The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Stephen Faraone

Evidence for the validity of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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Stephen Faraone
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA

Continued questioning of the validity of a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has created uncertainties about its management in the minds of many clinicians and the public. Inaccurate beliefs about the validity of ADHD hinder the clinical care of many ADHD patients and lead to confusion about the need to seek out or accept treatment. Critics describe ADHD as a diagnosis used to label difficult children who are not ill but whose behavior is at the extreme end of normal. They further contend that, far from having a biological basis, ADHD results from poor parenting and ineffective teaching practices. Such attitudes do much to further stigmatize patients and their families and increase the burden of this debilitating condition. This seminar attempts to address these challenges by presenting evidence to show that ADHD meets the criteria for a valid psychiatric diagnosis. Not only does it cause specific disabling symptoms that frequently persist into adulthood, but many studies show it has a biological basis and a characteristic response to treatment. Such data support the idea that ADHD is a valid diagnostic category.

Host: Jan Haavik, Department for Biomedicine

Professor Stephen Faraone is one of the world's leading authorities on the genetics of psychiatric disorders and has also made substantial contributions to research in psychopharmacology and research methodology. An author on over 400 journal articles, editorials, chapters and books, he was the eighth highest producer of High Impact Papers in Psychiatry from 1990 to 1999 as determined by the Institute for Scientific Information (Science, 2000, Vol 288, pg 959).

Stephen Faraone is Co-Editor of the journal Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Associate Editor for Statistics and Methodology of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. He is also a member of the Panel of Biostatistical and Methodology Consultants for the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is a member of the Editorial Boards for Behavioral and Brain Functions and The Journal of Psychiatric Medicine.

In 2002, Stephen Faraone was inducted into the CHADD Hall of Fame in recognition for making outstanding achievements in medicine and education research on attention disorders. In 2003 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics.