Primary care physicians (PCPs) remain the gatekeepers of medicine and are on the front-lines of diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of a plethora of conditions. Adult attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is diagnosed systematically and the initial tool for diagnosis is a 6-item screening questionnaire, the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1). Should their responses warrant further clinical inquiry, a complete physician evaluation must be performed, specifically determining symptoms, duration, origin and other important parameters leading to a diagnosis. Although PCP’s can successfully treat many patients, those afflicted with multiple co-morbid conditions may require referral to a specialist for evaluation and treatment.
While psychosocial treatments including cognitive behavioral therapy have demonstrated efficacy, several FDA-approved pharmacological therapeutic options exist for the treatment of adult ADHD including: stimulants (methylphenidate / amphetamine), and non-stimulants (atomoxetine). The majority of adult ADHD patients are not appropriately diagnosed and treated, while the presence of co-morbid conditions further confound treatment results, rendering them clinically ineffective.
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