ADD-Attention Deficit Disorder hard to diagnose.>

ADD- Attention Deficit Disoder
hard to diagnose, panel says

ADD,Ritalin,Attention Deficit Disorder

By Paul Recer
Associated Press

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 behavior.
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" she said.

End of Article
Article taken from the Detroit News Thursday,Nov. 19th, 1998 Morning Edition

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