Hyperactivity

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Hyperactivity
Hyperactivity drug therapy

Hyperactivity is a children behavior disorder. Children with this syndrome are called hyperactive children. Recently, this disorder has been becoming increasingly more common. There are 3 to 8 percent of such children in the population. Hyperactivity is more common in boys (ratio 3:1). This syndrome usually begins in preschool-age children. During their first years these children have a "difficult character": they have difficulty falling asleep, are reluctant getting used to new foods, also, they are highly active. Medical advice is usually sought when such child begins to attend school (children must keep in order and perform exercises there, which is difficult for hyperactive kids).

Causes

Hyperactivity is highly related to heredity. Both or one of the parents often have been hyperactive or have had attention disorders in their childhood. Other causes include psychosocial factors (single-parent family, low social class), diet (dyes, preservatives, easily absorbed carbohydrates), video games and animated movies. Noradrenalin and dopamine metabolism disorder in the brain is identified in hyperactive children.

Signs and Symptoms

  •   Hyperactive children are highly active: they are constantly moving, whirling, running, climbing, also, they are overly chatty.
  •   Impulsivity: these children might interfere the other children's games, conversations, yell  the answer even when the teacher has not finished the question.
  •   Attention disorders are also specific for hyperactivity. Hyperactive children do not focus their attention, do not maintain the attention on a task or game, do not follow the instructions, fail to organize tasks in a row, avoid tasks requiring long concentration, also, they are forgetful and constantly lose their things.

Their intelligence is usually normal, but their school results are usually worse due to inability to concentrate, as their attention is constantly attracted by different stimulus. Hyperactivity is diagnosed when at least six of the symptoms mentioned above occur.

Classification

There are three types of hyperactivity:

  •  Mixed (this type has all the symptoms mentioned above).
  •  Attention disorder.
  •  Hyperactivity (in this case activity dominates. Such child may learn and focus the attention quite well).

Treatment

The treatment of hyperactivity includes:

  •   Psychotherapy (behavior, attention focusing and distributing training, communication skills, parent training).
  •   Special educational assistance (modified programs, special notebooks, where teachers write down homework assignments, which are signed by parents, etc.).
  •   Medication (psychostimulants, SSRI). Medication helps to focus the attention so that children can have some time to acquire new skills.

Prognosis

Up to half of hyperactivity cases the symptoms disappear by adolescence, while some patients might have them for life. These adults have less expressed motor activity (motility), but have attention disorder, impulsivity and etc. Other related illnesses such as anxiety disorders, antisocial behavior, mood disorders (depression, mania), often reveal to adults. Some of them suffer from a risky lifestyle (unsafe sex, crime), alcoholism, drug addiction, personality disorders, and suicidal behavior.

   

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