Medical mimics: Medical and neurological conditions simulating ADHD

Phillip L. Pearl, Roy E. Weiss, Mark A. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The medical and neurological conditions that simulate ADHD are reviewed, as well as those disorders frequently presenting as comorbidities with ADHD. The localization of ADHD has invoked multiple areas, including frontal lobes, nondominant parietal lobe, and basal ganglia, and the neural network theory of cortical-subcortical-cortical loops has been implicated in the pathogenesis of ADHD. The medical evaluation of patients presenting with ADHD should be comprehensive, with an emphasis on demonstrating chronic and permeating symptoms since early childhood without a better medical explanation. Associated thyroid disorders are reviewed, including the syndrome of resistance to thyroid hormone. Suggested laboratory studies are provided, depending on the clinical circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-112
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Medical mimics
  • Neural networks
  • Resistance to thyroid hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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