Vol. 7, No. 1, 2001 Page 1&4

Poor prognosis reported for ADHD children with coordination disorder

Hyperactivity and coordination disorders are "a particularly ominous combination," say Swedish researchers who recently evaluated a group of children diagnosed years earlier as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developmental coordination disorder (DCD), or both.

(Individuals with developmental coordination disorder exhibit marked impairments in the development of motor coordination, significantly interfering with daily living or academic skills. Symptoms include clumsiness and difficulty with fine or gross motor skills. DCD is often seen in children with ADHD or language disorders.)

Peder Rasmussen and Christopher Gillberg initially evaluated the children when they were seven years old. At follow-up, the subjects were 22 years old. The researchers compared 55 subjects with ADHD (with or without DCD), and 46 age-matched control subjects. Among their findings:

"The early adult psychosocial outcome of so many of the individuals with ADHD and DCD in this study was worse than expected," the researchers say. They note, "The rate of antisocial personality disorder was very high in the [ADHD with or without DCD] groups.... [However] an even more striking finding was the high rate of alcohol abuse." They add that DCD may be an especially strong indicator of poor prognosis, since individuals with DCD only fared worse than those with ADHD only.


"Natural outcome of ADHD with developmental coordination disorder at age 22 years: a controlled, longitudinal, community-based study," Peder Rasmussen and Christopher Gillberg, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol.39, No. 11, Nov. 2000, pp. 1424-1431. Address: Peder Rasmussen, Dept. of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Göteborg, Kungsgatan 12, SE-41119, Göteborg, Sweden, peder.rasmussen@sahlgrenska.se.

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