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Feature Article

Adults with ADHD – essentials for the GP

Julian Trollor

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Abstract

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood disorder that often persists into adulthood. GPs are well placed to have a co-ordinating role in the multimodal management of ADHD and its associated psychiatric comorbidities.

Key Points

  • ADHD manifests as deficits in behavioural inhibition, cognitive control and motor activity, and is thought to have strong genetic and neurobiological determinants.
  • Adult ADHD is a relatively common mental disorder that represents a continuum of symptoms from childhood.
  • Detailed assessment of ADHD in adults takes into account the nature and impact of current symptoms and assesses the presence of other medical and psychiatric disorders that may mimic or be associated with ADHD.
  • Management of adult ADHD includes both psychological and pharmacological strategies.
  • Pharmacological management with stimulant medication should be considered in adults with moderately severe ADHD symptoms, provided no contraindications exist.
  • Comprehensive management of ADHD and its psychiatric comorbidities significantly improves outcomes for adults with ADHD.

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