Former ADHD cases see higher IQ

Children who ‘grow out’ of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have higher IQs than those who do not, a study has shown.

Around one in 20 children is affected by ADHD, a condition characterised by over-activity, impulsiveness and a short attention span. Though many children with ADHD continue to have difficulties as adults, others become free of the problem in adolescence.

Researchers at King’s College London monitored the progress of a group of 110 children with ADHD and carried out a range of tests to assess their brain activity and thinking skills.

Those children who grew out of the disorder performed better in tests measuring attention, levels of drowsiness and reaction time. They also had higher IQ scores than ADHD “persisters”.

Jonna Kuntsi, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London, said: “Our study reveals important differences in brain activity and cognitive performance between individuals who grow out of their ADHD and those whose disorder continues into adolescence and adulthood.”

The findings are published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.


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