ADHD drugs" peer to urge
by staff reporter
peer is today to call on ministers to investigate how attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is diagnosed and treated in
Independent peer Baroness Susan Greenfield, professor of pharmacology
at the University of Oxford, will raise the issue in the House of
Her intervention follows concerns about the increase of prescriping
Ritalin and other ADHD drugs such as Concerta to children.
Baroness Greenfield will call for a wide-ranging inquiry into the
huge increase in ADHD diagnoses.
prescribing of drugs to treat children diagnosed with ADHD almost
doubled over a six year period between 1998 and 2004
Baroness Greenfield told the BBC: "As well as assessing ADHD
drugs themselves, we also need to find out urgently why there has
been such a remarkable increase in the numbers of children being
diagnosed with ADHD in the last 20 years or so.
"Could the changes to our ways of living be contributing to
"The time is ripe for an inquiry exploring the actual causes
of ADHD that goes beyond merely evaluating the pros and cons of
"Such an inquiry could consider diverse factors ranging from
diet through to screen-based activity and how they may be changing
the way both children and adults interact socially.
"Children live a fast-paced, highly interactive, response mode
type of existence, and maybe as a result when they go to school
they find it harder to sit still."
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
has advised that drugs should only be used to treat ADHD as part
of a comprehensive treatment programme.
Young People or
Mariano Gagui, psychiatrist, Philippines
November 16, 2007
I do not think the number of ADHD cases has increased - but rather
many child have been misdiagnosed or undocumented in the past.
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