On Tuesday, the most thorough study ever done on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, which effects up to three and a half million school age children in the U.S., was released. The study looked specifically at how treatment can be improved.
Nearly 600 children aged seven to nine were followed for more than a year. Some were given only medication, some received only intensive behavior therapy and some received a combination of medications and therapy. By far the most dramatic improvements were seen in children who received the combination therapy, validating the controlled and long term use of drugs, particularly ritalin, to treat the disorder.
But the study emphasizes that managing ADHD goes beyond medication. It requires intensive monitoring by parents and additional counseling and support from schools.