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tention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominantly inattentive presentation

tention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominantly inattentive presentation

Katie is an 8 year old Caucasian female who is brought to your office today by her mother & father. They report that they were referred to you by their primary care provider after seeking her advice because Katie’s teacher suggested that she may have ADHD. Katie’s parents reported that their PCP felt that she should be evaluated by psychiatry to determine whether or not she has this condition.

The parents give you a copy of a form titled “Conner’s Teacher Rating Scale-Revised”. This scale was filled out by Katie’s teacher and sent home to the parents so that they could share it with their family primary care provider. According to the scoring provided by her teacher, Katie is inattentive, easily distracted, forgets things she already learned, is poor in spelling, reading, and arithmetic. Her attention span is short, and she is noted to only pay attention to things she is interested in. The teacher opined that she lacks interest in school work and is easily distracted. Katie is also noted to start things but never finish them, and seldom follows through on instructions and fails to finish her school work.

Katie’s parents actively deny that Katie has ADHD. “She would be running around like a wild person if she had ADHD” reports her mother. “She is never defiant or has temper outburst” adds her father.


Katie reports that she doesn’t know what the “big deal” is. She states that school is “OK”- her favorite subjects are “art” and “recess.” She states that she finds her other subjects boring, and sometimes hard because she feels “lost”. She admits that her mind does wander during class to things that she thinks of as more fun. “Sometimes” Katie reports “I will just be thinking about nothing and the teacher will call my name and I don’t know what they were talking about.”

Katie reports that her home life is just fine. She reports that she loves her parents and that they are very good and kind to her. Denies any abuse, denies bullying at school. Offers no other concerns at this time.


The client is an 8 year old Caucasian female who appears appropriately developed for her age. Her speech is clear, coherent, and logical. She is appropriately oriented to person, place, time, and event. She is dressed appropriately for the weather and time of year. She demonstrates no noteworthy mannerisms, gestures, or tics. Self-reported mood is euthymic. Affect is bright. Katie denies visual or auditory hallucinations, no delusional or paranoid thought processes readily appreciated. Attention and concentration are grossly intact based on Katie’s attending to the clinical interview and her ability to count backwards from 100 by serial 2’s and 5’s. Insight and judgment appear age appropriate. Katie denies any suicidal or homicidal ideation.

Diagnosis: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominantly inattentive presentation


§ Conners, C. K., Sitarenios, G., Parker, J. D. A., & Epstein, J. N. (1998). Revision and restandardization of the Conners’ Teacher Rating Scale (CTRS-R): Factors, structure, reliability, and criterion validity. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 26, 279-291.


Begin Wellbutrin (bupropion) XL 150 mg orally daily


Begin Wellbutrin (bupropion) XL 150 mg orally daily

·  Client returns to clinic in four weeks

·  Katie’s parents inform you that they stopped giving Katie the medication because about 2 weeks into the prescription, Katie told her parents that she was thinking about hurting herself. This scared the parents, but they didn’t want to “bother you” by calling the office, so they felt that it would be best to just stop the medication as they would be seeing you in two weeks


Educate the parents that Bupropion sometimes causes suicidal ideation in children and that this is normal, and restart the drug at the previous dose.


·  Client returns to clinic in four weeks

·  Katie’s parents again report that after about a week of treatment with the Bupropion, Katie began telling her parents that she wanted to hurt herself and began having dreams about being dead. This scared her parents and they stopped giving her the medication

·  At this point, they are quite upset with the results of their daughter’s treatment and are convinced that medication is not the answer


Refer the parents to a pediatric psychologist who can use behavioral therapy to treat Katie’s ADHD

Guidance to Student

Bupropion is used off-label for ADHD and is used more commonly in adults. It’s mechanism of action results in increasing the neurotransmitters norepinephrine/noradrenaline and dopamine. Since dopamine is inactivated by norepinephrine reuptake in frontal cortex, (which largely lacks dopamine transporters) bupropion can increase dopamine neurotransmission in this part of the brain, which may explain its effectiveness in ADHD. However, Bupropion as well as other antidepressants have been linked to suicidal ideation in children and adolescents- despite the fact that it was being used initially to treat ADHD, it is still an antidepressant.

At this point, the parents are probably quite frustrated as no parent wants to hear their child talking about hurting themselves or having dreams about being dead. If the parents are adamant about no more medications, referral to a pediatric psychologist or similar therapist skilled in the use of behavioral therapies to treat ADHD in children. However, it should be noted that behavioral therapies work best when combined with medication, however, if the parents are insistent, then behavioral therapy may be the only alternative left in the treatment of Katie.

In terms of the pathophysiology of ADHD, whereas it may be true that increasing age may demonstrate some improvement in symptoms (some people will actually experience complete resolution of symptoms by adulthood), it is not helping Katie in the here and now. Katie still needs help with her symptoms which are causing academic issues.

You should attempt to repair the rupture in the therapeutic alliance (the parents now believe that medications are not the answer) by explaining rationale for the use of Bupropion (many people like to start with Bupropion because it has a low-risk for addiction). The family should be encouraged to allow you to initiate Adderall as it has a very good track record in terms of its efficacy in treating ADHD.

Post a brief explanation of the psychological disorder presented and the decision steps you applied in completing the interactive media piece for the psychological disorder you selected.

· Then, explain how the administration of the associated pharmacotherapeutics you recommended may impact the patient’s pathophysiology.

· How might these potential impacts inform how you would suggest treatment plans for this patient? Be specific and provide examples.

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