Paediatrics => Hyperactivity
Hyperactivity, also called hyperkinesis and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD), a condition found in young children that involves inappropriately high levels of activity, difficulty in concentrating, poor impulse control, low frustration tolerance, and, usually, behavioural problems. (Some studies suggest that ADD does not disappear with adolescence, as was thought, but continues into adulthood for up to two-thirds of those who have it, though most adults are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.) Hyperactivity was once called minimal brain dysfunction, but further study has shown that most hyperactive children have no detectable brain damage and are not suffering from any mental disorder. The cause of hyperactivity is not understood and, because hyperactivity is a collection of symptoms, diagnosis is difficult.
Treatment of hyperactivity is controversial. Stimulant drugs such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) have been reported to reduce activity, but they do not necessarily improve learning and may interfere with appetite and sleep. Some doctors claim that children have been helped by diets free of food additives, but scientific studies of this theory are not yet conclusive. Most child psychologists recommend special behavioural training for hyperactive children until adolescence. Such training entails firmness and consistency from parents, distraction-free classrooms, and emphasis on simple tasks.