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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neuropsychiatric disorder with increasing global prevalence and high heritability commonly diagnosed in childhood. Current pharmaceutical treatment options provide a poor long-term risk: benefit ratio. Nutrition has significant effects on neurological functioning, and increasing evidence exists to support the use of multinutrients as alternative treatment for ADHD. The goal of this study is to assess the efficacy and tolerability of a multinutrient supplement as an alternative treatment for ADHD and co-occurring mood dysregulation symptoms.
The Multinutrients in ADHD Youth study is a fully-funded, multi-site, randomized double-blinded clinical trial for adolescents ages 6–12 years (n = 135). The study is 16 weeks in total, with an 8-week randomized controlled trial (RCT) followed by an 8-week open label (OL) phase. During the RCT phase, participants are assigned to either the treatment or placebo group at a 3:2 ratio. Study outcomes of ADHD symptoms include child's inattention, hyperactivity and mood dysregulation, which are assessed using validated questionnaires. Outcome data for the OL phase of the study were analyzed using end of RCT phase as baseline given that the RCT component of the study is still blinded.
Preliminary findings based on the OL phase compared ADHD symptoms following 8 weeks of open label supplementation (n = 27 families). A significant decrease in symptom count was found for inattention (P ≤ 0.001), hyperactivity (P ≤ 0.001), ODD (P ≤ 0.001) and DMDD (P ≤ 0.001).
This study is the first adequately powered RCT in North America to investigate the effects of multinutrients supplements on ADHD symptoms among children. Preliminary findings indicate a trend in the improvements of ADHD symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, ODD and DMDD in the OL phase of the study.
Foundation for the Center of Excellence in Mental Health, Canada; The Ohio State University Department of Human Sciences, College of Education and Human Ecology; The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Clinical Research Center.
Multinutrients for ADHD Youth (MADDY) Trial: Preliminary Trends for Treatment
Madeline Stern, Leanna Perez, Jeanette Johnstone, Barbara Gracious, Brenda Leung, Eugene Arnold, Gabriella Tost, Irene Hatsu. Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 3, Issue Supplement 1, June 2019, https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzz050.P16-028-19