.

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