Thursday, December 08, 2005

ADHD Med May Help Autism

According to research published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Medical Assoc. Archives of General Psychiatry, children with autism may benefit from a drug that is commonly prescribed for ADHD.
Researchers enrolled 72 children in the largest study yet of a stimulant medication, Ritalin, for autistic kids that are hyperactive. They were trying to see if methylphenidate would be effective in reducing hyperactivity and impulsiveness in children with autism.
For the first week, each child participated in a tolerance test of three different dose levels. Next, a four week phase where they were given either a previously tested dose or a placebo. Those who had a positive response were treated for an additional eight weeks to make sure their response was stable.
Of those who participated, 14 withdrew due to intolerable side effects. 35 responded well to methylphenidate and experienced a significant reduction in hyperactivity. However, reduction in symptoms for the entire group was not as great as is typically seen when used to treat those with ADHD.

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