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Glossary of ADHD Terms

Below are the definitions of some common terms linked to ADHD.

ADHD, Combined Type: Most common type of ADHD. People with this type show significant symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

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ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: A subtype of ADHD in which people show both hyperactive and impulsive behavior, but may not show enough symptoms of inattention to qualify for Combined Type.

ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type: People with this type of ADHD show significant symptoms of inattention and are not overly active or disruptive. This type of ADHD was formerly known as attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A developmental and behavioral disorder that is characterized by levels of inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that are inappropriate for a person's age or developmental level

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD): A label with the same meaning as ADHD. At one time, ADD referred to a disorder involving difficulty paying attention or focusing attention without hyperactivity.

Bipolar disorder: Mental condition that is marked by mood swings between periods of intense emotional highs and lows

Clinical trial: Also called a research study; a research program involving patients with a particular condition usually to test various treatments for that condition

Neural: Related to the nervous system.

Neurotransmitter: A chemical in the brain that acts as a messenger to help transmit nerve impulses between brain cells.

Nonstimulants: Medicines that are not stimulants that treat symptoms of ADHD. These include Intuniv, Kapvay, and Strattera.

Psychostimulants or Stimulants: Medicines that help people with ADHD to focus their thoughts and ignore distractions. These include Adderall, Concerta, Daytrana, Focalin, Ritalin, Quillivant XR, and Vyvanse.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Patricia Quinn, MD on September 21, 2012
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