Study hints at benefits of stimulants in patients with ADHD and epilepsy

Posted Jun 10 2014 in Conditions related to epilepsy

A boy doing his homework. Ref: www.dreamstime.com

A small-scale study has indicated the possible benefits of using stimulants in the treatment of patients affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and epilepsy.

Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School have examined the efficacy of using methylphenidate (MPH) or amphetamine (AMP) to treat patients under the age of 18 with epilepsy and ADHD symptoms.

According to results published in Epilepsy & Behavior, no patients who were seizure-free at the start of the medication trial experienced an increase in seizures, while few of them saw an increase in pre-existing seizures during the trial.

Of the two therapies, MPH appeared to be more effective, with 12 of 19 patients treated with the drug achieving a positive response, compared with four of the 17 given AMP. Patient with higher cognitive levels tended to be more likely to see an improved treatment outcome

The results are potentially promising, though the researchers noted that the study’s “small, open-label and uncontrolled design” limits the number of conclusions that can be drawn.

ADHD is a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. It can sometimes affect patients with epilepsy and requires careful management on the part of carers and parents.

Posted by Anne Brown

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