Stimulant treatment of adult ADHD

Thomas Spencer, Joseph Biederman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been increasingly recognized in the clinical and scientific literature as a valid clinical entity (Spencer et al., 1994). Data from family aggregation, genetics, treatment response, neuropsychology, and neuroimaging studies provide compelling evidence of its neurobiological underpinnings and its syndromatic continuity with its pediatric counterpart. Estimates of the prevalence of ADHD in adults have been based on a prevalence rate of ADHD children of 5–10% (Faraone et al., 2003) and an estimated persistence rate of 50 to 60% into adulthood (Biederman et al., 2000), which suggest that ADHD may afflict as many as 2–4% of adults. A recent replication of the National Comorbidity Study estimated the prevalence of adult ADHD among persons aged 18–44 in the US to be 4.4% (Kessler et al., 2006). Methylphenidate: Although methylphenidate (MPH) remains the mainstay of treatment for ADHD, there are only a few controlled studies assessing its efficacy in adults with ADHD. An early literature on the subject documented equivocal responses to MPH in adults with ADHD, but these studies had methodological limitations including the use of nonstandard diagnostic methods and low daily doses of MPH (Gualtieri, Ondrusek, & Finley, 1985; Mattes, Boswell, & Oliver, 1984; Wender et al., 1985; Wood et al., 1976).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationADHD in Adults
Subtitle of host publicationCharacterization, Diagnosis, and Treatment
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780511780752
ISBN (Print)9780521864312
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


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