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 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. It can be caused by genetics, environment, and society. It usually begins in childhood, but may continue into the adult. No single test can confirm the diagnosis. Stimulants (psychostimulants) are the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD. Magnetic resonance imaging studies suggest that long-term treatment with amphetamine or methylphenidate decreases abnormalities in brain structure and function found in subjects with ADHD. Stimulants like methylphenidate (Concerta, Metadate, Ritalin, others), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), dextroamphetamine-amphetamine help treat the signs and symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity.
Statistics: The estimated crude prevalence rate of current ADHD in Poland 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).