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ERIC Number: ED537915
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep-16
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ADHD--To Medicate or Not? Research Brief
Walker, Karen
Education Partnerships, Inc.
What does the research indicate are the effects of medicating or not medicating adolescents with ADHD? Many parents and health care providers are rethinking and questioning the long-term effects of medication on children. Whether or not to medicate adolescents with ADHD is a conundrum that many parents face. Some parents believe their child will grow out of it, others feel that living a healthy lifestyle is the answer, while a number of parents are certain that medication will help. Research shows that there is not single right answer. In a study of 53 adults with ADHD who had never received medication to treat it, and 44 adults that did not have ADHD, it was found that those with ADHD had lower levels of dopamine receptors and transporters. These affect a person's attention and motivation levels and their response to rewards. It was suggested that those with low dopamine levels might be more prone to drug abuse and over eating because these things can stimulate the reward receptors. A recent study of elementary school students with ADHD showed that those who had taken medication for the condition appeared to score 2.9 points higher in math and 5.4 higher in reading than their peers who had not taken medication. In other research, it was found that there was on average, a three-year developmental delay in the frontal cortex among students with ADHD. Two other studies offer some guidance. In one study it was reported that as people who have ADHD age, there is more of a tendency to voluntarily stop taking medication, taking it sporadically or over medicating. The second study reported that the longer a stimulant was taken, the less effective it became. More than 60% stopped taking their medication within eight years while 20% did not benefit from stimulants. (Contains 17 online resources.)
Education Partnerships, Inc. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Partnerships, Inc. (EPI)