CONDITIONS WE TREAT


  • ATTENTION DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)
  • AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD)
  • GENERAL MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS
ATTENTION DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the term used to identify a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity.

There are three possible diagnoses according to what symptoms are mainly present:
ADHD inattentive presentation (it is sometimes also called “ADD”), where the majority of symptoms are inattentive.
ADHD hyperactive/impulsive presentation; here the majority of symptoms is hyperactivity and/or impulsive symptoms.
ADHD combined presentation; in this case the patient has significant number of both hyperactive/impulsive and inattentive symptoms.
Very often, individuals with ADHD also suffer from other mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and other neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD.
Some of the inattentive symptoms might include: distractibility from external noise and/or own thoughts, problems in focusing and concentrating on tasks and/or conversations, getting easily bored, losing and/or misplacing things, poor sense of time, procrastination. Some of the hyperactive and impulsive symptoms might include: internal feeling of restlessness, difficulties to relax, fidgeting or moving hands or legs in restless manner, blurting out answers before questions have been completed, interrupting others during conversations, difficulties waiting (e.g. cues, traffic jam etc…), being risk prone.
In order to classify behaviours as symptoms they must be pervasive and “intense” to create impairment. For example, everybody at some point might have misplaced his wallet, or forgot an appointment, but if those behaviours are frequent enough to start to create problems in your life, then those behaviours are classified as symptoms. Moreover, you need to have a certain number of symptoms in order to trigger a diagnosis of ADHD, and those symptoms do not have to be the result of other mental health conditions or be the result of current life situations (e.g. problems at work, stressful life events etc…). Finally, type and severity of the symptoms can change over time and be modulated by life contingencies, but they have to be always present. Indeed, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition with childhood/adolescence onset that by definition cannot “switch on” and “switch off”. With time however, someone with ADHD can outgrow the disorder and be defined “in remission”.
Unfortunately there is no laboratory test for diagnosing ADHD; instead a detailed assessment needs to take place with a clinician (Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist) with specialist training and expertise in adult ADHD. A comprehensive clinical interview, rating scales and when possible informants are used to assess for ADHD and other mental health conditions that might mimic ADHD. In order to gather all the information needed to reach a diagnostic conclusion, the assessment cannot really be shorter than 2 hours.
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD)
In 2013, Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, NOS (not otherwise specified) were rolled into one umbrella category: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is a term describing a spectrum of neurodevelopmental conditions characterised by persistent impairment in reciprocal social communication and social interaction, and the presence of restricted and narrow interests, repetitive behaviour along with inflexibility in case of unexpected change.
Being a spectrum, the manifestations of the condition vary greatly among individuals who also might show associated intellectual related problems (below average IQ) and language delay while others instead do not show learning difficulties (they have normal and even above average IQ) and might have language delay (as in High Functioning Autism) or not (as in Asperger Syndrome). Some people are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled. Treatments and services improve a person’s symptoms and ability to function.
ASD is also defined Autism Spectrum Conditions to emphasize that Autism is not only characterized by disabilities but also areas of strength (e.g., attention to detail, memory for detail, and pattern-recognition).
The majority of individuals with ASD have other co-occurring conditions, such as sleep problems, eating problems, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, coordination problem, ADHD, and sensory sensitivities. In adults these difficulties can lead to social isolation, relationship problems, difficulties with employment and low self-esteem. A diagnosis in adulthood is often a big relief as not only does it give an explanation but also enables support to be given, such as help with employment and benefits.
The adult ASD assessment at the Cambridge ADHD & ASD Clinic employs a comprehensive and evidence-based assessment involving the patient and an informant who can comment on the developmental and current history of the patient; information about the adult’s developmental history will help in making an accurate diagnosis. Moreover, ASD specific rating scales and questionnaires will need to be completed by the patient and the informant. The clinical interview itself can last up to three hours.
GENERAL MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS
Given our clinicians are experienced professionals, and given ADHD and ASD are often comorbid with several other mental health conditions, the Clinic also offers assessment and treatment for a wide range of general mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders, substance abuse/misuse, personality disorders, anger outbursts and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The general mental health assessment follows a standardized diagnostic clinical interview with the aid of several rating scales that the patient will need to complete before the assessment. Sometimes informants are asked to join the interview process, which lasts not less than 2 hours.

