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A 20-year-old male asked:

my neurologist says that if a person didn't had history as a child adhd isn't very likely. is that always true?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael H. T. Sia
Pediatrics 31 years experience
Not necessarily:: Although adhd has classically been viewed as a disorder of children, more than half of the patients carry symptoms, or even the full adhd-diagnosis, into adulthood . Greater than 60% of the adult patients have at least 1 additional psychiatric diagnosis. Substance abuse disorders are seen in 10% of the patients. Heritability estimates range from 60% & is higher in adult form vs. Child adhd.
Dr. Thomas Seck
Pediatrics 17 years experience
Not always: They probably meant that if a person didn't have symptoms of adhd as a child it isn't likely that they have adhd. You have to have them for the official diagnosis. However, sometimes symptoms are missed (especially add symptoms) until a person enters a more challenging environment. I know an er doc that didn't recognize her symptoms until she needed to care for several patients at once.
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Not always : History is not infallible. Some patients don't have the history of add explicitly in their past history, but from achievement or employment history a dr can assume they were add from other factors, such as report cards, academic performance, employment history. Also, medical conditions such as repeated head trauma or infection can predispose to add.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016

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