Does this test work for both children and adults?
Yes – the test can be administered to both children and adults, though the test format and scoring is slightly different between the child and adult populations. Anyone under the age of 14 is considered a child based on the scoring criteria. However, at our clinic we only see patients over the age of 14, so we have only tested adults.
Do the results of the test influence dosages of medication both for headaches and ADHD?
With respect to ADHD, test results do have an impact on treatment. If the patient has previously been diagnosed with ADHD and the results are moderate to severely position while on medication, then we will most likely increase the daily dose. The use of a stimulant may have an indirect effect on headache patients, if headaches are triggered by daytime fatigue. The stimulant will help to reduce headache frequency and severity, as the daytime fatigue is being treated.
How does working with neurologists differ from that of someone in another field (pediatrics, psychology, psychiatry, social work) who may be diagnosing ADHD?
If someone is being diagnosed with ADHD or ADD based on test results, then the situation is clear-cut regardless of whether the patient sees a neurologist or another type of specialist. However, when our patients start complaining of memory loss or fatigue (which are common neurological complaints), we are apt to test for ADD or ADHD because these patients can present those symptoms. With respect to headaches, a stimulant can reduce frequency and severity.
Do you think this is the future of ADHD diagnosis?
I hope so! It's a more accurate way of diagnosing and treating ADHD, based on objective testing. It also helps to tease apart other neurological symptoms.
With so much controversy surrounding the over-diagnosis of ADHD, do you think this will help take a more scientific approach to diagnosing the condition? Will it add more legitimacy to ADHD?
I think so – people worry about misuse of medications, especially among college kids. Stimulants themselves are not generally addictive, but they may be abused for the convenience they offer. The test will ultimately prevent overprescribing of stimulants based on accurate diagnoses.