News: Specialized Press

Therapy for ADHD in Youth Reduces the Risk of Psychiatric Disorders.

Source: PEDIATRICS. 2009 JUL; 124 (1):71-78. / Date: JULY 2009 / Category: Specialized Press


A new study suggests that treatment with methylphenidate and other stimulants help to prevent the onset of psychiatric disorders and improve school performance in children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  

The team of Dr. Joseph Biederman, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, investigated 112 patients with ADHD between the ages 6 and 18 years old. 73% of these patients received treatment with stimulants. After 10 years of follow-up, the team found that participants who were taking stimulants were 78% less likely to develop severe depression, 80% less likely to suffer anxiety disorders and 79% less likely to have behavior problems or disorders of behavior, than those not receiving these drugs.  

Children treated with stimulants were also 75% less likely to repeat in school than those without therapy.  

The team concluded that the study provides new evidence that treatment with stimulants is associated with a lower risk of developing psychopathology and repeating classes at school.  

The authors stated, "If other studies confirm these results they could help doctors plan better treatments and pre-empt the outcome of children with ADHD, in addition to improving the understanding of what causes these disorders."  

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