ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It affects three to five percent of school going children. It is a behavioral disorder and is characterized by low concentration levels, high distractibility, hyperactivity and restlessness that are unbefitting of the child's age. The children usually have a tendency to day dream and complete tasks at a slow pace.
There are basically three types of ADHD: ADHD mainly inattentive, ADHD mainly hyperactive-impulsive and ADHD combined. This deficiency syndrome if not treated may persist into adulthood. The actual cause of ADHD is not known but researchers feel that it may be caused as a result of head injuries, sleep apnea, neural changes or by poor parental care.
ADHD cannot be cured but it can be kept under control. Drug treatment used for this purpose includes stimulant therapy, non stimulant therapy and antidepressant therapy.
Stimulant therapy is the mainstream treatment for controlling ADHD syndrome. The stimulants function by activating those regions in the brain that are responsible for focus, attention and concentration. Examples of stimulants include Addreall, Concerta, Focalin, Focalin XR, Methylin and Retalin.
Non stimulant therapy, the second line treatment for ADHD, involves the use of non-stimulant drugs. This therapy has been effective in both children and adults. This line of treatment is used if stimulants fail to produce the required effect. Atomoxetine is a good example of non stimulant drugs.
Another class of drugs used in the treatment of ADHD is antidepressants. They function by balancing the level of neurotransmitters (chemicals) in the brain. These drugs allow the chemicals to stay longer in the blood and be used by the human body. Buropion, Lonidine and Guanfacine are some of the antidepressants used to treat ADHD.
Two drugs used to treat high blood pressure, Cataprex and Tenex, have been found effective to some extent in treating ADHD, when used along with stimulants.
Techniques like Behavioral Management are essential for the treatment of ADHD in children or adults. It teaches them to gain control of the mind. This technique is usually coupled with the drug treatment to make it effective. However, it must be remembered that using drugs causes side effects like nausea, headache, jitteriness, stomachache and loss of appetite.
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