Caffeine Used As An Alternative Treatment For ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD is a mental disorder of the neurodevelopmental type. It is characterized by problems paying attention, excessive activity, or difficulty controlling behavior which is not appropriate for a person’s age. These symptoms begin by age six to twelve, are present for more than six months, and cause problems in at least two settings (such as school, home, or recreational activities). In children, problems paying attention may result in poor school performance. Although it causes impairment, particularly in modern society, many children with ADHD have a good attention span for tasks they find interesting.
Despite being the most commonly studied and diagnosed mental disorder in children and adolescents, the exact cause is unknown in the majority of cases. It affects about 5–7% of children when diagnosed via the DSM-IV criteria and 1–2% when diagnosed via the ICD-10 criteria. As of 2015 it is estimated to affect about 51.1 million people. Rates are similar between countries and depend mostly on how it is diagnosed. ADHD is diagnosed approximately three times more often in boys than in girls, although the disorder is often overlooked in girls due to their symptoms differing from those of boys. About 30–50% of people diagnosed in childhood continue to have symptoms into adulthood and between 2–5% of adults have the condition. The condition can be difficult to tell apart from other disorders, as well as to distinguish from high levels of activity that are still within the normal-range.
ADHD management recommendations vary by country and usually involve some combination of counseling, lifestyle changes, and medications. The British guideline only recommends medications as a first-line treatment in children who have severe symptoms and for medication to be considered in those with moderate symptoms who either refuse or fail to improve with counseling, though for adults medications are a first-line treatment. Canadian and American guidelines recommend that medications and behavioral therapy be used together as a first-line therapy, except in preschool-aged children. Stimulant medication therapy is not recommended as a first-line therapy in preschool-aged children in either guideline. Treatment with stimulants is effective for up to 14 months; however, its long term effectiveness is unclear. Adolescents and adults tend to develop coping skills which make up for some or all of their impairments.
The medical literature has described symptoms similar to ADHD since the 19th century. ADHD, its diagnosis, and its treatment have been considered controversial since the 1970s. The controversies have involved clinicians, teachers, policymakers, parents, and the media. Topics include ADHD’s causes and the use of stimulant medications in its treatment. Most healthcare providers accept ADHD as a genuine disorder in children and adults, and the debate in the scientific community mainly centers on how it is diagnosed and treated. The condition was officially known as attention deficit disorder (ADD) from 1980 to 1987 while before this it was known as hyperkinetic reaction of childhood.
History Of ADHD
Timeline of ADHD diagnostic criteria, prevalence, and treatment
Main article: History of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Hyperactivity has long been part of the human condition. Sir Alexander Crichton describes “mental restlessness” in his book An inquiry into the nature and origin of mental derangement written in 1798. ADHD was first clearly described by George Still in 1902.
The terminology used to describe the condition has changed over time and has included: in the DSM-I (1952) “minimal brain dysfunction,” in the DSM-II (1968) “hyperkinetic reaction of childhood,” and in the DSM-III (1980) “attention-deficit disorder (ADD) with or without hyperactivity.” In 1987 this was changed to ADHD in the DSM-III-R and the DSM-IV in 1994 split the diagnosis into three subtypes, ADHD inattentive type, ADHD hyperactive-impulsive type and ADHD combined type. These terms were kept in the DSM-5 in 2013. Other terms have included “minimal brain damage” used in the 1930s.
The use of stimulants to treat ADHD was first described in 1937. In 1934, Benzedrine became the first amphetamine medication approved for use in the United States. Methylphenidate was introduced in the 1950s, and enantiopure dextroamphetamine in the 1970s.
A number of public figures have given controversial statements regarding ADHD. Tom Cruise has described the medications Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (a mixed-salt amphetamine formulation) as “street drugs”. Ushma S. Neill criticized this view, stating that the doses of stimulants used in the treatment of ADHD do not cause addiction and that there is some evidence of a reduced risk of later substance addiction in children treated with stimulants. In the UK, Susan Greenfield spoke out publicly in 2007 in the House of Lords about the need for a wide-ranging inquiry into the dramatic increase in the diagnosis of ADHD, and possible causes. Her comments followed a BBC Panorama program that highlighted research that suggested medications are no better than other forms of therapy in the long term. In 2010, the BBC Trust criticized the 2007 Panorama program for summarizing the research as showing “no demonstrable improvement in children’s behaviour after staying on ADHD medication for three years” when in actuality “the study found that medication did offer a significant improvement over time” although the long-term benefits of medication were found to be “no better than children who were treated with behavior therapy.