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The neurology of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

      The last few years have brought major conceptual advances in the field of pediatric neurosciences, changing it into a very different area of medicine and research than that of our predecessors. Two key components are responsible for these dramatic developments: neuroimaging, whereby the neurological signs previously identified can now be localized to specific regions or circuits in the brain; and molecular genetics, whereby the neurological phenotypes are now tentatively correlated with specific genotypes. Neuroimaging and molecular genetics have caused several important advances to be made in cognitive and behavioral neurology, as well as in the understanding of the neurobiology underlying the clinical picture of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders with onset in early childhood, and is now viewed as a potentially chronic heterogeneous condition, with prominent associated symptoms and impairments that affect several aspects of the daily life function. Epidemiologic studies suggest that 3–7% of school-age children and 4–5% of adolescents and young adults meet the criteria for ADHD established in the DSM-IV-TR [
      • Goldman L.
      • Genel M.
      • Bezman R.J.
      • et al.
      Diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents.
      ].
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