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  • I started my journey with diagnosing possible adult ADHD in May 2017, having spent around 9 months struggling with various NHS departments I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. I researched online and found a number of reviews and recommendations for the Cambridge Adult ADHD & ASD Clinic, including being listed in the AADD-UK list of specialists. From my very first interactions with the clinic my entire experience was elevated from that which I received with the NHS. Staff were quick to respond, took genuine interest in my queries and were helpful in providing advice. I was able to have an appointment within 2 weeks of initial contact and received my diagnosis shortly after. From 9 months of waiting to less than a month to get into a position where I could finally be helped. The assessment services were thorough and instilled me with confidence that I was in the right hands. My assessment and subsequent treatment has always felt tailored to my needs and requirements rather than following a pre-defined script. The care I have received throughout has restored my faith in good practitioners being available. I would highly recommend the services provided by Dr Pironti and his colleagues. J.B.
  • I was initially sceptical about approaching a private clinic but was reassured to find that Dr Pironti had worked in the Cambridge NHS service for several years and published research in peer-reviewed journals. I found Dr Pironti down to earth and understanding while clearly possessing genuine expertise in relation to ADHD. After completing and submitting the required paperwork my assessment via Skype was comprehensive and I appreciated the explanation of the process that was given once Dr Pironti had reached his conclusion. Follow up sessions to arrange medication and check my progress were conducted in a manner which was thorough yet remained light-hearted and personal. It was a great relief to be in the care of professionals with so much knowledge about ADHD and a passion to help patients to better understand and cope with it. I have been helped enormously by the Cambridge Adult ADHD Clinic and would whole-heartedly recommend them to others. A.C. Cambridge
  • “Dr Pironti and his team were recommended and from when I first called their office, I knew we were in good hands.  It was clear this clinic is focused on the clients well-being.  I initially called to discuss addiction issues and after a thorough conversation, it was suggested our son call the office personally.  They soon established there were other issues and our son agreed to meet with Dr Pironti to discuss his undiagnosed ADD. Dr Pironti is specialist in this area and was fantastic from the beginning.  We met this week and there was an immediate sense of ease and we were aware of thoughtfully directed questions, keeping us on track.  He explained where necessary, the workings of the brain and its impact on certain behaviours.  The meeting was invaluable and our son definitely took on board the necessary information to keep him aware of his good and bad decisions and their long term effects.  Dr Pironti was extremely knowledgeable and genuine, offering further contact, should our son have any difficulties or concerns, very comforting for a young person who might not always be willing to discuss their issues with parents.  He reminded our son that he is one of a larger family unit and to remain mindful of his actions, suggested in a careful and thoughtful manner.  Our son was relieved and happy to have had this meeting and came away saying that he understood himself better and tells us, he will put in a place a better regime, now knowing his areas of impulsivity.  We will book further consultations and feel extremely lucky to have come across this team of caring professionals within the field of therapy, an area we did not feel sure about.  We would absolutely recommend Dr Pironti and his team.” A.D. Cambridge
  • “Having spent some considerable time researching a clinician who fit criteria that involved qualifications, expertise, and location, I chose Cambridge Adult ADHD Clinic. My consultation was incredibly thorough, exacting and I had a full sense of confidence that whatever results would come to pass, they would reflect a robust examination. I felt Dr Pironti was emphatic, appropriately judicious in his collection of information and put my mind at ease that no conclusions would be reached before everything that he needed was examined. His knowledge sharing with me put me at ease, he was conversational, not at all patronizing or judgmental and having a long history of dealing with poor even frustrating communication from health practitioners, I was relieved and delighted that he was in fact the contrary. He seems to value patient dialogue and is both holistic in his approach as well as scientific, which I think puts him at a distinct advantage. At every stage, I was communicated with, the collection of information was robust and the entire experience from start to finish was not in fact stressful, but enlightening.  I most wholeheartedly endorse him and think anybody who has or thinks they may have ADHD symptoms would value time spent exploring this clinic.” JM, Jan 24, 2017