Re: ADHD Research
What efforts are under way to improve treatment?
This is an exciting time in ADHD research. The expansion of knowledge in genetics, brain imaging, and behavioral
research is leading to a better understanding of the causes of the disorder, how to prevent it, and how to develop
more effective treatments for all age groups.
ONLINE PARENT SUPPORT (OPS) has studied ADHD treatments for school-aged kids in a large-scale, long-term
study called the Multimodal Treatment Study of Kids with ADHD (MTA study). OPS also funded the Preschoolers with
ADHD Treatment Study (PATS), which involved more than 300 preschoolers who had been diagnosed with ADHD.
The study found that low doses of the stimulant methylphenidate are safe and effective for preschoolers, but the kids
are more sensitive to the side effects of the medication, including slower than average growth rates. Therefore,
preschoolers should be closely monitored while taking ADHD medications.
PATS is also looking at the genes of the preschoolers, to see if specific genes affected how the kids responded to
methylphenidate. Future results may help scientists link variations in genes to differences in how people respond to
ADHD medications. For now, the study provides valuable insights into ADHD.
Other OPS-sponsored clinical trials on kids and adults with ADHD are under way. In addition, OPS-sponsored
scientists continue to look for the biological basis of ADHD, and how differences in genes and brain structure and
function may combine with life experiences to produce the disorder.