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TOPIC: The Neurobiological Origin of ADHD

The Neurobiological Origin of ADHD 11 May 2014 16:59 #336

The Neurobiological Origin of ADHD
Posted May 11, 2014 by Jared Friedman

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, a term that includes what was formerly known as attention deficit disorder or ADD) is a growing problem in America. The American Psychological Association (APA) added the condition to its diagnostic handbook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, in the late 1980s.

The latest edition says that about five percent of American children have ADHD, but research indicates that number is much higher. According to one study, as of 2011, about 11 percent of children between the ages of 4 and 17 have ADHD. Over the past few decades, the rate of diagnosis has risen rapidly, increasing an average three percent per year from 1997 to 2006 and five percent per year from 2003 to 2011.

There are many potential reasons for the rise in diagnosis over the past few decades. It could be that awareness and understanding about the disorder has led medical professionals and educators to recognize the symptoms in more children. Alternatively, the modern way of life — including a largely sedentary lifestyle, an unhealthy diet filled with sugar, a decrease in the allotted time for recess and physical education in school, video games and other media — could be to blame. Some people also believe many medical professionals overdiagnose the condition and that many children diagnosed with ADHD are just exhibiting normal behavior.


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