Health experts consider Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as one of the most common neuro-behavioral disorders in children although the condition could also hit people of all ages. A child who has ADHD is easily distracted, has difficulty paying attention and struggles to complete even the smallest tasks. He is impulsive, has poor listening skills and often overlooked details. ADHD could start at as early as 2 years old and it occurs more on males than in females. Through the years, stimulant and non-stimulant drugs are used to treat this condition.
Behavioral disorder was first discovered by English pediatrician, Sir George Frederick Still in 1902. In 1980, a behavioral disorder called Attention Deficit Disorder was named as cases of this behavioral condition surged dramatically during that decade. ADHD was officially named after cumulative studies and clinical researches in 1987.
The Three G’that Matters
Geography, gender and genes are factors examined when diagnosing an ADHD patient. There was a survey by the CDC where the results shows that geographical location may have something to do with the condition. For instance, children in Nevada are less prone to ADHD compared to those who are in Kentucky. It was also said by the National Institute of Mental Health that boys of ages 13-17 are four times more prone to ADHD than girls. There was also a study where the analysis came up that such neurological disorder can be hereditary.
The Financial Factors
A study by Rutgers University in 2009 found that children who came from low-income families and those who are on or below the poverty line are likely to be prescribed with antipsychotics. There was also a study by the University of Exeter Medical school which show that children below the poverty line are more likely to be affected by ADHD.
Misdiagnosis is a Problem
Some medical experts claimed that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder could be “over-diagnosed” or misdiagnosed. There isn’t really any scientific tool to provide solid evidences if a child has ADHD. According to a study by the Michigan State University, which involved 12,00 children, there is as much as more than a million children who might be misdiagnosed with ADHD just because they are the youngest members in their school or class. Their immaturity are what caused teachers to mislabel these children to have ADHD and therefor, teachers may recommend to parents to seek for medical help for their children.
Unapproved Usage of Risperdal for ADHD
The ranging number of children with ADHD means an increased of consumers for off-label marketed treatments like Risperdal. The condition rapidly grows and so is the sales of the manufacturer of these drugs, specifically for Johnson and Johnson to whom where Risperdal is among its biggest cash cow.
Studies by Stanford University and the University of Chicago showed that promoting antipsychotic drugs on off-label bases had doubled the prescription rates as it goes from 4.4 million prescriptions on 1995 and to 9 million in 2008. A similar study showed that more than 50% of the prescription were for off-label use. The increased of consumptions of such drug was the result of extreme marketing despite of the lack of evidences of the drug’s value.