Characteristics of ADHD first diagnosed during adolescence and comparison with patients' diagnosed at six - ten years of age

Uneri O. S. , Vatandas N., Atay G.

ANADOLU PSIKIYATRI DERGISI-ANATOLIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, vol.10, no.1, pp.48-54, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Page Numbers: pp.48-54


Objective: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects many aspects of the patient's life across lifespan. Although the diagnostic criteria used to diagnose ADHD during childhood are well described, there are still controversies in the classification of the disorder in adolescents and adults. In this study we aimed to investigate the familial demographic characteristics, some characteristics about the perinatal history and major developmental milestones in infancy, symptoms at admission, WISC-R scores, comorbidities and medications used in adolescents first diagnosed between 12-18 years old age and compare the data with patients' diagnosed between six-ten years of age and describe the factors that might have delayed the diagnosis of ADHD. Methods: This retrospective study was conducted in Baskent University School of Medicine, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Adolescents first diagnosed as ADHD according to the DSM-IV criteria at 12-18 years and followed by the child psychiatrist were recruited in the study if their WISC-R points were above 80 points. Data of the adolescent group were compared with patients' first diagnosed between six and-ten years of age and whose WISC-R points were above 80 points. Each age group was comprised of 31 patients. Results: Mean age of the adolescent group and children group were 14.4 +/- 1.57 and were 8.3 +/- 1.39 years, respectively. Complaints at first admission, therapeutic agents used for treatment, distribution of psychological comorbidities and maternal age at birth were statistically different between two age groups. Methylphenidate was the most preferred medication for the treatment of ADHD in both six-ten and 12-18 age groups. Discussion: Treatment regimens were different between two age groups. Symptoms and patients' complaints seem to change and the rate of comorbidities like anxiety disorder and depression increase in time as the diagnosis of ADHD is delayed. This was thought to be related to the increased number of comorbidities in the adolescent group. Younger maternal age at birth had been found to be the factor related to the delayed diagnosis. (Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry 2009; 10: 48-54)