Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or hyperkinetic disorder (HKD), is prevalent in people of all ages,1-4 and evidence exists for the association between ADHD and possible structural,5-16 functional16-24 and neurotransmitter25-31 alterations in various regions of the brain in children, adolescents and adults with ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD can impact patients’ quality of life,32-36 and can be an economic burden to those affected, their families and healthcare providers.37-48
ADHD across the lifespan
ADHD can have a significant social impact on patients’ lives, disrupting education, employment, finances, family life and relationships.
ADHD can affect pre-schoolers, children, adolescents and adults, and prevalence rates may vary depending on several factors:
The aetiology of ADHD is complex and is thought to have a neurobiological component,5-31 an underlying genetic component55,56 and be associated with several environmental risk factors, which may increase the likelihood of some ADHD symptoms.57-61
Impact of ADHD across the lifespan
ADHD can have a significant social impact on patients’ lives, causing disruption at school,32,62-64 work45,62,65-67 and in relationships.32,44,45,62,68 Symptoms of ADHD may also increase risk-taking behaviour.62,69,70 Consequently, the quality of life of patients with ADHD may be impaired,32-34,36 although some positive aspects of ADHD have been reported.45,71 ADHD can also be associated with substantial economic burden for patients, families and societal healthcare services.37-43,47,48
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