J Pediatr Neurol 2011; 09(03): 291-298
DOI: 10.3233/JPN-2011-0494
Review Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart – New York

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Angela Ine Frank-Briggs
a  Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
› Author Affiliations

Subject Editor:
Further Information

Publication History

20 March 2010

11 August 2010

Publication Date:
30 July 2015 (online)


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or AD/HD) is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder, primarily characterized by the co-existence of attention problems and hyperactivity. It affects about 3 to 5% of children globally, with symptoms starting before 7 yr of age and in about 50% of cases continuing into adulthood. It is a source of concern to the clinicians as it is often comorbid with other mental disorders, particularly anxiety, conduct disorder, depression, epilepsy and learning disabilities. The aim of this review is to draw close attention to the disorder, highlight its causes, features and the challenges in management. Data was sourced from literature in Medline publications, World Health Organization and other medical journals. ADHD affects all races, ethnic groups and socioeconomic levels, the cause is unknown and there is no cure for it. Management is multidisciplinary including behavioral therapy, psychotherapy and drug treatment. There is dearth of information about ADHD in our environment but the disorder is not uncommon. The combined problems of malaria, malnutrition, pneumonia, human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other infectious illnesses may be masking emphasis on this neurodevelopmental condition. ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder worldwide. Management of the condition is challenging. Awareness of the general populace, skills in the diagnosis and optimal management are currently low in developing countries like Nigeria. There is need for improvement in these areas.