Children with certain dopamine system gene variants have an improved response to methylphenidate - the most commonly prescribed medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - in a finding that could help eliminate the guesswork from prescribing effective medications for children with ADHD. Researchers reporting their results in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry tested 89 children with ADHD between ages 7 and 11. They found that children with specific variants of the dopamine transporter (DAT) and dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) genes showed greater improvement in hyperactivity and impulsivity after taking methylphenidate compared to children with alternative DAT and DRD4 versions. "Physicians don't have a good way of predicting who will experience great improvement in ADHD symptoms with a particular medication, so currently we use a trial-and-error approach.
Scientists have developed a way to evaluate new treatments for some forms of attention deficit disorder. Working in mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed that they can use brain scans to quickly test whether drugs increase levels of a brain chemical known as dopamine. In a study published last year, the same group found that raising dopamine levels in mice alleviates attention deficits caused by neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a condition that affects more than 100, 000 people in the United States. Approximately 60 percent to 80 percent of children with NF1 have some type of attention deficit problem. "Many kids with NF1 really struggle in school, and finding ways to help alleviate attention problems is a high priority, " says David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, the Donald O.
Updated guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offer new information on diagnosing and treating Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD ) in younger children and in adolescents. Emerging evidence makes it possible to diagnose and manage ADHD in children from ages 4 to 18 (the previous AAP guidelines, from 2000 and 2001, covered children ages 6 to 12). The new guidelines describe the special considerations involved in diagnosing and treating preschool children and adolescents. They also include interventions to help children with hyperactive/impulsive behaviors that do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for ADHD. "Treating children at a young age is important, because when we can identify them earlier and provide appropriate treatment, we can increase their chances of succeeding in school, " said Mark Wolraich, MD, FAAP, lead author of the report.
Shire plc presented positive top-level results of their first European phase III study of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX), designed for children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD ). LDX is administered once daily and is the first chemically formulated long-acting, prodrug of dexamfetamine for treating ADHD. It is currently only licensed in the US, Brazil and Canada. Results of the phase III study demonstrated LDXs efficacy on the primary and key secondary measures compared with placebo, as well as a consistent safety profile with the known effects of amphetamine treatment and previous LDX trials. Dr Jeffrey Jonas, Senior Vice President of Research and Development for Shire's Specialty Pharmaceuticals business stated: "The results of this European study show that a once-daily morning dose of LDX was effective in children and adolescents with at least moderately symptomatic ADHD, and are consistent with those of previous studies conducted outside of Europe.
New treatment guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics say that Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) can be diagnosed in kids as young as four years of age, down from six years in its previous guidelines. The new guidelines were released today both in the journal Pediatrics and at the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) annual meeting in Boston, also today. The presenters said the first treatment approach for preschoolers should be behavioral management techniques (rather than medication). However, if a preschool-age child with moderate to severe symptoms does not respond to behavior interventions, doctors should consider prescribing medication, such as methylphenidate ( Ritalin ). ADHD medications are not FDA approved for such young children. So, the recommendation will most likely trigger controversy.