ADHD Behavioral Therapy May Be More Effective Than Drugs In The Long Run
By SciCurious of Scientific American
Cognitive and behavioral therapies that help young people reduce impulsivity and cultivate good study habits are costlier and take longer to administer, but may be more efficacious over time.
Before stimulant drugs such as Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall began their rise to popularity in the 1970s, treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) focused on behavioral therapy. But as concerns build over the mounting dosages and extended treatment periods that come with stimulant drugs, clinical researchers are revisiting behavioral therapy techniques. Whereas stimulant medications may help young patients focus and behave in the classroom, research now suggests that behaviorally based changes make more of a difference in the long-term.
A new synthesis of behavioral, cognitive and pharmacological findings emerged at the recent Experimental Biology meeting, held last month in San Diego, where experts in ADHD research and treatment gathered to present their work. Their findings suggest that behavioral and cognitive therapies focused on reducing impulsivity and reinforcing positive long-term habits may be able to replace current high doses of stimulant treatment in children and young adults.
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