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April 5th 2005

4 April 2005, British Psychological Society news release

ADHD: Not just for kids

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not just a condition of childhood but can continue into adult life, causing people real problems in their everyday lives.

These findings will be revealed by Dr Jessica Bramham, a Chartered Clinical Psychologist from the Institute of Psychiatry, London, at the Division of Clinical Psychology's Annual Conference at the University of Manchester today, Saturday 2 April 2005.

Dr Bramham assessed 218 adults, aged between 16 and 50 years, who had been diagnosed with ADHD. She tested their ability to focus attention and to concentrate, as well as their ability to control impulsive responses. She also asked them to complete questionnaires about symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The tests revealed no differences between age groups with regard to attention abilities, but there was an improvement in response inhibition with age. The questionnaires showed that older ADHD individuals reported higher levels of both anxiety and depression, suggesting that the longer a person has experienced the disorder, the more distress it can cause.

Dr Bramham says: 'These findings confirm that ADHD does not necessarily disappear by the time a child reaches their 18th birthday. Some adults can continue to experience significant cognitive and emotional problems associated with the disorder. Treatment can substantially improve their functioning but still many services do not recognise that ADHD may persist beyond childhood.'

Notes for editors

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan Calder, Communications Officer, British Psychological Society. Tel. 0116 252 9500 /FONT>

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