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Cognitive Therapy Helps Adults With ADHD
Date:8/25/2010

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Adding therapy to the medications an adult might be taking for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could lessen symptoms and improve quality of life, new research suggests.

After one year, patients receiving cognitive behavioral therapy along with their medications quelled persistent symptoms better than using drugs plus relaxation exercises.

"We have known that therapy helps, but this study shows that it's not just sitting with someone and talking about ADHD but specifically cognitive behavioral therapy that's helpful," said Jon Bergeron Jr., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and a psychologist with Scott & White College Station Clinic.

Whether or not patients actually pursue a professional's recommendation to start therapy is another matter.

"Most people don't pursue therapy," Bergeron stated. "Our culture is always looking for a magic pill."

Bergeron was not involved with the study, which appears in the Aug. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Medications such as the stimulant Ritalin are the first course of treatment for ADHD.

But the majority of patients still have some symptoms even after being prescribed drugs, said study author Steven A. Safren, director of behavioral medicine in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

After a pilot study of cognitive behavioral therapy and ADHD was successful, Safren and his colleagues decided to embark on a larger study.

This randomized, controlled trial involved 86 adults with ADHD already on medication who were randomized to receive 12 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or combined educational/relaxation support.

The CBT involved learning how to address tasks throughout the da
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