Le trouble déficitaire de l'attention avec hyperactivité: données récentes des neurosciences et de l'expérience nord-américaine

Translated title of the contribution: Neurobiology and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A review of the recent data

F. Gonon, J. M. Guilé, D. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is considered to be the most common neuropsychiatric disorder of childhood in USA with a prevalence rate of approximately 7-9 %. Psyschostimulants are widely prescribed to ADHD children since three decades in USA. Here, we review neurobiological hypotheses about ADHD aetiology and about the North American experience regarding psychostimulant medication. Recent data show that the classical hypotheses positing that ADHD is caused by an underlying dopamine and/or noradrenaline deficit are weak. Although we have no better theory that might receive a general consensus, the high heritability of ADHD is often put forward to support its biological aetiology. However, " heritable" does not mean " genetic" and numerous environmental factors contribute to ADHD aetiology. Recent studies confirm that psychostimulants are safe, well tolerated and efficient regarding the core symptoms of ADHD as ascertained by proper diagnostic procedures. However, children with ADHD are at risk of later development of antisocial behavior, substance abuse and significant academic underachievement. Recent studies show that psychostimulant medication does not affect these long-term risks. In contrast, psychosocial interventions directed towards ADHD children and their parents significantly decrease these risks as well as other comorbid disorders often associated with ADHD (anxiety, depression, conduct disorder). Thus, psychosocial treatments now represent the first-line intervention for ADHD. Therefore, dogmas regarding ADHD are now questioned and this re-examining should lead to look more favorably on the French clinical experience about pediatric psychiatry and psychopathology.

Translated title of the contributionNeurobiology and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A review of the recent data
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropsychiatrie de l'Enfance et de l'Adolescence
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Dopamine
  • Heritability
  • Methylphenidate
  • Psychostimulants


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