More children being diagnosed with ADHD

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children appears to be on the increase, judging by the findings of new research. The study, which has been published in The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, highlighted a rise in prevalence of Canadian youngsters with the condition, as well as an escalation in the use of medications associated with it.

Investigators from the Universite de Montreal - which was founded in 1878 - noted the results for the North American nation are a reflection of a trend seen around the world, with drugs such as Ritalin being consumed more frequently.

In addition, the study also underlined a slight increase in the off-label use of ADHD-related medications for pre-school children.

Marie-Christine Brault, a doctoral student at the learning institute who worked under the guidance of Professor Eric Lacourse of the Research Unit on Children's Psychosocial Maladjustment for the report, said: "Some doctors may be prescribing ADHD medications to treat other problems such as oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder. This may explain the slight increase."

Clif Weston, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "Given that there is no definitive test for ADHD I suspect Brault's view is well founded.

"The increase in methylphenidate prescriptions is also similar in this country."