Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or "ADHD," also termed Hyperkinetic Disorder (HKD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder estimated in the United States to affect up to 9.5% of school age children and 4.4% of adults, with similar rates reported in other countries. While the condition is often first diagnosed in childhood, the symptoms persist into adolescence in the majority of patients, and impairments are present in adulthood even when symptoms may be reduced. ADHD is defined by the presence of clinically-significant and developmentally-inappropriate problems with attention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity.
What Causes ADHD?
A number of factors have been identified that are associated with ADHD including multiple genetic factors, perinatal distress, low birth weight, and other birth complications. Other potential factors remain the subject of ongoing research.
Clinicians establish the diagnosis of ADHD by performing a detailed interview with the patient and parent(s), focusing on the presence or absence of symptoms in two clusters: the inattention cluster, and the hyperactive/impulsive cluster.
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
- Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
- Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
- Is often easily distracted.
- Is often forgetful in daily activities.
- Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
- Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
- Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
- Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
- Is often "on the go" acting as if "driven by a motor".
- Often talks excessively.
- Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
- Often has trouble waiting his/her turn.
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).
per U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Symptoms need to be present more days than not, and lead to distress or impairments (in academic, social, familial, or other situations). Clinicians may employ a structured questionnaire or a rating scale to map out the duration, severity, and frequency of each of the 18 core symptoms of ADHD.
Evidence-based practice guidelines recommend a treatment plan with medication and/or behavioral therapy (at home and in school). Medications that have been approved by the U.S. FDA and by the European EMA include stimulant medications (methylphenidate or amphetamine-related agents) and reuptake-inhibitor medications (norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor such as atomoxetine) with dose adjustments performed over several weeks. Side-effects of the medications include appetite decrease, weight loss, insomnia, headache, and psychiatric symptoms including irritability and mood instability.
The Monarch eTNS System is the first and only neuromodulation device approved in the European Union for the treatment of ADHD.
The Monarch eTNS System for ADHD
The Monarch external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS) system is safe and convenient, offering users a non-invasive treatment that is effective in reducing the symptoms of ADHD. The stimulator is small enough for a pocket or a waistband, or to set on a nightstand.