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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder

Alternate Names : ADD

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Attention deficit disorder, which is also called ADD, is a disorder in which a person shows a certain pattern of behavior over time. This pattern includes inattention and impulsivity. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, adds hyperactivity to the other behaviors.

What is going on in the body?

In people who have ADD, the brain areas that control attention use less glucose than the brains of other people use. This indicates that the areas are less active. The lower activity level seems to cause inattention. No one knows for sure why these brain areas are less active.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

No one knows the exact cause of ADD. Most experts believe that the following factors may play a role in causing ADD and ADHD:

  • environmental toxins, such as lead
  • genetics
  • smoking or alcohol use by the mother during pregnancy
  • use of illegal drugs, such as cocaine, by the mother during pregnancy
  • ADD is thought to affect 5% to 10% of school-age children. Boys are 10 times more likely than girls to be affected by ADD.


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    Attention Deficit Disorder: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Michael Johnson, MD
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 09/07/01

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