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Attention Deficit Disorder Is a Chronic Problem

Leonard Hersher, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(3):239-240. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460030017006.
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Sir.—A recent editorial1 concluded that "pharmacologic treatments of hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder [ADD] with stimulant therapies have had disappointing long-term outcome measures." True. The same conclusion can be made about insulin treatment of diabetes mellitus if treatment is stopped at age 13 years, which is a common practice for ADD.

One tends to forget that ADD is a chronic problem and must be treated as such. In fact, when adolescents receive stimulants for ADD, they generally respond well.2-6 The problem continues into adulthood, and adults' conditions, too, improve with stimulant therapy.7-12 Attention deficit disorder is most probably an inborn disorder of the central nervous system, and inborn disorders of that nature have a propensity to hang on for life.


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