The frequencies of various psychiatric and neuromaturational disorders were compared in 22 ADD children aged 5-16 yrs and in 20 normal control subjects studied by structured diagnostic interviews with mothers in the Pediatric Psychopharmacology Clinic and Child Psychiatry Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Compared with controls, ADD patients had significantly higher rates of conduct disorder, oppositional disorder, major affective disorder, tics, language disorder/stuttering, encopresis and learning disorders. Enuresis occurred in 7 (32%) ADD children compared to 3 (15%) controls. The rate of affective disorders in ADD children was significantly higher in subgroups with conduct/oppositional disorders and anxiety and significantly lower in the subgroup with neuromaturational disorders (enuresis, encopresis, language disorders, tics) when compared to normal control subjects. The incidence of conduct disorders was increased in the ADD subgroup with anxiety disorders. The recongition of ADD subgroups and psychiatric co-morbidity may be clinically useful in prognosis and treatment. [1]

COMMENT. Previous studies have emphasized the need to correctly classify children with ADD into groups with or without conduct and anxiety disorders and those with abnormal neurologic signs and MBD when evaluating drug effects. (see Ped Neur Briefs 1987;1(2):14).