A relatively unknown aspect of ADHD is that adults can be affected, too. Evidence increasingly shows that children with ADHD can have persistent problems into adulthood, manifesting as adult ADHD.1 One obstacle the health care community faces is that adult ADHD is poorly understood and remains controversial, making diagnosis and management difficult. As an aid in diagnosing adult ADHD, an important prerequisite is a history of childhood ADHD.
Management of adult ADHD is similar to that of childhood ADHD, with stimulant medications used as the primary treatment mode. However, only a limited number of controlled pharmacological studies have been conducted for this disorder.2 The main stimulant medications used are pemoline, venlafaxine, desipramine, dexamphetamine and tomoxetine. Antidepressants are also employed.
As with childhood ADHD, limited research exists for the use and effectiveness of nutrition therapy and alternative care. However, one can make the supposition that those nutrient therapies and alternative care modalities which have shown benefit for childhood ADHD can be applied to adult ADHD. While further investigation is desperately needed in this area, the lack of side effects and potential for symptom reduction is reason enough for adults diagnosed with ADHD to aggressively pursue these "alternative" approaches.
Craig J, Clinical recognition and management of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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Wilens TE, et al. Controlled trial of high doses of pemoline for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
J Clin Psychopharmacol 1999;19(3):257-64