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Centre for ADHD and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan

CANDAL logo colour
The Centre for ADHD and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan (CANDAL) was officially launched at the Institute of Mental Health in January 2013. The Centre seeks to advance the translation of research into practice in this area of mental health. Further information on this Centre can also be found on the University of Nottingham website.

CANDAL member profiles are available here.

Research issue

Neurodevelopmental disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Tourettes Syndrome (TS), and Autism spectrum Disorder (ASD) are common and impairing conditions that frequently co-exist and affect about 1 in 20 people across the lifespan.

The recognition of these conditions has increased rapidly in recent years leading to concerns about both over- and under- diagnosis. The growing awareness that these conditions not only affect children and young people, but typically persist into adult life has created a significant unmet clinical and research need to understand developmental factors in presentation and treatment response.

CANDAL is unique because unlike other research groups that typically focus on a single disorder either in children or adults, we study these conditions in combination and across the lifespan.

The reality of ADHD - response to media stories

In March 2014 the national media ran stories on the subject of ADHD based on interviews with a US academic. This article outlines the response from the Institute of Mental Health's CANDAL centre of excellence.

The Observer (30.03.14) headlined an article: "Children's hyperactivity 'is not a real disease', says US expert." It reported an interview with Dr Bruce D Perry, Senior Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy in Houston, Texas.

Dr Perry is visiting Britain to meet cabinet members Ian Duncan Smith and Jeremy Hunt, as well as addressing the influential Early Intervention Foundation, chaired by Labour MP Graham Allen. Dr Perry is, to his credit, a prominent advocate of the idea that the way we treat children has profound effects on the way their brains develop physically, and that this has far-reaching consequences for their lifetime mental health. We entirely agree.

However, there are many things about the Observer's report of its interview with Dr Perry that we find worrying, particularly the Observer's rhetorical headline, and the potential impact of Dr Perry's reported views on public understanding and policy towards ADHD.

Read more: The reality of ADHD - response to media stories

National BBC coverage on IMH conference

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National BBC Breakfast News covered a conference at the IMH to promote a better understanding of ADHD.

CANDAL, the Institute’s Centre for ADHD and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan, showcased an ‘in my shoes experience’ developed by Shire and supported by CANDAL members Professor David Daley and Blandine French.

Read more