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Sports Health. 2014 Mar;6(2):149-56. doi: 10.1177/1941738113484679.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and athletes.

Author information

1
University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is common in the general population, and many individuals with this condition participate in sports activity at all competition levels.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION:

Related studies were selected through literature searches of PubMed, MEDLINE, and Cochrane databases for the years 1991 to 2011. Key search terms were ADD, ADHD, sports, athletes, athletics, guidelines, NCAA, WADA, IOC, college, concussion, diagnosis, management, treatment, evaluation, return-to-play, pharmacotherapy, adult, adolescent, student, screening, injury, risk, neuropsychiatry, TBI, traumatic brain injury, and epidemiology.

STUDY DESIGN:

Literature review.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Level 4.

RESULTS:

ADHD usually has an early onset, with delayed diagnosis in some patients due to heterogeneous presentations. Suspected cases can be evaluated with available diagnostic tools and confirmed clinically. Athletes with ADHD may participate at all competition levels.

CONCLUSION:

Athletes with ADHD are able to participate at all competition levels by following published guidelines and requirements. Exercise benefits many athletes with ADHD. The relationship between ADHD and concussion syndromes is currently under investigation.

KEYWORDS:

athletes; attention deficit; hyperactivity disorder

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