January 17th, 2019

U of L study focusing on ADHD treatments

By Mabell, Dave on July 31, 2018.

Dave Mabell

Lethbridge Herald


When children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) they’re typically offered a stimulant medication.

But that may not work well with all youngsters, and many parents may be looking for another solutions. There’s a new study at the University of Lethbridge, looking at alternative approaches, and researchers are looking for families interested in taking part in the project.

“There is a strong public desire for the development of non-pharmaceutical treatment options,” says Brenda Leung, chair of complementary and alternative health-care studies at the U of L.

“Several lines of evidence suggest that symptoms of ADHD respond well to treatment with nutrient supplementation. But more research is needed.”

Leung an assistant professor in the Health Sciences faculty, is co-ordinating an eight-week randomized trial using “broad spectrum” micronutrients – vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrient extracts.

Interested families may get involved by contacting research assistant Mashal Fida at 403-329-2366.

Related studies are also being conducted by researchers in Oregon and Ohio.

“This multi-site clinical research trial allows us to replicate studies conducted overseas and extend the findings by beginning to examine for whom and how the treatment might work,” Leung explains.

The Lethbridge study has begun, but there are still openings for participants between the ages of six and 12 who are not taking any ADHD medication, and who would be able to go to the university with a parent five times to meet with the researchers and receive the selected product.

As with many studies, some children would receive the micronutrients while others – to measure their impact – would receive a placebo product. After the initial eight weeks, however, Leung says all will be offered an eight-week supply of the nutrients so all can decide how much they help.

Funding for the study has come from the Calgary Foundation and the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Care Health.

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