Three interesting studies on ADHD

The first of these studies shows a link between ADHD and exposure to organophosphate pesticides (OPP). It measured levels of OPP in the urine of more than 1,000 children. Results showed that the higher the concentration of OPP, the more likely it was for children to have a diagnosis of ADHD. Exposure to organophosphate pesticides is common in the US and it is likely that these chemicals interact with genes to trigger ADHD in some children and not in others (Pediatrics, 2010;125:e1270-e1277).

The second and third studies give us clues as to what we can do to help children with ADHD without resorting to drugs. As researchers in one of the studies put it “the short-term efficacy of stimulant medications is well-established… however, mood becomes unstable at higher doses”. In my experience higher doses of these drugs are inevitable as these medications become progressively less effective over periods of several years.

One study followed a group of children for a full year, something rarely done in medication research. It was a randomized, double-blind multi-center study performed in several European countries. It concluded that the natural amino acid Acetyl-l-carnitine at a dose of 20-50 mg per Kg of body weight per day “represents a safe alternative to the use of stimulant drugs for the treatment of ADHD” (Am J Med Genet A, 2008 Apr 1;146(7):803-12).

The other study found that children diagnosed with ADHD taking the natural herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba “improved significantly overall and in hyperactivity, inattention, and immaturity factors” (Phytother Res. 2010 Jan;23(1):26-27).

Comments are closed.