ADHD Drugs Not Effective in Many Young Children, Study Concludes

Treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) does not appear to help many young children, a new study concludes.

The study followed 186 children, ages 3 to 5, who had moderate to severe ADHD. Six years after their diagnosis, about 90 percent still showed symptoms such as over-activity, impulse control or inattentiveness, according to Bloomberg.

Two-thirds of the children were on medication. These children did not show significant differences in ADHD severity, compared with those who were not taking drugs. Almost two-thirds of treated children had significant hyperactivity and impulsivity, compared with 58 percent of those not taking medication.

“ADHD in preschoolers is a chronic and rather persistent condition, one that requires better long-term behavioral and pharmacological treatments than we currently have,” study author Mark Riddle of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, said in a news release.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adult Psychiatry.

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    Richard Solomon, PhD

    February 16, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Unfortunately, this confirms what my own clinical experience has been in trying to help young kids, their parents, and schools where ADHD is a concern. More intensive, ongoing behavioral interventions via the parents and schools seem to be needed. This is because kids with this disorder have a much higher risk of becoming impulsive, antisocial, and/or alcohol/drug abusing teens if they are not treated effectively when they are younger.

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    February 16, 2013 at 4:21 AM

    The common meds for ADHD simply do not address the genetic based neurobiological problems that children have who could be suspect in having ADHD or ADD. If one is concerned, it is best to try an alternative medication approach and observe the behavioral changes. L-Tyrosine is the precursor to Dopamine. D-L Phenylalanine is the best precursor to Norepinephrine. Both are involved in ADD and ADHD and can be found at most any GNC store over the counter amino acids. A time released vitamin B-6 will assure that the precursor that converts the amino acids into neurotransmitters is present. This approach I have found to be very effective during my over a quarter century as an addiction treatment professional. I have always used a science based approach and found it best to look at the OTC alternatives first along with a well balanced diet and plenty of sleep. Some of the herbals may help also. Much better than jumping right into some medication that was never tested on young, developing brains. First do no harm!

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