Three new studies focus on innovative therapies for ADHD.
1. Norman LJ, Carlisi C, Lukito S, et al. Structural and functional brain abnormalities in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder: a comparative meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online June 8, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.0700.
2. Naveen MM, et al. Comparing the efficacy, safety and tolerability of ATX vs stimulants for ADHD treatment in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Posted presented at: American Psychiatric Association annual meeting; May 14, 2016; Atlanta, GA.
3. Fritz KM, O’Connor PJ. Acute exercise improves mood and motivation in young men with ADHD symptoms. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016;48:1153-1160.
Three new studies focus on innovative therapies for ADHD, including neural feedback, a non-stimulant drug, and exercise.[1-3] Scroll through the slides for the latest findings and take-home messages.
1. Structural and Functional Brain Abnormalities in ADHD May Point to Novel Therapies: Whole-brain voxel-based morphometry and functional MRI (fMRI) studies show that children and adults with ADHD have smaller and underfunctioning prefrontal/insula regions compared with control patients. In addition, patients with ADHD have multimodal abnormalities in the left and right bilateral basal ganglia/insula that consist of significantly decreased gray matter volume and function.
Take-home message: Disorder-specific functional and structural brain abnormalities may lead to new ADHD treatments, such as fMRI neural feedback to teach ADHD patients how to upregulate the right prefrontal cortex.
2. Atomoxetine Provides Non-stimulant Alternative for ADHD: The monoamine reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine may be a safe, effective, non-stimulant alternative therapy for children and adolescents with ADHD. This study compared the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of atomoxetine with that of stimulants. Stimulants were better at improving symptoms on 3 rating scales, but the effect size was small and unlikely to be clinically significant.
Clinical implication: Atomoxetine, the first FDA-approved non-stimulant for treatment of ADHD, may be considered a valid alternative for patients with ADHD who are unable to tolerate or do not respond to stimulants.
3.Exercise Helps Young Men Cope With ADHD Symptoms: This study tested 32 young men with elevated ADHD symptoms who cycled at a moderate intensity for 20 minutes on 1 day and rested for 20 minutes the next day. The participants performed a task that required focus both before and after the exercise and rest period. The moderate-intensity exercise transiently enhanced motivation for cognitive tasks; increased feelings of energy; and reduced confusion, fatigue, and depression.