Undetected ADHD May Explain Poor SSRI Response in Depression

Adults who fail to respond to antidepressant therapy may have underlying attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and not treatment-resistant depression, as is often assumed, new research suggests.

“ADHD is relatively new as an adult diagnosis, so people will present with symptoms of depression, and physicians won’t ask any further questions about their history. They’ll just give them a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor [SSRI],” Tia Sternat, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, University of Toronto, in Canada, told Medscape Medical News.

“But depressed patients with ADHD don’t typically respond to SSRIs because of the neuropathology involved — you have to activate the dopamine system to treat ADHD — so they come in saying, ‘I’m not happy, I’m tired, I’m anxious, I don’t have any attentional ability,’ and what you are seeing are the adult signs of ADHD coming through,” she added.

“So physicians need to screen for premorbid conditions, including ADHD, before making the diagnosis of treatment-resistant depression.”

Read full article at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/861929