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Related: attention - psychiatry

Einstein, March 14, 1951, unknown UPI photographer
Einstein has been retrospectively diagnosed with ADHD


Though ADHD is classified as a serious disorder, many people have a different perspective and note the positive aspects. Some people believe that ADHD can be beneficial and find hints of ADHD in the lives of many famous people in history. Though such post mortem diagnosis is questionable, it is intriguing to ponder the evidence that people such as Thomas Edison might have been diagnosed as having ADHD if the current DSM criteria had been developed long ago. Other historical figures who have been proposed as ADHD candidates include: Hans Christian Andersen, Ludwig van Beethoven, Winston Spencer Churchill, Walt Disney, Benjamin Franklin, Robert and John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, Jules Verne, Woodrow Wilson and the Wright brothers.

To see ADHD positively may seem somewhat problematic to anxious parents but it is at least a perspective that should be kept in mind. With or without hyperfocus, a common manifestation, ADD/ADHD in combination with successful coping skills may be utilized to achieve remarkable accomplishments. The list of historic figures and persons currently well-known in a wide range of fields who have displayed ADD/ADHD symptoms is impressive and may be source of inspiration. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADHD#Positive_aspects [May 2005]

Mainstream treatments
The first-line medication used to treat ADHD are mostly stimulants, which work by stimulating the areas of the brain responsible for focus, attention, and impulse control.

These include:

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADHD#Mainstream_treatments [May 2005]

Stimulant: Ritalin
A stimulant is a drug which increases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and produces a sense of euphoria or awakeness. Stimulants can be used as recreational drugs, or therapeutically to increase alertness. They are also used and sometimes abused to boost endurance and productivity as well as to suppress appetite. Examples of stimulants are caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine.

Some stimulants, as for example Ritalin, have been shown to help with ADHD. This is often called a "paradoxical effect", since ADHD is commonly thought of as "hyperactivity" and stimulants would be expected to increase activity, but another effect of sympathetic nervous system stimulation is an increased ability to concentrate on mental tasks. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stimulant [May 2005]

DSM-IV-TR Handbook of Differential Diagnosis

  1. DSM-IV-TR Handbook of Differential Diagnosis - Michael B. First, Allen, Md Frances, Harold Alan, MD Pincus [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This reference gives clear guidelines on psychiatric differential diagnoses for practitioners and trainees. Six crucial steps in differential diagnosis are outlined, and 27 decision trees trace pathways from common presenting symptoms to a final diagnosis. Tables provide direct comparisons of 62 specific disorders with each disorder's differential diagnostic contenders. A symptom index for the DSM-IV-TR lists those disorders that should be considered when formulating a differential diagnosis given a particular symptom in the patient's presentation. Author information is not given. --From Book News, Inc., amazon.com

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