Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects a person’s behaviour, often causing restlessness, trouble with concentration and impulsive behaviour. Symptoms are usually noticed in childhood and often improve with age. ADHD may also occur alongside with other conditions such as sleep or anxiety disorders.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of ADHD are categorised into two types of behavioural problems: inattentiveness and hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

Common symptoms can include:

  • having a short attention span and being easily distracted
  • making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork
  • appearing forgetful or losing things
  • being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
  • constantly fidgeting
  • being unable to concentrate on tasks
  • excessive physical movement
  • excessive talking

Cause and treatment

The exact cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is unknown, but a number of factors are believed to play a role. ADHD tends to run in families, with evidence suggesting that the genes you inherit from your parents being a significant factor in the development of the condition.

Some research has also identified some possible differences in the brains of people with ADHD , although the significance of these differences are not clear. For example, brain scans have suggested that certain areas of the brain may be smaller in people with ADHD, while some may be larger. An imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain may also play a role.

ADHD cannot be cured, however, many of the symptoms associated with the condition can often be managed with a number of treatment options. These include:

  • Medicines: Methylphenidate, Lisdexamfetamine, Dexamfetamine, Atomoxetine, Guanfacine
  • Therapy: Psycho-education; Behaviour Therapy, Parent training and education programmes, Social skills training, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

The suitable treatment option will be determined by doctors on a case-by-case basis. This will depend on the presence and severity of the symptoms being experienced.

Medical Cannabis and ADHD

While first line therapies are often useful, medical cannabis can be considered in cases where these treatments have not achieved adequate symptom control. There is growing evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of cannabis-based products in improving symptoms of ADHD, as well as conditions that are often connected with ADHD, such as Anxiety.

Our specialist physicians are experienced in assessing individual cases and helping to determine whether medical cannabis could be an effective option.

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