Andrew J. Cutler, MD: Diagnosing ADHD in Pediatric Patients

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It is possible to diagnose patients with ADHD as young as 2 years old.

Despite few advancements in screening for attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in recent years, it is still possible and common for psychiatrists to diagnose patients at a very young age.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Andrew J. Cutler, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University, explained that is common for him to diagnose the disease in patients starting about 6 years old, but possible for patients as young as 2 or 3.

Cutler said for the extremely young patients, a diagnosis generally means the child suffers more from the disruptive hyperactivity symptoms than the inattentive symptoms.

There is also some differences in how the symptoms of ADHD manifest in males and females. Cutler explained that females generally have the more inattentive presentation of ADHD, meaning they are less likely to be diagnosed. Male patients are more likely to have the more hyperactivity presentation, making a diagnosis more likely.

Cutler presented multiple times during the annual Neuroscience Education Institute Max! Virtual meeting on ADHD and other psychiatric disorders.