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Treatment Options for ADHD
Ritalin has been shown through the years to be very effective in the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms. Although it has potential side-effects which many families would like to avoid, we have seen it help a lot of people. More recently, other interventions such as EEG biofeedback training have shown themselves to be very useful in treatment as well. A great deal of energy and money has also been invested into the development of non-prescription treatments for ADD ADHD.
Consumers must be aware that there are several alleged remedies for Attention Deficit Disorder which have never even attempted to clinically verify claims or quantify results. There are also many remedies which may be helpful to a small percentage of children or adults with Attention Deficit Disorder, but perhaps only 10% to 30% of those who try it.
For example, we have seen some children make remarkable changes by avoiding sodas, or certain foods, or certain chemicals. However, these cases are the exception, not the rule. It works for some, but not for most. The diet that we recommend is helpful in about 25% of the cases of those who try it. Again, the exception, not the rule, but good enough to give it a try. Compare this with the significant improvements from ATTEND at 70%, or EEG Biofeedback at 70% to 75%, or Stimulant Medication at 70% to 75%, and you will see the difference.
There are many products on the market today, many which are marketed with slick tapes or other emotional hype, making claims that are just not realistic. Remember, just because a product works for one child, or even some children, doesn't mean that it will work for all children, or even most children. The point is that nothing works for everyone. Attention Deficit Disorder is too broad of a spectrum of problems, behavior, and potential causes, to have any one treatment work for everyone. Any treatment that can top Ritalin's supposed 75% "response with improvement" rate can and will be "king of the hill" in treatment.
I predict that the new ATTEND product may come close to this rate, but it will take the continued use of the product for two to four months to get there. Ritalin's great advantage is that it works (or doesn't) within 20 minutes if the optimum dose is used.
The nutraceutical ATTEND is equal to, or better than, the use of pemoline (Cylert) in terms of performance of product and the length of time it takes before it really works well. In terms of being healthy, ATTEND is much healthier for a person than is pemoline. We recommend that you do not use Cylert as a treatment for ADHD. Physicians or parents interested in trying pemoline in the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder should consider a clinical trial of ATTEND first.
Also, for those who are presently taking Ritalin or other stimulants, but wish that they really didn't have to, it might be appropriate to try the ATTEND in addition to the other medication for three or four months. Ask you doctor about it. Then evaluate how the child does without medications, or with a smaller dose of the medication (always consult your physician). We have seen many ATTEND consumers cut their doses of Ritalin by half or more and still maintain high levels of performance. We believe that the greatest impact from the ATTEND is after two to four months of use, but benefit will be apparent within one to two months. You can learn more about ATTEND, and how it compares to Ritalin, or to EEG Biofeedback training, at the ADHD Information Library.
Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.
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