Need to Prioritize Resources on the Causes, and not the Consequences in ADHD


European Vice President Shire Pharmaceutical, Javier Urcelay, said Monday that in the current context of economic crisis, it should allocate resources better ‘to the cause of the fire before the blaze’, referring to how aid is allocated to help children affected by disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), in presenting the report ‘Status of ADHD in Spain’.

‘The crisis should lead to good resources and prioritize attention. Sometimes it serves flares before the cause of the fire’, said Urcelay in a ceremony which was also attended by professor of psychiatry at the University of New York, Dr. Luis Rojas Marcos, the president of the Spanish Federation of Associations of Help ADHD, Fulgencio Madrid and the head of child psychiatry at the University Hospital of Navarra, Dr. César Soutullo.

ADHD is very important in Spain and needs to be diagnosed it early, since according Soutullo ‘77% of the cause of the disorder is genetic,’ where he added that if a child has this disorder, it is not at all the fault of the family.

The report, which has involved ‘more than 225 experts, we have conducted a survey of 800 people, 7 tables 190 specialists and expert interviews,’ as clarified Urcelay, has been described as ‘the best I have read in years on this issue’, assured Dr. Rojas Marcos.

‘This report is the conclusion of three years of work. A pioneer in the world because for the first time, it brings together a team of experts and specialists in the areas in which ADHD impacts, from the family to the world of education and health’, added European Vice President Shire.

Soutullo has clarified that one of the biggest problems being facing is its great ignorance of ADHD. ‘There is a delay in diagnosis because little is known yet about ADHD. Problem is attributed to a child’s family, but not a brain problem,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Madrid has also pointed out that the important thing is that the company is aware of the fact that this disorder will affect many people in Spain. ‘What we consider important is that we must raise awareness in society in general, but the study shows that the level of knowledge has improved.’

Still, it welcomed to see that first attempts to address from a common position on this problem. For the first time, all together try to give suggestions for improvement and we thought it was a very important issue. Everything is slow in the diagnosis and makes it worse to deal with.

‘In Spain, there are many difficulties in the caring, that is, when a teacher or pediatrician detects that a child may have symptoms of ADHD, finds it difficult to identify to which professional should go, this should improve,’ said Soutullo on issues more problematic when solving diagnostics.

‘They can threaten self-esteem of these children because they think they are to blame for what happens to them and that can lead to problems later in adulthood,’ stated Rojas Marcos.

Soutullo, meanwhile, clarified that it is important to continually monitor. ‘A good way to avoid abandonment is to continuously monitor the disease and make frequent visits.

‘Once the diagnosis is clear – to be done by experts – the school system must create a series of accommodations, the right to have some adjustments which are of two types: the time needed to complete the tests and space with the lower potential stimuli,’ said Dr. Rojas Marcos, which concluded this point by saying that ADHD’ is everyone’s job, school system, the family and society in general.’

On how she tries to tailor solutions in the normal life of children, Soutullo, clarified what is done in some classes. ‘In some regions, there are protocols that include specific educational modifications, such as giving different sheets or more time to complete the same test as the rest,’ she assured.

Madrid wanted to point out that some families are suffering to pay for treatments of ADHD. ‘The families are bearing a cost of ADHD that makes many not to have access to diagnosis and following treatment.’

‘The vocation of the plan is to generate data in our own population. The cost is 6,200 euros annual per year for children who do not respond and 3,900 euros for a child who does respond. Such a difference is what we might try to reduce because one of the factors a major response to treatment is not delayed diagnosis.

In Spain, there are no resources for specific disorders. Expenses in the CCAA, we can not distinguish between what is spent for ADHD’ clarified Madrid, who added that the price of medication is a big concern because ‘there are families who are leaving treatment.’

Urcelay has also stated that at this time, there are two ongoing studies, one on the economic impact of this treatment on families and the other is about the impact of ADHD on school failure to see what correlation exists between the suffering of this disorder and school failure, and the second is on the impact of ADHD in Spanish families affected,’ he concluded.

In another issue that has been addressed in the report, Soutullo indicated that a major problem is that adults affected by this problem do not think it is anything serious.

‘In adults, they sometimes think it is not a problem. Couple must involve the patient because it does not recognize it, then this can lead to alcohol and drug disorders,’ said the chief of child psychiatry at the University Hospital of Navarra.

A proper monitoring and compliance in childhood can prevent serious problems in adulthood, as also discussed Soutullo ‘When you put a correct treatment in a child, then that work is not continued in the adolescent. This is a problem when going to adulthood because even in adults, it is a disorder that is not recognized’.

‘We must see if the disorder in adults continues to cause difficulties. The presence of symptoms that do not cause difficulties would not be enough to make diagnosis. The symptoms must seek to have an impact,’ concluded Soutullo.

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