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New guidelines to be released to diagnose, treat ADHD in adults

Posted at 11:19 AM, Dec 06, 2022

Approximately 11 million adults have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Diagnosing ADHD in adults has been tricky. This year, guidelines will be released for the first time to help medical professionals identify the illness in adults.

A big part of the new guidelines will address diagnosis and treatment in primary care.

"ADHD in adults is a serious condition that can lead to many adverse outcomes in their life. It's a condition that's relatively easy to treat, but most primary care people haven't had the experience, the learning experiences that help them treat that," said Dr. Stephen Faraone, of SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Faraone has been studying adult ADHD care in the primary care setting. He says while the quality of care has been improving, it's still low.

Experts are also looking into how well online services are working to diagnose and treat ADHD.

"I expect one guideline will explain to prescribers that they have to monitor vital signs prior to medication treatment. That they have to review contraindications of medication, treatment so these items like this that are, in some cases, obvious to most of us in the ADHD world, but not always obvious to the provider, and sometimes difficult to do in the compressed time that a primary care doctor has to diagnose and treat patients."

The guidelines are also expected to address getting detailed personal and family medical histories.