Pathophysiology: Adult ADHD is known as Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is a neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorder which includes significant problems with executive functions (e.g., attentional control and inhibitory control) that cause attention deficits, hyperactivity, or impulsiveness which is not appropriate for a person's age. It is associated with functional impairments in some of the brain's neurotransmitter systems, particularly those involving dopamine and norepinephrine. The dopamine and norepinephrine pathways that originate in the ventral tegmental area and locus coeruleus project to diverse regions of the brain and govern a variety of cognitive processes. The dopamine pathways and norepinephrine pathways which project to the prefrontal cortex and striatum are directly responsible for modulating executive function (cognitive control of behavior), motivation, reward perception, and motor function, these pathways are known to play a central role in the pathophysiology of ADHD.
Symptoms: Inattention, hyperactivity (restlessness in adults), disruptive behaviour, and impulsivity are common in ADHD. A combination of genes and environmental factors likely plays a role in the development of the ADHD condition. Diagnostic criteria must have six or more signs and symptoms from one or both of the two categories like Inattention and Hyperactivity and impulsivity. Stimulants (psychostimulants) are the most commonly prescribed medications like methylphenidate (Concerta, Metadate, Ritalin, others), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), dextroamphetamine-amphetamine help treat the signs and symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity. Zinc deficiency has been associated with inattentive symptoms Other medications include atomoxetine (Strattera) and antidepressants such as bupropion (Wellbutrin). Atomoxetine and antidepressants work slower than stimulants and may take several weeks. Treatment also includes psychological counselling.
Statistics: The estimated crude prevalence rate of current ADHD in Brazil was 5.8%. Adult ADHD was significantly associated with lower age, low educational level, unemployment, marital status (never married and divorced), and rural residency. The worldwide prevalence at between 5.29%1 and 7.1% in children and adolescents,2 and at 3.4% (range 1.2–7.3%) in adults.3 The prevalence of ADHD in very young children (aged <6 years) or later in adult life (aged >44 years).