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Use of stimulant medications to treat Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents has increased significantly over the past several years. This trend toward increased use of prescription stimulants extends beyond ADHD to other types of neuropsychiatric disorders in children and teens as well, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), according to a study published in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology (JCAP), a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the JCAP website.
Søren Dalsgaard, MD, PhD, Helena Skyt Nielsen, PhD, and Marianne Simonsen, PhD, Aarhus University (Denmark), Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (Denmark), and Hospital of Telemark (Norway), conducted a study of more than 850,000 children born in Denmark between 1990 and 2001. They found that 61% of children with ADHD, 16% of children with ASD, and 3% of those with other psychiatric disorders were treated with one or more medications typically prescribed for ADHD - methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, and atomoxetine. The data indicated significant increases in the prescription rates of these medications during the years 2003 to 2010.
"This study utilizes a population-based national cohort of children and adolescents, and assesses stimulant treatment in children and adolescents with ASD," says Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, Editor-in-Chief of JCAP, and President, Child Mind Institute, New York, NY. "This is the largest and first prospective study to quantify the change in the use of treatment with ADHD medications over time."
Five-Fold Increase in National Prevalence Rates of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Medications for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and other Psychiatric Disorders: A Danish Register-Based Study, Søren Dalsgaard, Helena Skyt Nielsen, and Marianne Simonsen. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, doi:10.1089/cap.2012.0111
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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Liebert, Mary Ann. "5-fold increase in ADHD medication use in children and adolescents." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 13 Sep. 2013. Web.
4 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/265971>
Liebert, M. (2013, September 13). "5-fold increase in ADHD medication use in children and adolescents." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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