Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) begins in childhood but, without adequate treatment, it can continue into adulthood and cause numerous complications. At present, however, there are medications that have proven effective in improving the symptoms of more than 70% of treated patients.
ADHD is a neuropsychiatric disorder, with a genetic origin in most cases (76%), which affects between 3 and 7% of school-age children and which, in many cases, is not diagnosed correctly. , so that patients do not follow the appropriate therapy and may have problems such as school failure, difficulties in their family and social relationships, and loss of self-esteem.
Although the definitive diagnosis of ADHD is established by the psychologist or the neurologist, the role of the primary care physician is key when it comes to detecting the initial symptoms early, to refer the patient to the specialist, and prevent them from taking inappropriate medications and his condition alters his quality of life and that of his family.
Normally, parents who come to the primary care pediatrician do so when the child has learning or behavioral problems, sometimes following the advice of educational professionals.
The doctor Josep Antoni Ramos, a psychiatrist at the Vall d'Hebrón Hospital in Barcelona, who has participated in the National Congress of SEMERGEN held recently in Oviedo, points out that it is essential to recognize the symptoms, such as the attention deficit, which usually translates into poor school performance, and alterations in behavior, to make an early diagnosis. For this, as reported by Dr. Marcelino García Noriega, neuropediatric, there are basic questionnaires that serve to detect the presence of the disorder in children between six and eight years.
Treatment of ADHD
ADHD is an underdiagnosed condition, both in children and adults, and it is important to keep in mind that hyperactivity, which is a symptom that is visible to the naked eye, is not always present, nor to the same degree, in all patients, so that its absence does not imply that there is no problem of lack of attention.
When the disease occurs in adults, these usually present problems to organize their work and plan their daily activities
When the disease occurs in adults, these usually present problems to organize their work and plan their daily activities, or to maintain attention, depressive symptoms, impulsivity, anxiety, addiction to alcohol or other toxic substances, and difficulties in their relationships with the others, among other manifestations of the disorder.
It is also common for many adults to consult their doctor when they see that they have problems similar to those of their children, and that they have never followed a treatment to correct them.
According to Dr. Ramos, it has been proven that currently available pharmacological treatments are very effective, both in adults and children, since they have benefited more than 70% of patients, and adds that the medications, in addition, They can be combined with cognitive-behavioral treatments with excellent results.
Source: Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians (SEMERGEN)