Experts estimate that as many as 8 million U.S. adults have ADHD, which can lead to psychological maladjustment, as well as occupational and social impairment. Proper diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in adults can help improve self-esteem, work performance and skills, educational achievement, social competencies and reduce the long-term risk for drug and alcohol abuse, studies have shown.
As many as 66 percent of people diagnosed with ADHD as children may still exhibit symptoms into adulthood, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
ADHD is a neurological brain disorder that manifests as a persistent pattern of inattention and-or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable age and maturity level. Hyperactivity is seen less frequently in older populations; however, inattention and impulsivity often remain, impairing social activities and work performance. These difficulties are often serious enough to interfere with the patient's ability to function normally at home, at work or in social settings.
ADHD usually can be successfully managed with a combination of treatments, such as medication and structured coping techniques, researchers said.