New findings from a study led by Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council Member and NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grantee Rachel G. Klein, Ph.D. show men who were diagnosed with ADHD as children still struggled in adult life. The study was published on Oct. 15, 2012 in the Archives of General Psychiatry and identified worse outcomes in career and educational attainment, marriage, incarceration rates, and a number of mental illnesses (ongoing ADHD and antisocial personality and substance use disorders) and related hospitalizations. The researchers found that the participants with a history of ADHD had 7% more divorce, lower average incomes and higher likelihood of antisocial personality disorder than the rest of the participants. Those in the ADHD group (vs. those who had never been diagnosed with ADHD) who also developed antisocial personality disorder and substance use disorder showed the worst outcomes. This was especially so in those whose ADHD continued as teens.
The finding regarding conduct disorder “suggests the possibility that among boys without ADHD, the extended prognosis for conduct disorder is good,” says Dr. Klein, Director, Saltz Institute for Anxiety & Mood Disorders and Fascitelli Family Professor of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University (NYU) Child Study Center, NYU Langone Medical Center. She adds, “antisocial personality disorder disappeared completely among the men who did not have a childhood history of ADHD.”
This study shows that many boys with ADHD go on to live productive lives, but it also confirms the need for early intervention, diagnosis and monitoring as well more research to improve treatments leading to better long-term outcomes.
NARSAD Grantee Dr. Francisco Xavier Castellanos, Brooke and Daniel Neidich Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Director of Research, Green Cohen Institute for Preventative Science, NYU Langone Medical Center also participated in the research.
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