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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on diagnosis of adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. [116903]

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been considered primarily as disorders of childhood, and are described in the International Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders (ICD-10) and the U.S. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), where clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines are to be found. Diagnosis is clearly a matter for the responsible medical practitioner, but I understand that the position concerning ADD/ADHD in adults is less clear. I gather that evidence is accumulating that the disorder found in childhood may persist into adulthood and in some cases be first diagnosed in adulthood.