What is ADHD? Find information and advice on the causes, symptoms, treatment and diagnosis of ADHD with definitions and expert opinion.

What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurological syndrome that is estimated to affect as many as 1 in 10 children globally.

Causes of ADHD

ADHD is caused by differences in neurotransmitter patterns in certain parts of the brain. ADHD has a genetic component, and a group of genes involved has been identified.

Treating ADHD

Treating ADHD usually involves a combined approach, including medication, psychological therapies, educational support and behavioural management.

Preventing ADHD

There are certain steps you can follow to lower your child's risk for ADHD.

Symptoms of ADHD

Is your child very fidgety, impulsive, disruptive and talks excessively? Or is he a dreamer, disorganized and lives in his own world? Learn more about the different subtypes of ADHD.

Diagnosing ADHD

There is no single test to diagnose ADHD. Here's what you should know about the diagnosis of the disorder.

Risk factors for ADHD

Three to five percent of children are affected by ADHD, and males are far more likely to get it.

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Ask the Expert

ADHD Expert

Dr Renata Schoeman has been in full-time private practice as a general psychiatrist (child, adolescent and adult psychiatry) since 2008, currently based in Oude Westhof (Bellville). Renata also holds appointments as senior lecturer in Leadership (USB) and as a virtual faculty member of USB Executive Development’s Neuroleadership programme. She serves on the advisory boards of various pharmaceutical companies, as a director of the Psychiatric Management Group (PsychMG) and is the co-convenor of the South African Society of Psychiatrist (SASOP) special interest group for adult ADHD, and co-founder of the Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation ( She is passionate about corporate mental health awareness and uses her neuroscience background to assist leaders in equipping them to become balanced, healthy and dynamic leaders that take their own and their team’s emotional, intellectual, social health and physical needs into account. Renata is academically active and enjoys research and collaborative work, has published in many peer-reviewed journals, and has presented at local and international congresses. She is regularly invited to present at conferences and to engage with the media. During her post-graduate studies, she trained at Harvard, Boston in neurocognition and neuroimaging. Her awards include, amongst others, the Young Minds in Psychiatry award from the American Psychiatric Association, the Discovery Foundation Fellowship award, a Thuthuka award from the NRF, and a MRC Fellowship. She also received the Top MBA student award and the Director’s award from USB for 2015. She was a finalist for the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa’s Businesswoman of the Year Award for 2016, and received the Excellence in Media Work award from SASOP during 2016.

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