Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) a disorder on the rise

The 6.8% of children aged 6 to 14 years suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), growing health problem in the pediatric outpatient clinics in health centers, as has noted the Andalusian association comprising these experts at a scientific meeting held recently in Seville.

Hyperactivity is one of neurodevelopmental disorders more common in childhood and adolescence that has originated multiple causes : alterations in some areas of the brain, genetic, environmental and psychosocial factors. This disorder is recognized as one of the main reasons for school failure and inability to maintain and develop social relationships . In addition to the core symptoms, ADHD may be associated in some people with emotional imbalances, with low frustration tolerance and emotional symptoms such as low self – esteem and social rejection can reach isolation.

The diagnosis and early treatment is key to these children, but “in our country, despite advances in the last ten years, detection of ADHD is still late at too high a percentage of cases, with the implications this poses to the child’s life in the present and in the future , “says the Pandah Report , a comprehensive national study which involved 200 experts hyperactivity.

Late detection involves “school failure , increased cormobilidades, high risk of relationship problems in adolescence , ” among others, said María Dolores Mojarro, Professor of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Seville and head of the research unit ADHD. Mojarro also stresses that “the lack of both pharmacological and psychological treatment carries risks increase.”

There are three core symptoms of the disorder: inattentiveness and / or hyperactivity and impulsivity or difficulty controlling impulses . These symptoms persist into adolescence by almost 80% of those affected . Although hyperactivity remains in most cases, the Pandah report states that “many young people with ADHD have a good adaptation in adulthood and be free of the disorder.” To achieve this , children with hyperactivity “need a multidisciplinary approach : doctor (child psychiatry and pediatric neurologist), a clinical psychologist, psychologists, etc. , ” stresses the Mojarro teacher. Management currently has limited resources to fully meet the needs of this population. “Few units child and adolescent mental health, and how to access them via pediatric or adult mental health route”, which results in delayed treatment, emphasizes Mojarro.

This situation is another problem for families is added: the existence of specialists who do not recognize this disorder , which also prevents early diagnosis and reflects the need for “further training picture in undergraduate or postgraduate courses” professor of Psychiatry says. Also “would be needed more units and multidisciplinary teams to address the demand , ” he adds.

Specialists who participated in the Pandah report highlights that another difficulty to detect this health problem is “the absence of an itinerary or plan of action agreed and established at national level in the health and education sector”. From suspicion or diagnosis “there is a circuit established and a multidisciplinary team to address the disorder from its various dimensions,” the study said.

Despite these difficulties, the disorder is detected more frequently because, among other reasons, to raise awareness in the general population and especially in schools, where the first warning signs usually detected.

“Prevalence studies over the last three decades in many countries show that the prevalence of ADHD in children is between 5% -10% , ” says pediatrician Alfonsa Lora, who is part of a working group on this disorder in the Association of Primary Care Pediatrics in Andalusia . Lora said that the fact that the incidence is not increasing “does not mean much less that all these children are diagnosed and treated.”

A group of US diving in brain stimulation

A research team from the University of Seville led by Dr. Psychology, Juan Carlos López, has been found in animal models that a group of people affected by the disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) does not adequately respond to current treatments. In research conducted with rodents in the School of Psychology, the scientific group has proven the existence of two distinct populations of animals affected by this problem. One population reacts well to treatment but another group affected by ADHD drugs do not work. After these observations in the laboratory, researchers are now working to check the results in children with hyperactivity. For the development of these studies this team has had the collaboration of a team from the Department of Electronics Technology Faculty of Engineering at the Hispalense to develop software. “This is a computer program that allows measuring the response to different stimuli through games,” explains principal investigator. In these tests, researchers are seeking a method to discriminate against those who do not respond well to treatments for specialists to seek alternative therapies for them. In addition, “the goal is to avoid treatments that do not work and have side effects,” added the professor. Results of these studies have been published in the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.

Families demand attention to management

Families grouped in the Association of Parents and Sevillana afflicted with hyperkinetic disorders (Aspathi) call for more attention to management. Early diagnosis and early treatment are key to the development of small affected, but Aspathi regrets that a number of health professionals, both pediatricians and psychologists do not recognize this disorder, which delays attendance. Children with hyperactivity often diagnosed at four to six years and usually are the teachers who detected the problem. In a large number of cases, families are forced to journey both public health and in private to make the diagnosis. It is a disorder that is a “slight difficulty” if treated in time, and needs a psychoeducational attention that parents have to take. In these sessions, children learn to use tools for behavioral stimulation to handle frustration and emotions work.


Hyperactivity disorder, a disorder on the rise


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