The ADHD is a neuropsychiatric disorder with childhood onset. Over the last decades,
ADHD has been often confused with the so called hyperactivity syndrome which includes
various functional or organic disorders with multifactorial causes. As a consequence, children
with the ADHD have been frequently misdiagnosed and inappropriately managed.
The article reviews the etiology of ADHD and the available evidence about the efficacy of
pharmacological treatment, with specific attention paid to methylphenidate. Criteria for
diagnosis of ADHD are presented and discussed as well as the the complexity of the of
ADHD on the family environment, that must be taken into account in the management plan.
Finally, the Author discusses the role of the paediatrician in the diagnosis and management,
which need to be carried out in close collaboration with other professionals and specialists.