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

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Alternate Names : ADHD

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

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a disorder in which an individual consistently shows certain behaviors over time. The three categories for these behaviors are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

What is going on in the body?

In people who have ADHD, the areas of the brain that control attention use less glucose than the brains of other people. 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 ADHD. Most experts believe that the following factors may play a role in causing 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


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    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Ann Reyes, Ph.D.
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 09/07/01

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