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The Science of ADHD

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Real Science Defines ADHD as Real Disorder

Some of the most prestigious scientific-based organizations in the world conclude that AD/HD is a real disorder with potentially devastating consequences when not properly identified, diagnosed and treated.

American Medical Association (AMA)
Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents, April 1998
Citation:Journal of the American Medical Association 279(14): 1100-1107, 1998

AD/HD "is a commonly seen neuropsychiatric syndrome that has been extensively studied over the past four decades . . . It should be noted that debate over AD/HD within the research and medical communities has been mild and mostly concerned with nuances in the diagnosis and treatment paradigms. By contrast, highly inflammatory public relations campaigns and pitched legal battles have been waged (particularly by groups such as the Church of Scientology) that seek to label the whole idea of AD/HD as an illness a "myth" . . . It is thus most important to separate legitimate concerns raised by scientific papers from abstract, distorted, or mendacious information from other sources."

Surgeon General of the United States
Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, December 1999
Full Text

Chapter Three (Children and Mental Health), Section Four is devoted entirely to the science of AD/HD. "AD/HD, which is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood, occurs in 3 to 5 percent of school-age children . . . The exact etiology of AD/HD is unknown, although neurotransmitter deficits, genetics, and perinatal complications have been implicated . . . The dopamine hypothesis has thus driven much of the recent research into the causes of AD/HD."

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD, December 1999
Citation: Archives of General Psychiatry 56(12): 1073-86, 1999
Summary Q&A
Abstract: Click here

This landmark study is "the first major clinical trial to look at childhood mental illness and the largest NIMH clinical trial to date."

Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
Consensus Development Conference Statement
, November 1998
Citation: NIH Consensus Statement 16(2): 1-37, 1998
Full Text

AD/HD "is a commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood that represents a costly major public health problem . . ."

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Rev. 2013

"Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity)."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Attention Deficit Disorder and Learning Disability: United States, 1997-98, May 2002
Citation: Vital Health Statistics 10(206), 2002
Full Text

This report demonstrates "that ADD and LD [learning disabilities] are among the most common chronic conditions affecting school-aged children in the United States."

2002 International Consensus Statement on AD/HD
Citation: Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 5(2): 89-111, 2002
Full Text: Available Through the NRC Library
Originally published in: Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review

Roughly 100 scientists from the international community created the consensus statement as a reference on the status of the scientific findings concerning this disorder. "As a matter of science, the notion that ADHD does not exist is simply wrong. All of the major medical associations and government health agencies recognize ADHD as a genuine disorder because the scientific evidence indicating it is so overwhelming."

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Clinical Practice Guideline: Treatment of the School-Aged Child with
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
, October 2001
Citation: Pediatrics 108(4): 1033-44, 2001
Full Text

This guideline "is based on an extensive review of the medical, psychological, and educational literature" and "emphasizes consideration of ADHD as a chronic condition."

Clinical Practice Guideline: Diagnosis and Evaluation of the Child with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, May 2000
Citation: Pediatrics 105 (5): 1158-70, 2000
Full Text

"Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is the most common neurobehavioral disorder of childhood."

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
Practice Parameters for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
In Press, 2007

"Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood and adolescence."

Practice Parameter for the Use of Stimulant Medications in the Treatment of Children, Adolescents, and Adults, June 2001
Citation: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 41(2 Suppl): 26S-49S, 2002

"Long thought of as a childhood disorder, AD/HD is now known to persist into adolescence and adulthood."

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Utilization and Costs of Medical Care for Children and Adolescents with and without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, January 2001
Citation: Journal of the American Medical Association 285(1): 60-6, 2001

"Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a relatively common behavioral disorder of childhood, with important consequences for affected individuals, their families, and society."

How Common Is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?, March 2002

Citation: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 156(3): 209-10, 2002

According to Mayo researchers, this study is the largest population-based study of the occurrence of ADHD to date and "it indicates that this disorder is commonly seen in children between the ages 5 and 19 years."

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