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ADHD: What’s Myth and What’s Fact?


ADHD: seen only in kids; boys are more impaired vs girls; only stimulants work. Myths or facts?

Myths abound around diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, for example:it doesn't exist; it's seen only in children; boys are more affected than girls; drugs are the answer.In the slides above, we selected 4 myths to counteract with evidence from the literatue in an effort to separate fact from some of the fiction. 


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  • Simon V, Czobor P, Bálint S, Mészáros A, et al. Prevalence and correlates of adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: meta-analysis. Br J Psychiatry. 2009 Mar;194(3):204-11. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.107.048827.
  • SV Faraone, J Biederman, E Mick. The age-dependent decline of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a meta-analysis of follow-up studies. Psychol Med, 36 (2006), pp. 159–165
  • Asherson P, Buitelaar J, Faraone SV, et al. Adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: key conceptual issues. Lancet Psychiatry. 2016;3:568-78. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30032-3. Epub 2016 May 13.
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  • Mahone EM, Pritchard AE. Neuropsychological assessment of ADHD in preschoolers: performance-based measures, rating scales, and structured interviews. In: Ghuman J, Ghuman H, editors. ADHD in Preschool Children: Assessment and Treatment. New York: Oxford University Press; 2014: 42-65
  • Wolraich M, Brown L, Brown RT, et al. Subcommittee on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; Steering Committee on Quality Improvement and Management. ADHD: clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2011;128:1007-22. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2654. Epub 2011 Oct 16
  • ADHD: Indicators on children and youth. Child Trends Data Bank. Updated July 14, 2016 at: http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/76_ADHD.pdf. Accessed November 18, 2015.
  • Riddle MA, Yershova K, Lazzaretto D, et al. The Preschool Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment Study (PATS) 6-year follow-up. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2013;52:264-278.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2012.12.007. Epub 2013 Feb 8.
  • Gaub M, Carlson CL. Gender differences in ADHD: a meta-analysis and critical review [published correction appears in J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry.1997;36:1783]. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997;36:1036-1045.
  • Froehlich TE, Lanphear BP, Epstein JN, et al. Prevalence, recognition, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a national sample of US children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med.2007;161:857-864
  • Gershon J. A meta-analytic review of gender differences in ADHD. J Atten Disord.2002;5:143-154.
  • Mikami AY, Hinshaw SP, Patterson KA, Lee JC. Eating pathology among adolescent girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Abnorm Psychol.2008;117:225-235
  • Biederman J, Ball SW, Monuteaux MC, et al. New insights into the comorbidity between ADHD and major depression in adolescent and young adult females. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry.2008;47:426-434
  • O’Brien JW, Dowell LR, Mostofsky SH, et al. Neuropsychological profile of executive function in girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Arch Clin Neuropsychol.2010;25:656-670
  • The MTA Cooperative Group. Multimodal treatment study of children with ADHD. A 14-month randomized clinical trial of treatment strategies for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999;56(12):1073–1086
  • Van Cleave J, Leslie LK. Approaching ADHD as a chronic condition: implications for long-term adherence. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2008;46:28–36.
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