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TOPIC: Could children diagnosed ADHD need better sleep?

Could children diagnosed ADHD need better sleep? 19 Jun 2013 16:31 #202

Could children diagnosed with ADHD just need better sleep? More youngsters than ever are prescribed drugs for hyperactivity
Posted June 17, 2013 by Rachel Ellis

More children - and adults - than ever are being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Yet many of those may not have the behavioural disorder but could instead be suffering from sleep deprivation, says a leading U.S. doctor. He estimates more than a third of children and a quarter of adults diagnosed with ADHD actually have sleep problems.

Sleep deprivation, especially in children, does not - as might be expected - cause lethargy, but very similar problems to ADHD, including hyperactivity, an inability to focus, aggression and forgetfulness.
The similarity between the symptoms, coupled with many doctors' poor understanding of sleep disorders, is what is causing the confusion in some patients, says Vatsal Thakkar, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine.

'While there is no doubt that many people have ADHD, a substantial proportion of cases are really sleep disorders in disguise,' he says.

ADHD is characterised by problems with attention, concentration and impulsiveness. Around 5 per cent of British children are thought to be affected, with prescriptions for drugs to treat them rising by 70  per cent between 2005 and 2011.

Prescriptions for Ritalin, the most popular drug for ADHD, have quadrupled in the past decade, with children as young as three taking the powerful medication.


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Last Edit: 23 Jul 2015 22:40 by michael.bailey.
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