ADD- Attention Deficit
hard to diagnose, panel says
By Paul Recer
Washington- Doctors still don't know the best
way to treat or even diagnose attention deficit disorder in children
- even though more than a million children now take powerful
drugs to control their hyperactive behavior, according to the
National Institutes of Health
In a report issued Wednesday, a panel of experts selected by
the NIH called attention deficit disorder a "profound problem"
that may affect 3 percent to 5 percent of all American school
children and costs schools more than $3 billion. But a consistent,
proven method of diagnosing and treating the disorder remains
elusive, the experts said.
"There is no current validated diagnostic test for"
the disorder, said Dr. David Kupfer, a University of Pittsburgh
pyschiatry professor and chairman of the panel.
Some treatments are effective in the short term - principally
drugs such as Ritalin - but no studies have examined their effect
on children who take them for more than 14 months, Kupfer said.
Attention deficit disorder, or ADD, usually id diagnosed in school-age
children. Symptoms include the inability to sit still and disruptive
Yet defining precisely what constitutes ADD is difficult, said
Dr. MArk Vonnegut, a pediatrician and panel member from Quincy,
Mass. "The diagnosis is a mess," he said/
Janis Ferre of the Utah Governor's Council for People with Disabilities,
also on the panel, said there's wide inconsistency in how a diagnosis
is made. "This results in over-diagnosis and under-diagnosis"
End of Article
Article taken from the Detroit News Thursday,Nov. 19th, 1998
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