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Top names in ADHD gather in Syracuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y. —The public will have an opportunity to get answers to their ADHD questions from some of the biggest names in the world of ADHD treatment and research during a conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of SUNY Upstate Medical University's Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Clinic Dec. 11.

The conference, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St. in Syracuse. Pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, call 464-3104.

Organizers say the conference is a unique opportunity for clinicians as well as the general public to hear about the latest on ADHD research and treatment. It is estimated that ADHD affects three to five percent of school-age children; an estimated 60 to 70 percent of those children will maintain the disorder as adults. Adults with ADHD might have problems concentrating, remembering information, organizing and completing work on time. In addition, impulsive and restless symptoms also can be present.

The ADHD Clinic at SUNY Upstate is one of the longest?running, protocol-driven subspecialty programs of its kind in the country. Since opening in 1986, the clinic has evaluated and treated more than 1,000 patients. In addition to providing patient care, the clinic has played a key role in training dozen of clinicians—clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, pediatricians, family practitioners and others—in the essential elements of a competent evaluation for this popular but often misunderstood condition.

"I have to admit that more has stayed the same than changed when it comes to ADHD management over the past two decades," said Michael Gordon, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and director of ADHD Program since its inception. "I have the same concerns about misdiagnosis now that I had 20 years ago, perhaps even more so given the rise in ADHD's star status."

While the fundamental principles of diagnosis have remained largely unchanged, they are now also applied to adolescents and adults, Gordon noted. "Perhaps the most significant advance has been awareness that, for many identified as having ADHD during childhood, symptoms persist throughout the lifespan. As for treatment cognitive training methods have lost favor as medication treatment and parent training programs have gained in credibility," he said.

The conference will address a range of issues from ADHD treatment and diagnosis to the state-of-the-art techniques for managing the disorder at school. A special session will address how the judicial system recognizes the disorder regarding cases of disability rights.

But the highlight of the conference for many will be a question and answer panel featuring some of the best?known names in ADHD circles to be held from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. Panelists will include:

? Russell Barkley, Ph.D. SUNY Upstate research professor, who has authored, co?authored, or co-edited 20 books and clinical manuals and published more than 300 scientific articles and book chapters related to the nature, assessment, and treatment of ADHD and related disorders.

? Steve Faraone, Ph.D. SUNY Upstate research professor and director of the university's medical genetics research program. A leading figure in psychiatric genetics, Faraone has published extensively on ADHD as well as other child psychiatric disorders.

? Michael Gordon, Ph.D., SUNY Upstate professor of psychiatry and director of child and adolescent psychiatric services, who has authored numerous books and articles, including a series of guides to ADHD/hyperactivity for parents and teachers, siblings, children and teenagers.

? Kevin Murphy, Ph.D., SUNY Upstate research associate professor and president of the Adult ADHD Clinic of Central Massachusetts, who is recognized as a pioneer in the management of ADHD in adults. His books, research and workshops are a mainstay of the field.

The complete conference schedule is below.

? 9 a.m."Diagnostic Practices: What I've learned from 20 years of directing an ADHD subspecialty clinic."

? 9:45 a.m."Untangling the knots: ADHD and psychiatric comorbidities

? 10:30 a.m. "Recent Advances in Psychopharmacology for Juvenile ADHD."

?11:15 a.m. "Recent Advances in the management of ADHD at home and school."

? 1 p.m."Adult ADHD: Recent data on diagnosis, treatment, onset, and subclinical presentations.

? 1:45 p.m."ADHD goes to Court: The assessment of impairment, ADA documentation, and the limits of advocacy."

? 2:15 p.m."Ask the Experts." Conference attendees will have the opportunity to ask a panel of experts about ADHD.