ADHD and Adults: Causes Educational and Occupational Deficits

By Michelle Rizzo

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Compared to what they would be expected to achieve based on intellect, adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD have lower educational and occupational attainments, a study shows.

In the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Dr. Joseph Biederman, of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and colleagues write, “ADHD has been consistently associated with intellectual, educational, and employment deficits.”

To investigate why this might be, the research team conducted a study from 1998 to 2003, comparing 224 adults with ADHD with a group of similar but unaffected people.

The investigators found that subjects with ADHD attained significantly less education than predicted based on their IQ, and lower occupational levels than predicted based on their actual education.

“Educational and occupational deficits in adults with ADHD are a consequence of ADHD and not IQ, and therefore represent under-attainments in these critical areas,” Biederman said in an interview with Reuters Health.

“Considering the critical importance of education and occupation for the individual in our society, these findings strongly support the importance of diagnosing and treating ADHD to avert these serious consequences,” he added.

Biederman and his colleagues plan to “continue evaluating various aspects of these deficits in the hope of developing appropriate preventive and early intervention strategies.”

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, August 2008.

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“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Behavioral Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Behavioral Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Behavioral Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”

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