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What is ADHD or ADD?

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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition affecting children and adults that is characterized by problems with attention, impulsivity, and overactivity.  It affects between 5-8 percent of school age children, and between 2-4 percent of adults.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the current diagnostic label for a condition that has been recognized and studied for over a century. Over the years, it has been known by several other names including "brain damaged syndrome," "minimal brain dysfunction (MBD)," "hyperkinetic impulsive disorder," and "attention deficit disorder (ADD)." 

The body of scientific literature documenting the reality of this condition is immense.   

ADHD or ADD?

"ADHD" (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is the term now used for a condition which has had several names over the past hundred years. Science recognizes three subtypes of ADHD (inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined).  A diagnosis of one type or another depends on the specific symptoms (i.e. the "diagnostic criteria") that person has.

While some individuals, including many professionals, still refer to the condition as "ADD" (attention deficit disorder), this term is no longer in widespread use. For those who may have been diagnosed with ADD, the corresponding diagnostic category, using current terminology, would mostly likely be "ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type."

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