Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have received a 900 thousand dollar federal grant to study the use of medications to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Stephen Hinshaw, a professor of psychology and one of the nation's leading experts on ADHD, describes the basic symptoms.
Hinshaw: It's referring to a syndrome that has two main constituent parts - one is inattention and disorganization and the other is hyperactivity and impulsivity. The big question for the clinician is when is this normal childhood and when is this a clinically significant disorder?
Narrator: ADHD is diagnosed in 3.5 percent of school-age children in this country. Because it's a behavioral and emotional disorder based in the brain, Hinshaw says some people are skeptical of the diagnosis.
Hinshaw: Thorough evaluation is really probably the key step towards distinguishing normal childhood, difficult environmental situations from the syndrome we call ADHD.
Narrator: The newly funded three-year study seeks to better understand the use of medications to treat ADHD. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.