Attention deficit disorder/hyperkinetic disorder in children and adolescents

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder characterized with three core symptoms: hyperkinesis, attention deficit and impulsivity and secondary symptoms like learning disorders, behavioural disturbances and low self esteem. Soft neurological signs are very often present. The aetiology of the disorder is not yet well known and there are probably more neurobiological and psychosocial aetiological factors. The prevalence is 3-10% of school-age children. There is a greater incidence in boys than in girls with the ratio 9:1 in clinical, and 4:1 in epidemiological samples. Comorbidity is a major problem among children with ADHD, and two thirds of them have at least one more diagnosed psychiatric disorder, most often a conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and learning disorder, but also disorders of speech and communication, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, tic disorders such as Sy Tourette s. Comorbidity is very important because it makes the diagnostic process more complicated, and has implications for the course, prognosis and treatment. Treatment of ADHD is multidimensional and combines psychosocial and pharmacological interventions, and it should start as early as possible. Today, cognitive behavioural treatment and drug treatment are most important in therapy.

Category: Review
Volume: Vol. 55, No 1, january - march 2011
Authors: Z. Juretić, Z. Bujas Petković, N. Ercegović
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