Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Treatment Options For Children With ADHD

Date:
February 26, 2002
Source:
University Of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
Neurologists have shown that many children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who have long been denied the medication most commonly used by doctors, methylphenidate (MPH, also known as Ritalin), can be treated effectively with it. The study in the February 26 issue of Neurology, published by the American Academy of Neurology, also puts forth the idea that a combination of medicines works best for many children with ADHD.

Neurologists have shown that many children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who have long been denied the medication most commonly used by doctors, methylphenidate (MPH, also known as Ritalin), can be treated effectively with it. The study in the February 26 issue of Neurology, published by the American Academy of Neurology, also puts forth the idea that a combination of medicines works best for many children with ADHD.

“This is an effective medicine that doctors have been told for decades not to use in children with tics, such as children with Tourette’s syndrome,” says lead author Roger Kurlan, M.D., a neurologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “There’s even a warning in the Physician’s Desk Reference, and for 40 years physicians have avoided treating children with ADHD and tics with Ritalin because of a fear that the tics would worsen. But the warning was based on slim evidence and had never really been checked out thoroughly.”

The study was conducted by the Tourette’s Syndrome Study Group, a collection of physicians and nurses from 15 institutions who focus on developing and testing new treatments for the disorder. About one-third of children diagnosed with ADHD also have a tic disorder like Tourette’s.

Since about half of children with tics also have ADHD, doctors like Kurlan who specialize in treating children with Tourette’s long encountered difficulty treating many of their patients. Many specialists had found MPH effective at treating children with tics and ADHD, despite the conventional thinking. So the Tourette’s study group proposed to settle the question in a study which the National Institutes of Health agreed to fund.

Doctors at 12 hospitals and medical centers around North America studied 136 children ages 7-14 who had both ADHD and tics. Children received either MPH, clonidine, both, or neither; doctors, nurses, parents, teachers and children did not know which children received which treatment until the study was completed. Children were examined by nurses and doctors, and their behavior was monitored and reported by parents and teachers for 16 weeks.

Kurlan says doctors had assumed MPH shouldn’t be used in children with Tourette’s because it was thought that the medicine, a stimulant, would worsen tics. But the study found otherwise: Not only did youngsters treated with MPH experience no more tics than their counterparts not on MPH, dispelling that long-held notion, but the medicine actually eased their tics. The same was true for children in the other two groups that received medication.

“This longstanding practice has left a large number of children in a difficult situation,” Kurlan says. “Though they have ADHD, their doctors have been told not to give these children the best available treatment. It’s been frustrating for doctors, and there are many parents out there who have felt cheated out of an effective treatment for their children with ADHD.”

The study marks the first time that MPH has been tested in children with tics; it’s also the first time that the effectiveness of ADHD and clonidine have been tested head to head in any children with ADHD.

The findings may spur changes in treatment for all children with ADHD, not just those with tics, the investigators say. The group also compared the effects of the combination of MPH and clonidine to MPH alone and clonidine alone. Doctors found that the combination was more effective than either medication alone. The drugs seem to complement each other, with MPH more effective helping children concentrate and clonidine helping counter patients’ impulsivity and hyperactivity.

“This makes possible the whole idea of individualizing medication treatment,” Kurlan says. “It makes sense for a doctor to think of the individual patient and which symptom is most bothersome to that patient. If hyperactivity is dominant, the doctor might prescribe clonidine; if the child is have trouble focusing, methylphenidate makes sense.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Rochester Medical Center. "New Treatment Options For Children With ADHD." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020226075048.htm>.
University Of Rochester Medical Center. (2002, February 26). New Treatment Options For Children With ADHD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020226075048.htm
University Of Rochester Medical Center. "New Treatment Options For Children With ADHD." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020226075048.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins