Arch Dis Child 90:57-59 doi:10.1136/adc.2003.048504
  • Community child health, public health, and epidemiology

Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, methylphenidate, and epilepsy

  1. M Tan,
  2. R Appleton
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr R Appleton
    The Roald Dahl EEG Unit, Department of Neurology, Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital (Alder Hey), Eaton Road, Liverpool L12 2AP, UK; Richard.AppletonRLCH-TR.NWEST.NHS.UK
  • Accepted 25 April 2004


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterised by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The DSM-IV diagnosis of ADHD requires the presence of six of nine items or features that must have been present for at least six months, to have had an onset before 7 years of age, and to have resulted in significant distress or impairment.1 In the general population, the prevalence of ADHD is approximately 5%.2 There is a high co-morbidity of epilepsy and attentional and behavioural problems,3,4 including ADHD, and it has been estimated that at least 20% of patients with epilepsy may present with features of ADHD.5


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