n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) : main topic

Volume 22, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



ADHD is not a benign disorder and its management is important, especially as it may lead to so much dysfunction in adults. <br>Eighty per cent of cases are polygenetically inherited, and in these cases there is dopamine deficiency in the synapses of specific areas of the brain due to overactive elimination. <br>The diagnosis is based on the DSM IV criteria, and 4 distinct clinical variants are identifiable. <br>Co-morbidity is common, especially learning disorders. <br>The management of ADHD demands a multi-modal approach, and may include medical, educational, psychosocial and dietary interventions. <br>Stimulants are the mainstay of the medical management of ADHD; they are effective and safe, with relatively few long- and short-term side-effects. <br>A 2-week clinical trial with a shortacting methylphenidate is important to ascertain whether the medication is beneficial and to monitor side-effects. <br>The most important contraindication to the use of methylphenidate is uncontrolled epilepsy. <br>If taken as prescribed the side-effects of methylphenidate are usually mild and temporary.

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