ADHD: What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? (Part 1 of 3) | HealthiNation

Uploaded by HealthiNation on 20.07.2011

Hello, and welcome to HealthiNation, I'm Pat Murphy. If you've spent any time around
kids, you know they're always on the go. And, you may have heard the terms ADD or hyperactive
-- but what do they really mean? Well, ADHD is an umbrella term that covers both, and
these conditions are actually pretty common. In fact, about 2 million children in the United
States have ADHD. Meaning at least one child in a classroom of 25 to 30 kids will have
this condition. If you're the parent of a child with ADHD, there are steps you can
take to get your child help. In this segment, we'll identify the different indicators
of ADHD, and what you should do if you think your child may have it. We'll also talk
about how it can be treated. What is ADHD, and who's at risk? Here's Dr. Preeti Parikh
to tell us more.
ADHD is a disorder of the brain. It first appears during childhood and can continue
throughout adulthood, affecting almost every part of life -- school, home, work, and even
relationships. ADHD is divided into two major patterns of behavior: Inattention, and hyperactive-impulsive
behavior. It may even be a combination of the two. Inattention means it's hard for
your child to focus on a set of tasks for a sustained period of time. Hyperactivity
means your child may often feel restlessness, or can't easily settle down. And impulsive
behavior means trouble controlling urges and impulses. Researchers aren't entirely sure
what causes ADHD, but there are some common factors that may play a role. First, genetics:
If a close relative has ADHD, a child has an increased chance of having it, as well.
Second, studies have shown that there may be a link between ADHD-related behavior, and
the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain. These are chemicals that help brain cells
communicate with each other. Even the size of the brain might be related to ADHD. Children
who are exposed to environmental toxins like lead, which can be found in paint, may be
at an increased risk of developing ADHD. And finally, smoking, drinking and drug use during
pregnancy, which affects your child's development in the womb, may all increase the chances
of having a child with ADHD. ADHD can lead to problems with self esteem, relationships,
school work and stress. So, ADHD can be tough on kids who have it, but also on their parents
and teachers. But, getting kids help early can help avoid these problems and put them
on the right path.
Since there is no single test to diagnose ADHD, it's important to know whether your
child is at risk. Also, knowing the symptoms and warning signs can help you spot this condition
early. Be sure to watch our segment on the symptoms of ADHD to know what to look for.