, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 241-255,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 30 Nov 2010

The history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Abstract

The contemporary concept of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as defined in the DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association 2000) is relatively new. Excessive hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive children have been described in the literature since the nineteenth century. Some of the early depictions and etiological theories of hyperactivity were similar to current descriptions of ADHD. Detailed studies of the behavior of hyperactive children and increasing knowledge of brain function have changed the concepts of the fundamental behavioral and neuropathological deficits underlying the disorder. This article presents an overview of the conceptual history of modern-day ADHD.