ADHD Medication May Not Help Long-Term

Stimulant medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, may not affect what ADHD looks like in teens, a U.S. doctor found.

University of California, Los Angeles researcher Dr. Susan Smalley found it surprising that youth in northern Finland are rarely treated with medicine for ADHD, yet the look of the disorder — its prevalence, symptoms, psychiatric comorbidity and cognition — is relatively the same as in the U.S, where stimulant medication is widely in use.

We know medication is very effective in the short-term, Smalley said in a statement. But the study raises important questions concerning the long-term efficacy of ADHD treatment. Here we have two different cultures and two different approaches to treatment, yet at the time of adolescence, there are few differences in the presentation and problems associated with ADHD.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, used data from a large, longitudinal study of 10,000 children in northern Finland begun in l986.

UCLA researchers joined the effort when the children were between 16 and 18. Using a standard screening survey and diagnostic criteria, the researchers found the prevalence of ADHD to be 8.5 percent.

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“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Behavioral Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Behavioral Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Behavioral Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”

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