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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Low-Dose Interventions for ADHD On the Horizon?

From Smart Kids with LD

April 20, 2014

"Our data show that stimulant doses can be reduced dramatically if a child is treated with behavior modification."

Researchers at Florida International University’s Center for Children and Families have found that low doses of medication in conjunction with low doses of behavioral therapy may be an effective combination for treating ADHD.

In a recent report in Medical Press summarizing the findings, the study’s lead author, William E. Pelham, Jr, explained the implication of the results:

"Our data show that stimulant doses can be reduced dramatically if a child is treated with behavior modification. Given concerns about long-term side effects of these medications, such as growth reduction, providing behavioral interventions would appear to minimize the need for medication and maximize response to very low doses for the majority of children with ADHD."

Although this was a small study—participants included 48 children, ages 5 to 12, diagnosed with ADHD—it is one of several FIU studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health examining the combination of medication and behavioral interventions for children with ADHD.

According to the Medical Press article, this study suggests that “a child who experiences side effects from medication may benefit from a decrease in dosage coupled with low levels of behavior modification,” according to Pelham. Plus, low levels of behavior modification may be implemented at home and school since parents and teachers may provide the requisite framework for the child.

If replicated, these findings could pave the way for improved ADHD treatments.

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