Study Looks at Long-Term Effectiveness of ADHD Medication

Research finds no difference in presentation of ADHD in teens treated with medication and those treated by other methods.

Thursday January 24th - 12:46pm

Dr. Susan Smalley, a researcher at UCLA, has recently completed a study which questions the long-term effectiveness of ADHD medication. The study looked at a large sample of children in Finland beginning in 1986 and continuing to the present. Children with ADHD in Finland are rarely treated with medication.

Dr. Smalley found relatively few differences in prevalence, symptoms, psychiatric comorbidity, and cognition in the teens in this Finnish sample and teens in the U.S. who had been treated with stimulant medication over the course of their childhoods.

While the researchers agree that medication has unmistakable short-term benefits, they argue that the lack of different presentations in teens in Finland and the U.S. raises questions about the long-term benefits of such treatment.

The study has been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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