ADHD Detected As early as Infancy

ADHD Detected in Infancy

I just read an article in the Journal of Pediatrics about ADHD and early signs in infants and the early detection of ADHD. The 13 year study, babies born with low scores on the APGAR test of newborn vitality are at higher risk to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than infants with near-perfect scores.

ADHD is a neuro-developmental condition that affects about 5% of children, who are often born prematurely. ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is the only clinical term for disorders characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity; However, ADD, or attention-deficit disorder, is a term that has become increasingly popular among laypersons, the media and even some professionals. ADHD often is accompanied by one or more other conditions, we call this comorbidity of ADHD.

This APGAR procedure was developed in 1952 and used around the world. APGAR is a 10-point scale that measures respiration, reflexes, skin color, pulse and heart rate in the first minutes of life and may be repeated later if the score is and remains low. A study of 980,902 babies born in Denmark from 1988 to 2001 found that newborns with APGAR scores between 1 and 4 had a 75% higher risk of developing ADHD than babies with scores of 9 to 10. The risk of ADHD was 63% higher with scores of 5 to 6. The children were followed from age 3 through 2006, or until they were diagnosed with ADHD, whichever came first. ADHD cases totaled 8,234 and 82% were boys. Scores 3 and below are generally regarded as critically low, 4 to 6 fairly low, and 7 to 10 generally normal. A low score on the one-minute test may show that the neonate requires medical attention but is not necessarily an indication that there will be long-term problems, particularly if there is an improvement by the stage of the five-minute test. If the APGAR score remains below 3 at later times such as 10, 15, or 30 minutes, there is a risk that the child will suffer longer-term neurological damage. There is also a small but significant increase of the risk of cerebral palsy. However, the purpose of the APGAR test is to determine quickly whether a newborn needs immediate medical care; it was not designed to make long-term predictions on a child’s health.

Several studies have linked low APGAR scores with neurological diseases such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy. The latest study shows that APGAR scores may also be useful in ADHD and early signs in infants, researchers said. Read the rest of the article on ADHD Early Detection