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ADHD Treatments Not Working for Most Young Children
Date:2/11/2013

ipants, 62 percent of the children taking anti-ADHD drugs had significant hyperactivity and impulsivity, compared with 58 percent of children not taking medication. Moreover, 65 percent of children on medication also had serious inattention, compared with 62 percent of children not taking drugs to treat ADHD.

However, the researchers noted that it was not clear if the ADHD drugs the children were taking were ineffective. It's possible, they said, that the children were not taking their medication as directed or they were prescribed the wrong dosage.

"Our study was not designed to answer these questions, but whatever the reason may be, it is worrisome that children with ADHD, even when treated with medication, continue to experience symptoms, and what we need to find out is why that is and how we can do better," Riddle said.

Those children with ADHD who were also diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder were 30 percent more likely to experience persistent ADHD symptoms six years after diagnosis than the children who did not have the other disorders, the investigators found.

More than 7 percent of U.S. children are being treated for ADHD, which can interfere with children's relationships with friends and family members as well as their learning, performance in school and physical safety, the researchers said. Experts estimate the condition costs the United States between $36 billion and $52 billion every year.

The study was funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about ADHD.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medicine, news release, Feb.
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