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CNS Spectr. 2000 Jun;5(6):45-51.

The predominantly inattentive subtype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Abstract

The predominantly inattentive (IN) subtype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a recently defined condition that is often overlooked by professionals and is still not completely understood. Characterized by symptoms of inattentiveness, such as distractibility, failure to complete work, forgetfulness, and disorganization, the IN subtype differs from the more commonly recognized combined (CB) subtype of ADHD in that symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity are absent or minimal. Large-scale epidemiologic studies suggest that the IN subtype is at least as prevalent as the CB subtype, and is at least as likely to be associated with academic and/or social impairment. Diagnosis of the IN subtype, however, may be more challenging because in addition to inattentiveness, other symptoms, including learning problems, depression, and anxiety, may also present without externalizing behaviors. Several studies have shown that compared with the CB subtype, the IN subtype has a later age of onset and referral, a relatively larger proportion of affected females, and is much less likely to be associated with symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder. Research is currently under way to examine the cognitive characteristics of the IN subtype and its genetic and neurobiologic underpinnings, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy and other treatments.

PMID:
18268458

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