by Dr. Asma Sadiq
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impulsivity, distractibility, and hyperactivity that manifests in early childhood.
The symptoms of ADHD affect cognitive, academic, behavioral, emotional, and social functioning.
It is a common disorder of childhood, with reported prevalence rates varying from 2% and 16%, depending on diagnostic criteria and population studied.
The prevalence of ADHD in school-aged children in the United States is 8% to 10% across all socioeconomic levels.
The male to female ratio is 4:1 for the predominantly hyperactive type, and 2:1 for the predominantly inattentive type. It may be underidentified in girls.
There is increasing scientific awareness that ADHD is a heterogeneous disorder that continues from childhood and adolescence into adulthood and in many cases carries a high risk of co-morbidities, such as mood disorders and learning disabilities.
Morphologic and metabolic differences in the brains of people with symptoms of ADHD have been suggested by studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) scans, and EEGs.
ADHD is often described as a “hypodopaminergic disorder” or a disorder of self-regulation, often called an “executive function dysfunction.” The most accepted hypothesis is that the cognitive and behavioral symptoms of ADHD are the result of diminished function of polysynaptic dopaminergic circuits of the pre-frontal executive centers of the brain cortex, which are responsible for impulse control and sustained attention.
Pediatr Ann. 2007 Aug;36(8):508-15. “Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and integrative approaches” Sadiq AJ.
Asma Sadiq, MD is the Director of the Division of Child Development at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Sadiq is board certified in General pediatrics, Developmental Behavioral pediatrics and Neuro-Developmental pediatrics.
She is a Faculty Development Fellow in the Integrative Medicine program at the Continuum Center for Health and Healing and a Bravewell Fellow in Integrative Medicine program at the University of Arizona. Dr. Sadiq lectures on Integrative approaches in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatric and has organized CME Conferences at Beth Israel on Integrative Medicine and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics.
Dr. Sadiq completed her MBBS./ MD degree from Dow Medical College in Karachi and her residency in Pediatrics at Harlem Hospital, Columbia University. She became an Assistant Attending in Pediatrics, teaching Columbia University Medical Students and Pediatric residents from both Harlem Hospital and Columbia. Dr. Sadiq has co-authored a parenting curriculum guide as part of the Parent and Child Enrichment Project, a five-year project at Columbia University and the Department of Health, which studied the benefits of providing at-risk mothers with an onsite rehabilitation program combined with medical and pediatric services.
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