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Mayo Clinic study indicates medication for ADHD may help student outcomes
Date:9/18/2007

research criteria for having AD/HD. In addition to medical stimulants such as methylphenidate, also called Ritalin, the study examined the effects on school outcomes of maternal age, socioeconomic background, and special education services the students received.

School Outcome Results At a Glance

The children treated with stimulants typically began taking medication in elementary school and received it for nearly three years -- on average, for 30.4 months. Results indicate:

  • Gender: Girls and boys with untreated ADHD were equally vulnerable to poor school outcomes -- and girls may be at risk for being under-identified as having ADHD, and therefore undertreated.

  • Reading: By age 13, on average, stimulant dose was modestly correlated with improved reading achievement scores.

  • Absenteeism: Both treatment with stimulants and longer duration of medication were associated with decreased absenteeism.

  • Grade Retention: Children with A/HD who were treated with stimulants were 1.8 times less likely to be retained a grade than children with ADHD who were not treated.

Implications for Parents and Caregivers

Dr. Barbaresi believes that both studies provide the first solid evidence of the long-term negative academic performance associated with untreated ADHD -- as well as evidence for the best way to manage this problem. Dr. Barbaresi says, The finding that treatment with stimulant medications is associated with long-term improvement in school outcomes is significant. Previously, there was evidence that treatment with stimulant medications improved short-term academic performance, but there was no good evidence that long-term outcomes are better with stimulant treatment. Our data can guide clinicians in their efforts to help children with ADHD succeed in school.

About the Studies

The Mayo Clinic team had a unique ability to i
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Contact: Amy Tieder
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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