ADHD Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are an important way to study and treat ADHD. Clinical trials help researchers learn more about ADHD and its causes, better diagnosis methods, and the most effective treatments. They are not a cure for ADHD, but can help find ways to manage symptoms. However, clinical trials may not always be successful, and they do not guarantee that you will receive a better treatment or a better quality of life after the trial is over.
Clinical trials are also used to test new medications that may be helpful for patients with ADHD. These treatments could include prescription drugs such as Adderall or Concerta, which have been shown to improve focus in people with attention deficit disorder (ADD), or other medications like Ritalin (methylphenidate), which has been shown in studies to help increase attention span in children who have ADD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neurological disorder that impacts a person’s ability to pay attention and control impulsive behaviors. According to the CDC, up to 11% of children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, which means that more than 6 million kids in the U.S. are affected by this condition. ADHD does not mean that a person is hyperactive all of the time; in fact, about 60% of people with ADHD are not considered hyperactive, and have symptoms related mostly to inattention and poor impulse control. ADHD is not a character flaw or a lack of willpower; it’s an actual medical condition that can be effectively managed through clinical trials, medication, talk therapy and behavioral interventions.
ADHD-related symptoms range from mild to severe. They may be relatively short-lived, or they may last a lifetime. A diagnosis of ADHD is made when a child has been showing signs and symptoms for 6 or more months, and in multiple settings (home and school, for example). Children with ADHD often have other coexisting problems such as learning disabilities.
The DSM-5 (2013) offers three different presentations of ADHD: predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation, predominantly inattentive presentation, or combined presentation. Each of the three subtypes can be mild, moderate, or severe in intensity. Symptoms that are present only during childhood should not be considered for an adult diagnosis of ADHD. Untreated ADHD can cause difficulties at home and school and negatively impact academic achievement and peer relationships. It also can lead to problems with self-esteem, behavioral control issues and substance use disorders
Without a doubt, ADHD is one of the most common mental health disorders among children. In fact, around 10 percent of U.S. children have been diagnosed with it. Unfortunately, the condition can cause serious problems if not treated properly; those affected may experience difficulties in childhood and throughout their lives, impacting their ability to do schoolwork and stay on track with work and social activities—and that’s just the short list!
Is there a cure for ADHD?
It’s important to remember that there’s no cure for ADHD. ADHD is a chronic condition that lasts a lifetime. That doesn’t mean it will get worse over the years or keep you from living a full life, though. You can manage your symptoms and live well with ADHD, but treatment may take some time to figure out what works best for you.
ADHD symptoms, such as inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity, may change over time as a person ages. In young children with ADHD, hyperactivity-impulsivity is the most predominant symptom. As a child reaches elementary school, the symptom of inattention may become more prominent and cause the child to struggle academically. In adolescence, hyperactivity seems to lessen and may show more often as feelings of restlessness or fidgeting, but inattention and impulsivity may remain. Many adolescents with ADHD also struggle with relationships and antisocial behaviors. Research shows that adults who have attention deficit disorder tend to have fewer symptoms of hyperactivity than when they were children
Why participate in a clinical trial for ADHD?
When you participate in a clinical trial, you can expect to receive close medical attention and care. There are many reasons why people participate in a clinical trial:
- To help others by contributing to medical research
- Gain access to new research treatments before they’re widely available
- Obtain expert medical care at leading health care facilities during the trial
- Be monitored closely by health care professionals
- Help find out whether a new treatment, like medication or therapy, is safe and effective for others
What types of clinical trials are there for ADHD?
Clinical trials can be broken down into four phases, which are called Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 4.
- Phase 1 trials test a new drug or treatment in a small group of people (20-80) for the first time to evaluate its safety, determine a safe dosage range, and identify side effects.
- Phase 2 trials study the drug or treatment in a larger group of people (100-300) to see if it is effective and to further evaluate its safety.
- Phase 3 trials study the drug or treatment in large groups of people (1,000-3,000) to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it to commonly used treatments, and collect information that will allow the drug or treatment to be used safely.
- Phase 4 studies usually happen after a new drug or treatment has been approved by the FDA for use by patients. These studies continue collecting information about how well the drug works and any possible side effects.
Introduction to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and participating in clinical trials to find new treatment options.
Many clinical trials are conducted to find new treatment options for conditions, such as ADHD. Researchers investigate new drugs or treatments that may provide better help for patients than the current standard of care.
Participating in a clinical trial can help researchers learn more about the condition and how to improve treatments.