Interpretation

AVHD is a new behavioural disorder seen in people attempting to Excel in presentations by projecting Word(s) with PowerPoint. It manifests most commonly as MACNAB syndrome (mania in academic computer neophytes due to audiovisual bravado).

It is our impression that people with AVHD are typically of normal intelligence but have abnormal behaviour characteristics that are predominantly due to overstimulation of the autonomic nervous system. As with ADHD, agitation, impulsiveness and hyperactivity often cause AVHD sufferers to perform poorly in academic settings and make extreme demands on their peers or audience. We estimate that the majority of faculty members 30 years of age and older have AVHD to some degree, which would make this the most common behavioural disorder among physicians. Worryingly, younger faculty members are not immune to the disorder, as there was clear evidence of early symptom evolution in the PPP group less than 30 years old.

Unlike ADHD, AVHD appears to have no sex bias. Clearly, this is one area where the X chromosome offers no protection. In cases of AVHD, agitation is evident immediately after the presenter is called to the podium, with hyperactivity often beginning soon after the presentation has started. All those affected typically have difficulty sitting still before their presentation. The adverse effects of AVHD hyperkinesis do not usually resolve rapidly. Residual symptoms (short attention span and immature behaviour) persist and probably impose significant burdens on the delivery of health care by faculty following their presentations. PST (PowerPoint slide trauma) is clearly more disruptive in this context than GST (generic slide trauma).

For once a careful history is not essential for formulating a diagnosis. Once aware of AVHD, physicians will be able to detect the signs readily and should feel able to make the diagnosis with confidence.

No laboratory studies are currently available to confirm the clinical diagnosis of AVHD. The cause is clearly GENETIC (generated exclusively in neophytes with electrical and technical innovation challenge), but the Human Genome Project has yet to map AVHD to a specific gene. Unlike obsessive compulsive disorder,5 there is no evidence of an autoimmune component in AVHD. Although central nervous system stimulants have shown a striking benefit in 75% of children with ADHD,1 massive doses of a benzodiazepine appear more logical in cases of AVHD (A.J.M.: personal observation). We have not identified diet as a causal factor; however, folate supplementation will inevitably be explored. People with AVHD should be counselled that most dietary manipulations (with the possible exception of a stiff drink) will neither be of benefit nor contribute to the disorder.

Shakespeare probably foresaw AVHD. Certainly he describes the root cause in most cases: “The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue,” 6 and identified society’s cure: “We have our philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar, things supernatural and causeless.” 7 In addition, the Earl of Birkenhead identified benefit in the supportive group behaviours we observed in response to overt AVHD: “What I like about scientists is that they are a team.” 8

We could find no limitations in our study. On the contrary, we are united in our belief that the study was brilliant, insightful and timely.