The ADHD Blog from ADHD Experts

  • Self vs Clinician Rating Scales

    Silverstein et al. (2017) recently published a study which reported a validation of two expanded adult ADHD scales, self-report (Adult ADHD Self Report Rating Scale (ASRS) v1.1 Symptom Checklist) and clinician/investigator (Adult ADHD Investigator Symptom Rating Scale - AISRS); both scale were expanded beyond the classic 18 DSM symptoms of inattention (IA) and hyperactivity-impulsivity (HI) to include 13 additional commonly co-traveling items of executive function deficits (EFDs) (eg.
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  • ADHD Screener

    Ustun et al. (2017) recently published an updated version of the adult ADHD screener which is validated for DSM-5: the ASRS v1.1 Screener: DSM-5. The prior DSM-IV version of the screener was established using two populations: a community-based sample from the National Co-Morbidity Survey (NCS-R) and a sample of individuals from a health care plan. The first step was to recalibrate the new screener using these same two samples, but applying updated DSM-5 criteria; symptoms included not only
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  • Eating disorders and ADHD

    ADHD and Eating Disorders

    ADHD Affects the Efficacy of Treatment for Eating Disorders in Adult Women Swedish researchers examined outcomes for adult women who sought treatment at the Stockholm Centre for Eating Disorders over a period of two years and nine months. Out of 1,517 women who came to the clinic 1,143 remained eligible for the study, after excluding women whose symptoms did not fulfill the DSM-IV criteria for eating disorders or had incomplete records. Of these, seven hundred patients could not be
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  • alcohol addiction substance use disorder

    Identifying and Treating Persons with Comorbid ADHD and Substance Use Disorders

    An international group of twelve experts recently published a consensus report examining the state of the evidence and offering recommendations to guide screening, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with ADHD-SUD comorbidity.1 In a clear sign that we are still in the early stages of understanding this relationship, five of the thirteen recommendations received the lowest recommendation grade (D), eight received the next-lowest (C), and none received the highest (A and B). The
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  • Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Adults with ADHD

    A Dutch study compared the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) combined with treatment as usual (TAU), with TAU-only as the control group. MBCT consisted of an eight-week group therapy consisting of mindfulness exercises (bodyscan, sitting meditation, mindful movement), psychoeducation about ADHD, and group exercises. TAU consisted of usual treatment in the Netherlands, including medications and other psychological treatment. Sixty individuals were randomly assigned to
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  • Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy Effective for Older Adults with ADHD?

    Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effective for Older Adults with ADHD?

    Though there have been numerous studies of the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for ADHD symptoms in children, adolescents, and adults, few have examined efficacy among adults over 50. A new study begins to fill that void. Psychiatric researchers from the New York University School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Pfizer randomly assigned 88 adults diagnosed with elevated levels of ADHD to one of two groups. The first group received 12 weeks of CBT targeting
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  • ADHD and Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy

    A recent CNN report,, highlighted a paper published in Pediatrics, which reported that pregnant women who use acetaminophen during pregnancy put their unborn child at two-fold increased risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).   In that study, acetaminophen use during pregnancy was common; nearly half of women surveyed used the painkiller during a pregnancy.   Other studies have reported similar associations of acetaminophen,
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  • The Familial Relationship Between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Substance Use Disorders

       While it has been well documented that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance use disorders (SUD) commonly co-occur, little is known about the reasons for this association.  Since both disorders are highly heritable one hypothesis is the high co-occurrence may be due to common genes.  One way to assess for a genetic relationship between ADHD and SUD is through a familial risk analysis.  Familial risk analysis compares the prevalence of an
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  • Is ADHD a Serious Condition?

    In the popular media, ADHD is sometimes portrayed as a minor condition or not a disorder at all.   In fact, it is easy to find web sites claiming that ADHD is an invention of the medical profession and that the symptoms used to diagnose the disorder are simply normal behaviors that have been “medicalized”.   These claims are wrong.  They miss the main point of any psychiatric diagnostic process which is to identify people who experience distress or
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  • ADHD Treatment Decision Tree

    If you’ve ever wondered how experts make treatment recommendations for patients with ADHD, take a look at this ADHD treatment decision tree that my colleagues and I constructed for our “Primer” about ADHD, Although a picture is worth a thousand words, keep in mind that this infographic only gives the bare bones of a complex process.   That said, it is telling that one of the first questions an expert asks is if the patient has a comorbid condition that is more
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