Science Update June 02, 2008
NIMH Funds Research to Find Best Treatments for Children with Autism and ADHD Symptoms
A new NIMH-funded study will help guide the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). ADHD symptoms are common in children with ASD, but children with ASD often do not respond well to stimulant medications, the conventional treatment for ADHD.
In this 10-week clinical trial, Benjamin Handen, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh; Tristram Smith, Ph.D., of the University of Rochester; and Michael Aman, Ph.D., of the Ohio State University, and colleagues at the three sites will recruit 144 children ages 5–13 who have ASD with ADHD symptoms. The researchers will assess the safety and effectiveness of two treatments: (1) atomoxetine (also called Strattera), a nonstimulant medication for treating ADHD, and (2) parent management training (PMT), in which parents learn how to use behavioral interventions (another conventional ADHD treatment). Children will be randomly assigned to one of four treatment situations:
- Atomoxetine with PMT
- ATX without PMT
- Placebo (a pill without active medicine) with PMT
- Placebo without PMT
After the 10-week trial ends, the researchers will continue to follow all participants who respond favorably to treatment for six months to examine the safety, effectiveness and tolerability of long-term treatment.
Existing research on medication and behavioral treatments for children with ASD is sparse. The findings from this study will provide guidance for doctors and parents on the best treatment options for many children with ASD who also have symptoms of ADHD.
NIMH Press Office
More Science News about:
- Mental Health Information
- Statistics on Mental Disorders
- Summaries of Scientific Meetings
- Information about NIMH
- RePORTER: Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool Expenditures and Results
- PubMed Central: An Archive of Life Sciences Journals
- Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide
- News from the FieldExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
News From the Field
NIMH-Funded Science on EurekAlert
- Out of Sync With the World: Body Clocks of Depressed People Are Altered at Cell LevelExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Nerve Stimulation for Severe Depression Changes Brain FunctionExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Nearly 20 Percent of Suicidal Youths Have Guns in Their HomeExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.