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Eric Taylor

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date: 25 July 2021

This introductory chapter describes the historical growth of the concepts of attention deficit and hyperkinesis, and the issues that are being raised for understanding and clinical practice. Growing knowledge in neuroscience has led to recent changes in classification of psychiatric disorders, and an increasing range of treatment opportunities. The finding that ADHD often persists into adult life has led to an increasing clinical recognition of the problem in adults. In children, too, the diagnosis in most countries is made more frequently than before. The rates of diagnosis and medication in the USA have become alarmingly common and European countries are in general taking a much more conservative position. ADHD remains controversial among the wider public. Cultural pressures and anxieties are described. The needs for rigour in diagnosis, for evidence-based therapy, and accurate information for the public are emphasized. Priorities in therapy have needed some re-evaluation and considerations of cost-effectiveness have become particularly important for publicly funded services Many changes in knowledge and attitudes have therefore called for a new edition of this book.

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