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Home Industry News ADHD children ‘respond similarly to rewards and medication’

ADHD children ‘respond similarly to rewards and medication’

20th April 2010

A study has shown that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) respond to rewards in a similar way to medication.

Scientists from Nottingham University found that the brain patterns of children who suffered from the condition respond to ‘on-the-spot’ rewards in a way that “mimics” the response elicited by drug therapies.

To conduct the study, the team measured the brain activity of children playing a computer game and offered them extra points for less impulsive behaviour.

The research found that both drugs and incentives help to normalise similar aspects of mental function, with a combination of the two identified as producing the best results.

It is hoped that the findings of the team could mean children with ADHD are prescribed lower doses of drugs.

Professor Chris Hollis of Nottingham University said: “Our research may help reconcile the often-polarised debate between those who advocate either medication on the one hand, or psychological/behavioural therapy on the other.”

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