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Hyperactivity and Attention Disorders of Childhood: Second Edition

WOLRAICH, MARK L. M.D.

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Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: December 2003 - Volume 24 - Issue 6 - p 450
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Hyperactivity and Attention Disorders of Childhood: Second Edition edited by Seija Sandberg

Cambridge, UK Cambridge University Press, 2002, 504 pp, $65.00.

This book is a review of the current state of the art of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and hyperkinetic disorder from an international perspective. It includes chapter authors from a number of different countries to provide a broader perspective than books written exclusively by American authors. This book is comprehensive, with the chapters including a review of the history and epidemiology of the conditions and differences between the American and British approach to the classification of ADHD. The evidence for the theoretical processes that underlie ADHD is presented, particularly the role of attention and executive functioning, as well as gender differences. It presents the recent evidence for genetic transmission and identification of possible molecular genes and the evidence for biological differences between individuals with and without ADHD, particularly relating to brain size and activity. The contribution of psychosocial factors (specifically, institutional care) and a comprehensive discussion about the Multimodality Treatment Study of ADHD are presented. The chapter on the Multimodality Treatment Study of ADHD is able to pull together most of the findings of that study reported in multiple articles. The last chapter, which is brief, discusses what information is available about ADHD in adults.

The book is useful for the reader who wants to know about the science behind the condition. It does not provide the practical implications of the findings, so it is not as useful for the clinician seeking practical information on diagnosing and treating ADHD. With multiple authors, there are redundancies. For example, the diagnostic criteria from the DSM-IV and International Classification of Diseases-10th revision are repeated at the beginning of a number of chapters. Many of the chapters are written by researchers directly involved in research on the subject, so they sometimes review studies not yet published; although this provides the most up-to-date information, it also involves research that has not undergone peer review. Likewise, many of the authors do not indicate the quality of the research of the studies they cite. In addition, the chapter on genetics is difficult to follow for the non-geneticist. However, overall, the book is a helpful summary of the knowledge in the field and provides a good comprehensive review of the literature.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.