Glossary of ADHD Terms

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 12 March 2021

Table of contents
  1. Glossary of ADHD Terms

Glossary of ADHD Terms

ADHD, combined type: 

This is the most common form of the disorder. This form of ADHD is characterised by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

ADHD, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type: 

This form involves individuals who are both hyperactive and impulsive, but do not display enough signs of inattention to be categorised as mixed.

ADHD, predominantly inattentive type: 

This personality style has inattention but not hyperactivity or impulsivity. Attention deficiency disorder was the previous name for this form of ADHD (ADD).

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD):

A behavioural and developmental illness. Inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are also symptoms of ADHD. Symptoms are typically serious enough to cause difficulties in normal life.

Attention deficit disorder (ADD):

This was the old name for ADHD, particularly the inattentive kind. The word “attention deficit disorder" is no longer used.

Executive function deficit: 

Executive function is a set of cognitive skills that ensures that tasks are completed. Someone with a problem with executive control has a hard time planning or beginning projects and completing them. This is a common deficit in people with ADHD.

Clinical trial: 

These are also known as observational studies, because they are used to see how effective modern approaches perform in humans. A new medication may be linked to a current treatment in clinical trials.

Neural: Related to the nervous system.


A messenger chemical in the brain that aids in the transmission of nerve impulses between brain cells.


ADHD signs are often treated with this form of drug. They function by reducing impulsivity and increasing attention span.

Psychostimulants or stimulants: 

People with ADHD are often given these medications. They have an effect on dopamine levels in the brain, which will make them concentrate and ignore distractions.


Referenced on 2.3.2021:

  1. Mayo Clinic: “Adult ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)."
  2. Attention Deficit Disorder Association.
  3. “Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)."
  4. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “NINDS Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder Information Page."
  5. National Institute of Mental Health: “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)."
  6. Understood: “Understanding Executive Function Issues.”
  7. Additude: “Executive-Function Deficits in Children.”
  8. Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada: “ADHD in the Workplace.”
  9. CHADD of Northern California: “How Adult ADHD Affects Relationships: Strategies for Coping.”
  10. CHADD: “Organization and Time Management.”

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