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ADHD in Adults: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff James Chandler, MD FRCPC.

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Presentation on theme: "ADHD in Adults: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff James Chandler, MD FRCPC."— Presentation transcript:

1 ADHD in Adults: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff James Chandler, MD FRCPC

2 Why the current interest? Pharmaceutical companies Psychiatry Cultural

3 Pharmaceutical companies ADHD is a chronic disease, thus a great market Adults with ADHD are directed to take medications even longer than depressed patients Many ADHD drugs are now indicated for adults

4 Concerta, Adderall, Strattera, Ritalin, Alertec No disorder, no drug Where would Viagra be without Erectile Dysfunction?

5 Selling ADHD drugs requires Identifying more consumers Direct to consumer ads with signs of ADHD Promoting the effectiveness of the treatment Pharmaceutical company managed studies which have little application in the real world

6 Pharmaceutical Strategy Producing a demand Making people think that not paying attention is abnormal

7 Psychiatrys Interest in ADHD

8 Developmental interests Adult psychiatry research now focuses on early forms of adult illnesses –Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Psychosis, Anxiety Disorder

9 Developmental Interest Child Psychiatry research follows up child illness into adult –ADHD, Autism, Tourettes, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Traumatized Children

10 Clinical Observations Adult psychiatrists see the hyperactive children of their adult patients Child psychiatrists attempt to have a conversation or appointment with the parents of their ADHD patients.

11 Cultural More and more aspects of human behavior are now categorized as disorders requiring treatment Aspergers, ED, and now EDS (Excessive Daytime Sleepiness)

12 Cultural Disorder means less responsibility, so having a diagnosis might lessen consequences for misbehavior in general. I cant help it, I have ADHD

13 What is ADHD in adults? The same two symptom dimensions as in children: –Hyperactive-Impulsive –Inattentiveness

14 Hyperactive-Impulsive often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat, often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness).

15 Hyperactive-Impulsive often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness).

16 Hyperactive-Impulsive often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly, is often on the go or often acts as if driven by a motor, and often blurts out answers before questions have been completed

17 Hyperactive-Impulsive often has difficulty awaiting turn often interrupts or intrudes on others (eg, butts into conversations or games)

18 Decreased Attention often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities; often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities; often seems to be not listening when spoken to directly,

19 Decreased Attention often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities, often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework), often loses things necessary for tasks or activities,

20 Decreased Attention often is distracted easily by extraneous stimuli, and is often forgetful in daily activities [2]. [2]

21 All present since childhood

22 What are the neuropsychological basis for these symptoms? 10 years ago this was quite clear, but not any more There are no psychological tests which all adults with ADHD do poorly on. The neuropsychology of ADHD is so heterogeneous that some patients do poorly on just about any test

23 Psychological tests can not diagnose ADHD. Nevertheless, the more executive function problems, the worse the academic and occupational outcome:

24 Executive dysfunction Organization and planning Working memory deficits The ability to hold information ïn your mind so you can compare scenarios, solutions, and consequences

25 Executive dysfunction Response Inhibition Problems Cant resist an impulse to move, act, or think while on another task Sustained attention Shifting/Mental Flexibility Interference control

26 What are functional deficits in ADHD in adults?

27 Occupational and Academic More dropouts, lower occupational achievement More likely fired More likely to quit More bankruptcies Not as wealthy

28 Family More Separations Divorce

29 Legal More driving accidents, arrests for all causes

30 Psychiatric Increased bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorder, substance abuse, smoking, Antisocial behavior

31 Medical Increased accidents, head trauma, fractures, poisonings

32 What are the causes of ADHD?

33 Genetic 75% heritability, but no one gene causes this 50% of children of ADHD patient will have some signs of ADHD

34 Biological Adversity Prematurity Smoking or drinking in pregnant mother Food additives? Obstetrical Complications

35 Psychosocial Adversity Poverty Single parenthood Social class Chronic family conflict Low family cohesion Exposure to current, not past, parental psychopathology Abuse

36 What looks like ADHD but isnt? Drug abuse Depression Hypomania Head Injury syndromes Post encephalitis, structural brain lesions

37 What looks like ADHD but isnt? Other toxins Horrible home issues Neurodegenerative On and on………..

38 How does it classically appear? Parents of clearly diagnosed patients of yours with ADHD Pearl: if someone has three or more children and none of them have ADHD, probably the parents dont either. Clearly diagnosed ADHD children grown up.

