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Attention deficit: what is ADHD?


The expert explains the symptoms and treatment of ADHD

Cast the first stone if you have not had problems with lack of attention in full quarantine. Not being able to leave the house for a long time has left some people inattentive, restless, and even with trouble concentrating. As such, these traits cause concern among people, who may even believe they suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD.

Although the disorder is most observed and commented on in children and adolescents, reaching 5% of the child population, do not think that adults cannot have this disorder. In fact, quite the opposite!

According to data from the World Health Organization, about 4% of the world’s adult population has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In Brazil, the disorder affects around 2 million adults.

understand the disorder

According to Paulo Sampaio, a neuroophthalmologist, ADHD is a neurobiological disease. He therefore means that the problem is in the tissues of the nervous system, which are modified in the uterus by a genetic change (not always hereditary).


In both children and adults, as you can imagine, the disorder is characterized by symptoms of inattention, restlessness and impulsivity.

During childhood, children are generally seen as fickle and inattentive. Additionally, according to the Brazilian Association for Attention Deficit (ABDA), these individuals with ADHD may have more behavioral problems, such as, for example, some difficulties with rules and limits.

However, Sampaio explains that even with apparent symptoms, such as the restless agitation of minors, children under the age of 6 are rarely referred for evaluation by pediatricians or parents.

“Usually the child begins to have learning difficulties and school monitoring from the age of 6. In this way the school itself – teacher or pedagogical consultant – asks the parents of the student to take him to a medical and multi-professional evaluation”, he explains. .

In adults, on the other hand, problems of inattention are usually encountered in relation to daily and professional life, as well as memory problems. According to ABDA, they are restless, do multiple things at once, and also show impulsiveness.

In addition, they have a high frequency of other associated problems, such as drug and alcohol use, anxiety and depression.


Sampaio explains that it is recommended to avoid starting drug treatment on the basis of a single medical consultation, where those responsible respond to a “diagnostic questionnaire” based on something that has no legal value in Brazil, the DSM-V (Manual of Mental Illnesses of the Academia American Psychiatry).

“Once you’ve ruled out any disease that can mimic ADHD, treatment begins,” he clarifies. The neurologist and / or psychiatrist can choose between the different drugs on the market today, based on the characteristics of each patient, of course.

In this way it is often necessary to combine drugs or elaborate formulas. “In addition to drug treatments, we are obliged to make up for school delays (psycho-pedagogical support), psychologically help the patient and the family (neuropsychological support) and correct the sensory changes resulting from the period in which the individual was not diagnosed”, explains Sampaio .

In addition, drugs can be combined with acupuncture, which has the advantage of reducing the dose needed or, in some cases, stopping it altogether. According to Luciano Curuci, acupuncturist, in the cases of children, acupuncture can be applied in a conventional systemic way, using the needles in a classic way, or in some cases you can choose microsystem techniques, such as auriculoacupuncture and craniopuncture. (YNSA).

So, according to Curuci, with or without treatment, the disease tends to reduce the effects with neuronal maturation. “Severe cases persist into adulthood and, if left untreated, seek solace in psychoactive drugs, which mimic the effects of drugs used in ADHD,” she explains.

And finally, remember that this is of no diagnostic value. It is worth remembering that each person is unique and can have different symptoms and causes. Only an expert will be able to properly analyze the case and outline the best strategy to solve the problem.

Sources: Paulo Sampaio, neuro-ophthalmologist and medical director of the Reference Center for Learning Disorders; Luciano Curuci, acupuncturist and president of the Medical College of Acupuncture of the State of Sao Paulo; Brazilian Association of Attention Deficit (ABDA).

Source: Terra



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