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Study follows children growing up with ADD

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Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are psychological terms currently applied to anyone who meets the DSM IV diagnostic criteria for impulsivity, hyperactivity or inattention.

Recent studies have shown that ADD is largely genetic, it runs in families.

Follow-up results from a major study on ADD and ADHD in children give parents an idea of what to expect as their kids grow older.

In 1999 a landmark study on children with ADHD found that a combination of medication and behavioral therapy worked best for treatment.

Now long-term follow up of these children provides new information on what ADHD is like as kids get older.

Results showed only about half of kids improved right after starting drug treatment, while a third improved more gradually.

More than one in 10 children responded well at first, but the medication's benefits decreased over time.

After about three years kids taking ADHD drugs were no better off than those in behavioral therapy.

The study confirmed that stimulant medications such as Adderall and Ritalin slow children's growth by about three-fourths of an inch.

Experts say it's important to get kids treated early and then to take periodic breaks from the drugs to see if children still need them. And treatment of any kind is not a cure all -- children with ADHD were still about three times as likely to have behavioral problems and twice as likely to abuse drugs or alcohol.

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