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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Long-Term Medication Use

10/25/2001

Question:

I was diagnosed with ADD not ADHD what is the difference? I`m also on medication will I ever get off or will I be told to to take it the rest of my life?

Answer:

The term `Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)` is currently the official medical term for this disorder. Under that term you will find three categories; with hyperactivity, inattentive type (without hyperactivity), and combined (both hyperactive and inattentive). I (and many professionals) use `ADD` because of the inattentive type. It seems inappropriate and confusing to speak of `Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder without hyperactivity` for those who are only inattentive. There are many subtypes of ADD/ADHD (or however you wish to refer to it). What they seem to have in common is similar deficits, in the frontal lobes of the brain, of the neurotransmitter (chemical used for brain activity) called dopamine.

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Response by:

Susan Louisa Montauk, MD
Formerly Professor of Family Medicine
University of Cincinnati