Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Preschoolers With ADHD Maintain Symptoms

Four-year-olds with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) still retain significant levels of symptoms when they reach age 10, according to the latest report from a long-term study of children with the disorder, reported in the March Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Researchers led by Mark Riddle, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins Hospital, followed 207 children (75 percent male) from an average age of 4.4 to an average age of 10.4 as part of the Preschool ADHD Treatment Study (PATS).

Symptom severity declined from ages 4 to 7, but changed little afterwards. Whether the children were taking medications made little difference in severity of symptoms after age 7. A diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder and/or conduct disorder increased the risk of an ADHD diagnosis by 30 percent at age 10. Even with the use of medications, symptoms and impairment remain, concluded the researchers. “Development of more effective ADHD intervention strategies is needed for this age group.”

For more in Psychiatric News about ADHD in young children, click here. Also see the American Journal of Psychiatry here.

(Image: Suzanne Tucker/


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