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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is developmental disease typified principally by the co-existence of hyperactivity and attentional problems (Gozal & Molfese, 2005). The two behaviours, attentional and hyperactivity occur rarely and independently. It is the most common diagnosed and researched psychiatric disorder among children. Research points out that ADHD affects approximately 3 to 5 percent of the children globally. An estimate of 30 to 50 per cent of the affected children is likely to continue having ADHD symptoms in their adulthood (Healey & Reid, 2003). This is because ADHD is a chronic disorder. Adolescents and adults suffering from this illness might develop coping mechanisms to compensate for some of their body impairments. In America, approximately 4.7 per cent adults suffer from this disorder (Jensen & Cooper, 2002). In light of this, the study discusses the causes, symptoms and management of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The first and foremost causative factor of ADHD is Genetics (Healey & Reid, 2003). Identical researches showed that ADHD is extremely inheritable, and genetics cause about three quarters of the total occurrence. Scientific and psychiatric researches have also claimed that hyperactivity is majorly a genetic condition, despite the identification of other causes. Genetic studies reveal that combination of genes that affect dopamine transporters cause the disease (Healey & Reid, 2003). Some of the genes include the dopamine beta-hydroxylase monoamine oxidase A and catecholamine-methyl transferase among others. A common gene variant referred to as LPHN3 causes approximately 9% of the total incidence.
Environmental factors are also among the contributing factors to the disorder (Larimer, 2005). Research showed that about 9 to 20% of the variance in ADHD symptoms results from environmental non-genetic factors. Some of these factors include exposure to alcohol and tobacco smoke during pregnancy period (Healey & Reid, 2003). Additionally, predisposition to lead during infancy also causes the ADHD. Nicotine in tobacco smoke causes a condition referred to as hypoxia, which is oxygen deficiency to the fetus in the uterus (Jensen & Cooper, 2002). It is also more likely that pregnant women with ADHD smoke thus increase their chance of delivering infants with ADHD.
According to studies, dietary habits might cause ADHD (Healey & Reid, 2003). Children’s ingestion of commercially manufactured food colors and sodium benzoate in the form of a preservative might cause hyperactivity (Healey & Reid, 2003). Various governments such as the British government took necessary measures to prevent the disorder. In order to combat ADHD, it is necessary to get rid of the manufactured food colors and preservatives.
Defining the exact indications of ADHD seems difficult since it is difficult to determine the normal levels of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity (Jensen & Cooper, 2002). As a result, the diagnosis of the disorder takes place in two varying frameworks within six months or more. Predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive or combined types are the symptom classification of ADHD. Predominantly symptoms include forgetfulness, difficulty in concentration, getting bored too quickly, poor listening skills and struggling to adhere to instructions (Larimer, 2005). Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive symptoms include nonstop talking, dashing around, and problems with sitting in one location, toying in seats and being frequently in motion. Combined symptoms integrate both predominantly inattentive type and predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type symptoms (Larimer, 2005).
Management of ADHD involves psychosocial therapy and medication (Healey & Reid, 2003). Psychosocial therapy is beneficial to children in preschool. The various forms of psychosocial therapies deployed include behavior therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, psychoeducational input and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CPT). In some situations, social skill and parent management training seem to be extremely beneficial in managing the symptoms.
Administration of stimulant medicines helps in managing the symptoms. However, other alternatives such as atomoxetines help in preventing the symptoms. As much as medications treat the symptoms, they have side effects. As a result, stimulant medicines and atomoxetines are not suitable for schoolchildren (Jensen & Cooper, 2002).
In conclusion, ADHD is the most common diagnosed and researched psychiatric disorder among children. Causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder include, but not limited to genetics, environmental factors and dietary habits. Medications and psychosocial therapies manage the symptoms of ADHD.