Hyperactivity: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Hyperactivity is a state of excess activity that may be manifested by symptoms such as

  • fidgeting,
  • jumpiness,
  • nervousness, or
  • excessive movement.

It is often accompanied by difficulty concentrating or focusing on a task, excessive talking, or difficulty remaining quiet in school. However, it is important to distinguish true hyperactivity from the active and impulsive behaviors exhibited by normal children.

The hallmark condition associated with hyperactivity and difficulty concentrating is attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition that has been increasingly diagnosed in both children and adults in recent years. It is hard to diagnose in toddlers but is often apparent by school age. Rare conditions that affect the brain, some emotional problems, certain medications and drugs, as well as endocrinologic disturbances can also affect an individual's activity level and may at times contribute to hyperactivity.

Related Symptoms & Signs

REFERENCE:

United States. National Institute of Mental Health. "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder." March 2016. <https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/9/2018
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