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8 Cards in this Set

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Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD

A.) A persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development

B.) inattention and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms where present prior to age 12

C.) Symptoms are present in two or more settings (home, school, work, friends)

D.) symptoms reduce quality of life

E.) symptoms can not be explained better by another mental disorder


Prevalence, incidence, and demographics

- World wide ADHD occurs in 5% of children. It is the most common mental disorder in children

- ADHD is difficult to diagnose in preschool (as symptoms can be similar to the normal development)

- ADHD is more prevalent in boys than girls (3:1)

- Recent numbers in the States show ADHD in 9.5% of children age 4-17 ( 1 million child increase from 2007)

- Male African Americans are at high risk compared to caucasians

- Low family income can also play a role


Factors associated with ADHD

- Young maternal age, pre maternal smoking, and alcohol consumption (however only accounts for 10% of variance)


Why are less girls diagnosed with ADHD

- Some scientist speculate that females may be under diagnosed because they show different symptoms (anxiety, etc)

- boys tend to show more rule breaking and could lead to a higher rate of diagnosis


List some genetic factors

- Large genetic influence which can account for 70-95% of variance of ADHD (same as genetic influence for determining a persons height!)

- A genetic influence for both inattention and hyperactivity (looked at separately) was shown.

- If one sibling has ADHD and the other does not, both still carry the same endophenotypes - they share similar deficits in executive functioning. The unaffected sibling may not express behavioural ADHD, however they are still at risk (carriers)


Some environmental factors (not sure why this was included in the hand out.... )

- Lead exposure has been linked to ADHD

- Methyl-mercy (found in fish) prenatally as been associated with attention problems in chilren


Neuroanatomical facts for ADHD

- Reduce grey matter in the prefrontal-striatal-cerebrellar network (provides mediation between cognitive, motor, and behavioural functions).

- Reduced activation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), plays a role in self regulation and executive control.

- Smaller splenium (in corpus colossum). corpus colossum plays a role in sustaining and dividing attention. ADHD children often have trouble with memory tasks (splenium is thought to help with memory)


Neurochemisty facts

- Weakened dopamine system. Lower levels of tonic extracellular dopamine lead to increased levels of stimuli evoked phasic dopamine. (why ADHD children are so hypersensitive to environment stimuli).

- Low serotonergic levels may play a role in impulsive-aggressive behaviour.