Article

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Defining A Spectrum Disorder and Considering Neuroethical Implications

James M. Swanson, Timothy Wigal, Kimberley Lakes and Nora D. Volkow

in Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199570706
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199570706.013.0075

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Defining A Spectrum Disorder and Considering Neuroethical Implications

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Prospective follow-up studies have shown that even though some children outgrow the disorder, a childhood diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is clearly a risk factor for a broad range of adverse outcomes, with extremes including drug abuse and juvenile delinquency. This article considers the use of several spectrum concepts and some neuroethical issues. It provides a list of criterion symptoms with a threshold set for the number of symptoms required for categorical diagnoses of disorders. It gives a brief review of some brain imaging and pharmacological treatment studies of ADHD to set the stage for a consideration of brain-specific issues related to neuroethics. Studies using reaction time (RT) tasks of cognitive control, response inhibition, and conflict have identified interindividual variance in task performance as one of the most prominent aspects of cognitive deficits related to ADHD.

Keywords: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; neuroethical issues; cognitive deficits; pharmacological treatment; brain imaging

Article.  14461 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Clinical Psychology

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