ADHD Diagnostic History
(snip to Pages 2 and 3)
The 1980's were a decade of tremendous improvements in assessment with diagnostic instruments such as the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) (15), which were more comprehensive and better-normed tests than those previously available. There was also an increase in public awareness of the disorder due to the increase in the number of national networks and political action groups, which formed around ADHD (e.g Children and Adults with ADD (CHADD), and and the Attention Deficit Disorders Association).
The public awareness was also tainted by a vicious campaign from the Church of Scientology funded Citizen's Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). CCHR sensationalized rare instances of stimulant overdose in methylphenidate (Ritalin) treated individuals and drew negative attention to the drug treatment of children. These campaigns would have a pervasive effect on the public perception of ADHD and its treatment by the medical profession. Ritalin was seen as a dangerous drug, overprescribed and controversial.
Research into the genetic basis of ADHD has been a focus since the early 1990's. For example, Biederman and colleagues (1995) (16), found that children with an ADHD diagnosed parent had a 57% offspring risk. Aggregation studies found that ADHD clusters in families. Further evidence for a genetic etiology was found that ADHD had a high heritability (17) and little contribution could be attributed to shared environments (18). More recent work has focused on the tests of association with a variety of polymorphisms in dopamine-related genes. These will be addressed more extensively in later sections. The DSM of the American Psychiatric Association (19), the major diagnostic instrument of psychiatric disorders, has had several revisions of the ADHD diagnosis in the past two decades. Despite these revisions, there appears to be a highly significant overlap between the DSM-III, DSM-III-R and the DSM-IV diagnoses of ADHD. For example, Biederman et al. (1997) found that 93% of individuals diagnosed with ADHD by DSM-III-R were also diagnosed with ADHD by DSM-IV (20). Furthermore, Morgan et al. (1996) found that the ADHD diagnosese are highly comparable. Thus there appears to be a significant amount of continuity between these diagnostic instruments.
So much for sensationalism, so where's $cientology's documented educational studies? ("stats" or "glossies" not allowed)