ADHD lasts into adulthood more frequently than thought
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may last into adulthood more frequently than previously thought. A recent study took a longitudinal perspective and retested individuals with childhood-onset ADHD up to eight times within a 16-year period after the baseline assessment. Although it is not uncommon to find young adults have completely recovered from childhood ADHD, the study found that symptoms may recur, even after an assessment showing their absence.
Previous research has suggested that up to 50% of ADHD patients will experience full remission of symptoms, but the latest study, using several follow-up points, found that, while 31.4% of participants experienced full remission at one point in time, 59.4% of those went on to have a full or partial recurrence of symptoms at a later time.
Overall, only 9.1% of participants experienced full remission of symptoms throughout the study period, while 63.8% suffered from fluctuating symptoms. These results suggest that clinicians should expect recurrence of symptoms, and continual screening should be standard practice, even after successful treatment.
Persons suffering from mood disorders may also struggle with attention deficit, whether or not a formal diagnosis of ADHD has been made, and the results from this new study may suggest new approaches to attention deficit problems that can fluctuate over time.
For more information:
Sibley, M.H. et al. Variable Patterns of Remission From ADHD in the Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD. AJP. Published Online: 13 Aug 2021 https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2021.21010032