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ADHD refers to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is a brain-related condition found among preschoolers, children, teenagers and in many cases extends well into adulthood. These individuals have significant impairment in academics as well as social situations and interpersonal relations. The child has difficulty sustaining attention, phases of hyper activeness and cannot control his/her impulses which make their day to day life at school and home difficult.
The symptoms of this disorder among children can be categorized under three headings.
- Hyperactivity which includes
- Inability to stay at one place runs around and tries to climb things
- Trouble playing quietly
- Excessive talking
- Inattention, which can be divided into symptoms like
- Getting easily distracted
- Tendency to loose things
- Facing problems related to organizing things
- Not listening carefully
- Forgetting about daily activities, carelessness
- Interrupts others as they speak and talks out of turn
- Answers questions without listening to what has been asked
- Not being able to wait for their turn to come
10-12% of school children before puberty are affected by one or more types of ADHD. ADHD especially hyperactivity is more prevalent in boys than in girls, with the ratio up to 9:1. Inattention and poor concentration are more commonly seen amongst girls. The rate of ADHD in parents and sibling of children with ADHD is 5-10 times higher than in the general population.
The probable causes of ADHD among children are,
- Neurodevelopmental changes - Poorly developed activity of the brain particularly in the areas that control attention and concentration cause ADHD. This causes an imbalance in the neurotransmitters or the chemicals important for brain functioning and development.
- Genetic Factors - genetic studies show that ADHD is largely hereditary in nature with a heritability of 75% approximately.