Definition of ADD (attention deficit disorder)
ADD (attention deficit disorder): ADHD is a common condition that affects children and adolescents, while ADD is more common in adults. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children and is more common in boys than in girls. Children with ADHD generally have greater problems paying attention or concentrating. They can't seem to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. They also tend to move constantly and are impulsive, not stopping to think before they act.
The exact cause of ADHD is not known, although researchers continue to study the brain for clues. There are no laboratory tests for ADHD.
The diagnosis is made based on the child's symptoms and behavior. health care professionals, such as pediatricians and child psychologists can diagnose ADHD with the help of standard guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The doctor may ask for input from the child's parents, teachers, and other adults who are familiar with the child's symptoms.
Treatment for ADHD is multifaceted. It consists of ADHD medications or behavioral modification therapy or both. Studies have established the safety and effectiveness of using stimulant medications, other drugs, and behavioral therapy.
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012
Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Need help identifying pills and medications?