Three-time Emmy Award winning actress Kathy Baker to participate in ADHD experts on call program

August 11, 2003

New York, August 12, 2003 - To help families and caregivers better understand attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dispel some common myths about the condition, Shire US Inc will host the fifth annual ADHD Experts on Call on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 from 8 A.M. to midnight EDT. This year, three-time Emmy Award-winning actress Kathy Baker (Picket Fences, The Cider House Rules and the upcoming Cold Mountain), whose 13-year old son was diagnosed with ADHD four years ago, will talk about her own personal experience dealing with a child with ADHD, as well as answer calls along with the nation's top ADHD authorities at the national toll-free telephone hotline, 1-888-ASK-ADHD.

The hotline is designed to provide "live" access to English- and Spanish-speaking experts including physicians, school nurses, educators, and advocates who can answer questions regarding the disorder. In addition, a confidential, one-on-one on-line forum will be available at http://www.ADHDExpertsOnCall.com throughout the day.

ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder in children and adolescents with approximately two million U.S. children, or three to seven percent of all school-aged children, diagnosed with ADHD. Over the last four years, the ADHD Experts on Call have fielded more than 14,000 inquiries and have helped many people better understand the condition and how it may affect their families.

"I know how important it is to have access to accurate information about ADHD - there are so many conflicting reports about the condition that sometimes it's hard to know what's fact and what's fiction," said Ms. Baker. "I'm so pleased to be involved with ADHD Experts on Call, and I hope that by sharing my family's experience, I'll help other parents understand that there is something they can do to help their child."

The symptoms of ADHD have a profound effect on a child's quality of life and can be serious enough to interfere with academic accomplishments. But just as important, children with ADHD also may have problems maintaining friendships, focusing on sports and other after-school activities, and relating well within their own families. A diagnosis of ADHD requires that a child exhibits signs that persistent problems are noticeably affecting their life in two or more settings, such as at school or at home. In addition, while many believe that ADHD is only a childhood disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, up to 66 percent of children may still exhibit symptoms into adulthood.

As the start of the school year approaches, ADHD Experts on Call provides a valuable resource to parents and teachers who may not be familiar with ADHD, but suspect that their child or a child in their care is showing symptoms of the disorder. In addition, many parents already deal with ADHD daily, and may want to call and ask about ways of dealing with common ADHD concerns or issues facing their children and family. While the experts participating in ADHD Experts on Call will not provide specific medical advice for patients or parents or recommend a particular course of action, they can provide helpful information on topics such as: "This program offers parents valuable information regarding ADHD symptoms, diagnosis, support groups and treatment options that can help them better understand the disorder," said Dr. Howard Abikoff, Director of the Institute for ADHD & Related Disorders at the NYU Child Study Center and longtime ADHD Experts on Call participant. "Although many parents and teachers are aware of the disorder, they may not be familiar with the available resources. These resources can help by providing everyday coping strategies that will help the child succeed at school and live a healthy and productive life."

Although there is no "cure" for ADHD, physicians, parents, teachers, and nurses are finding ways to help children with the condition adapt to their academic, social, and work environments. Callers also may request a free booklet about ADHD with information on symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatment options. For those who would prefer to use the Internet, a confidential, one-on-one on-line forum also will be available at www.ADHDExpertsOnCall.com throughout the day.
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About ADHD

ADHD is a significant mental health concern that impacts the patients, their families and their social circles. Children with ADHD often are inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive - difficulties serious enough to interfere with their ability to function normally in home, academic or social settings. These symptoms continue beyond the school day, affecting all aspects of the child's life. ADHD is a neurological brain disorder that manifests as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. Hyperactivity is seen less frequently as the patient ages, however inattention and impulsivity often remain.

Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc

Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc (Shire) is a global specialty pharmaceutical company with a strategic focus on meeting the needs of the specialist physician and currently has a range of projects and products in the areas of central nervous system (CNS), gastrointestinal (GI), and renal. Shire has operations in the world's key pharmaceutical markets (US, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Spain and Germany) as well as a specialist drug delivery unit in the US. For further information on Shire, ADHD, and Experts on Call, please visit the websites: http://www.shire.com or http://www.adhdsupportcompany.com.

NYU Child Study Center

The NYU Child Study Center is dedicated to the understanding, prevention, and treatment of child and adolescent mental health problems. The Center offers expert psychiatric services for children and families with emphasis on early diagnosis and intervention. The Center's mission is to bridge the gap between science and practice, integrating the finest research with patient care and utilizing the resources of the world-class New York University School of Medicine. For further information the NYU Child Study Center please visit http://www.AboutOurKids.org.

New York University Child Study Center

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