Research Review: Past, Present, and Future of ADHD

Below are highlights of an Oct. 2022 review:

ADHD Over Time

For most individuals diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms first appear during childhood even if the diagnosis comes later.

For most, disappearance of symptoms for good is rare. It seems to persist though it may at various times appear to fade (i.e., you may no longer meet criteria for the diagnosis at various times over the course of your life).

What factors determine persistence are still unclear.

Current debate includes whether ADHD includes a late-onset variant. Estimates vary widely regarding how many people first present with ADHD as adults: from 30% to 87% (see how widely they vary?).

Still, it’s become clear that fluctuating symptoms and impairment are common. Moreover, there’s a lot of heterogeneity when it comes to ADHD (think of variants having overlap but also differences when it comes to how they present, their particular combination of causal factors, their courses/trajectories, and their outcomes).

Finally, we still know relatively little about later-life ADHD.


Emotion Regulation Difficulties (ERD), as the researchers call them, are estimated to affect 40-50% of children with ADHD, presenting as being susceptible to anger/irritability/low frustration tolerance. One question then is whether it’s part of a particular ADHD variant/profile of ADHD.

Sleep Difficulties commonly travel with ADHD at ALL AGES. Kids, teens, and adults with ADHD have higher odds of getting too little or poorer quality of sleep compared to their peers. Some researchers are exploring the causal role that inadequate/poor sleep may play.

Now this may be surprising but the authors note that for females there are no increased odds of anxiety or depression, as females already have higher rates of anxiety and depression than males even without ADHD being added to the mix.

Living with ADHD

To be continued . . .

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