Barbaresi thinks the study findings may actually underestimate the bad outcomes of childhood ADHD. The study population in Rochester, Minn., was relatively heterogeneous and largely middle class, and the children tended to have good education and good access to health care. "One can argue that this is potentially a best-case scenario," Barbaresi says. "Outcomes could be worse in socioeconomically challenged populations."
He advises parents of children with ADHD to ensure that their children are in high-quality treatment—and remain in treatment as they enter adolescence. Children should also be assessed for learning disabilities and monitored for conditions associated with ADHD, including substance use, depression and anxiety.
"Data indicate that the stimulant medications used to treat ADHD in children are also effective in adults, although adults tend not to be treated and may not be aware they have ADHD," Barbaresi says.
The study was supported by Public Health Service research grants #s MH076111, HD29745 and AG034676. Pilot work for a portion of the project was funded by an investigator-initiated grant from McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceuticals.About Boston Children's Hospital Boston Children's Hospital is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and 12 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Boston Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children's today is a 395-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Boston Children's also is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about research and clinical innovation at Boston Children's, visit: http://vectorblog.org/ . About Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit www.mayoclinic.com and www.mayoclinic.org/news . CONTACT: Meghan Weber, Boston Children's Hospital617-919-3110 firstname.lastname@example.org Nick Hanson, Mayo Clinic507-266-4945 email@example.com SOURCE Boston Children's Hospital