39 How does it present? About 1/3 will still be disabled as adults, with very few growing out of it after age 30. Addiction Treatment Centres and follow up Depending on the centre, 25-35% of the people in treatment programs have ADHD, too. Severe accident follow up

40 Hyperactive in a wheelchair or rehab unit?

41 When should you be very suspicious that this is not ADHD? Stable family life, occupation, and just psychological distress New onset problems as adult

42 When should you be very suspicious that this is not ADHD? Come in on their own – not brought by spouse, friend, parent, etc Have a list of questions and an organized presentation of their history

43 Treatment

44 Three equally challenging issues

45 Compliance Missed appointments Drop ins script refills lost prescriptions vs. diversion

46 Dealing with the illness Dealing with the financial, legal, familial, and physical sequale Dealing with having a chronic psychiatric illness Dealing with comorbid disorders

47 Psychotherapy Few trials, but the only success stories so far are for skill training with modules on organizing and planning, distractibility, adaptive thinking, and procrastination this one has been used in a double blind trial of persons who were treated with medications and partially responded.

48 This is the manual from that study and a copy is on the table

49 This is the therapist manual - copy on the table

50 Medical Treatment of ADHD in Adults First step is to match the drug to the person, given that almost everyone will have some comorbid problem.

51 Medications

52 Stimulants Work immediately

53 Short acting Stimulants Good points: –Most potent of ADHD medications Bad Points: –Abusable –need to take three times a day –can cause depression –High street value in academic settings

54 Short acting Stimulants Good choice for: –extremely reliable persons with ADHD that doesnt respond to long acting drugs with no history of substance abuse or depression –Dose is 1mg/kg – about mg tid of Ritalin or 10-20mg tid of Dexedrine. –No insurance

55 Long Acting Stimulants Good points: –once a day and potent. –not abusable Bad points: –need to take it before 9am –still can cause mood disorder –doesnt cover late night –High street value in schools and University

56 Long Acting Stimulants Cost for concerta and Adderall can be over 200 dollars a month at high doses, which are often the case in large persons. Dosages Concerta and biphentin: roughly 1mg/kg, Adderall roughly.5 mg/kg, Dexedrine Spansules,.5mg/kg,

57 Non-Stimulants All work on the time frame of antidepressants – 8 weeks.

58 Strattera- Good points –24 hour coverage, once a day –Not abusable –May help comorbid anxiety

59 Strattera- Bad points Not that potent Still can cause mood disorders expensive- over 270 dollars a month for full doses. Dosage – start at.5mg/kg, increase to mg/kg

60 Welbutrin Good points –Also an antidepressant –Unlikely to cause depression –Decreases smoking –Can be combined with stimulants –Works all day

61 Welbutrin Bad points –Not that potent –Dosages -300mg/d –Seizures with Bulimia, Pot

62 Alertec (Provigil, Modafinil) Good points: –Works all day –Not abusable Bad points: –Not that potent –More GI side effects –Not that cheap: 200 dollars a month Dosages mg/d

63 Drugs that do not work: Effexor SRIs Atypical antipsychotics Mood stabilizers Nicotine patch cannibis

64 Realistic outcomes Three main possiblilties:

65 Most likely outcome Non-compliant – miss appointments, forget scripts

66 Next most likely outcome Combination of side effects and improvement usually balancing insomnia, depression, and effect. Or doesnt cover enough of the day. Usually has less effect on higher level problems in my experience: organization, time management, procrastination

67 Least likely outcome Completely transforms their life with minimal side effects

68 A realistic approach Step 1. proper diagnosis is made ( one visit)

69 A realistic approach Step 2. patient actually comes back a second time to discuss treatment and life management issues with some other responsible adult( tests whether they really can come back)

70 A realistic approach Step 3. Start medication with the understanding that most likely skills training will be needed or couple script with skills training. Assuming the drug does not work miracles, you will need extra help learning some new skills

71 A realistic approach Step 4. Monitor comorbid problems

72 Do not: Refill scripts before they are due for stimulants, no matter what the reason Refill scripts without the patient coming in more than once in a row

73 Do not: Hesitate to link scripts to drug screens Give stimulants directly to patients who live in dormitories Get too focused on trying to find the magic drug.

74 References Genetics of adult attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Faraone SV - Psychiatr Clin North Am - 01-JUN-2004; 27(2): From NIH/NLM MEDLINEGenetics of adult attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Driving impairments in teens and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Barkley RA - Psychiatr Clin North Am - 01-JUN-2004; 27(2): From NIH/NLM MEDLINEDriving impairments in teens and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Brain function and structure in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Seidman LJ - Psychiatr Clin North Am - 01-JUN-2004; 27(2): From NIH/NLM MEDLINEBrain function and structure in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Neuropsychological function in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Seidman LJ - Psychiatr Clin North Am - 01-JUN-2004; 27(2): From NIH/NLM MEDLINENeuropsychological function in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Nonstimulant treatment of adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Spencer T - Psychiatr Clin North Am - 01-JUN-2004; 27(2): From NIH/NLM MEDLINENonstimulant treatment of adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Diagnosis and evaluation of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Adler L - Psychiatr Clin North Am JUN-2004; 27(2): From NIH/NLM MEDLINEDiagnosis and evaluation of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Psychosocial treatments for adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Safren SA - Psychiatr Clin North Am - 01-JUN-2004; 27(2): From NIH/NLM MEPsychosocial treatments for adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.


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