Condition: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a problem with behaviour which causes a rage of symptoms including inattentiveness (problems with concentrating), hyperactivity (being too active) and impulsiveness (difficulty staying focused).

ADHD is estimated to affect 5% of individuals worldwide. It is often diagnosed in childhood, but in some cases is not recognised until adulthood.

There are three recognised subtypes of ADHD:

  • Hyperactive-impulsive subtype
  • Inattention subtype
  • Combined subtype

Each of the three subtypes of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may present with different symptoms:

Hyperactive-impulsive subtype
  • Fidgeting
  • Difficulty playing quietly
  • Talking excessively
  • Interrupting others
  • Difficulty in waiting their turn
Inattention subtype
  • Difficulty in concentrating and paying attention
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Easily distracted
  • Commonly forgets essential items
  • Trouble with organisation
Combined subtype
  • Features of both other subtypes

Symptoms are commonly first seen in children of primary and middle school age. For a diagnosis of ADHD to be made symptoms must occur in two or more settings, commonly home and school. The symptoms must also be present for at least six months.

The cause of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not fully known, however there is evidence that it may run in some families.

Risk factors for ADHD include:

  • Male gender
  • Exposure to maternal smoking or alcohol during pregnancy
  • Preterm delivery
  • Presence of developmental or mental health disorders

A diagnosis of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is made as part of a longitudinal process of assessing a child, or in some cases teenager or adult.

If as an individual/parent you are concerned that you/your child displays any of the symptoms associated with ADHD the first port of call should be your general practitioner (GP).

The formal diagnosis of ADHD is made by a specialist in the condition by comparing an individual’s symptoms against a list of diagnostic criteria.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment

A large proportion of treatment involves discussions with trained practitioners to learn skills to better manage problem behaviours. In addition, psychological treatment such as cognitive behavioural therapy or social skills training is recommended for older children or adults.

In addition, medication is often used to good effect. In the UK, methylphenidate or atomoxetine are usually the first line medications trialed by patients.

Medicinal cannabis can be considered when first line therapies have not achieved adequate symptom control.

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If you are a patient or carer seeking an appointment to discuss treatment with medical cannabis, you can complete this form and we can assist you with this.

Eligible patients can provide us with their healthcare records or we can obtain these through your GP. This is to confirm that a patient’s condition has been fully assessed and all other treatment options have been attempted. We will ensure that the primary care provider receives all treatment communication to maintain the highest level of clinical governance.

We also accept referrals from healthcare professionals.

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