New non-drug ADHD treatment reviewed by leading specialist
Our team at Re:Cognition Health are dedicated to using the most advanced evidence-based research to diagnose and treat patients in order to deliver the very best results that optimise health. Our consultants keep abreast of new developments in their specialist field and work collaboratively to assess, diagnose and treat patients and implement new techniques.
Dr Maite Ferrin, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Re:Cognition Health has a special interest in ADHD. Dr Ferrin is part of the steering committee of an expert-led pan-European educational initiative in ADHD and is considered as a leading expert in this specialist arena.
The FDA has recently approved external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation for the treatment of ADHD. Its efficacy is based in one small pilot study, which compared 30 children receiving evening treatment for four weeks with other 30 children who received a placebo treatment.
The results showed a modest effect in terms of ADHD symptom reduction (the equivalent of 1/3 the improvement that patients would experience from medical treatments for ADHD), and side effects such as: increase of appetite, sedation, and headaches in more than 50% of the cases. This means that the “relatively free of side effects” claim that the authors are making has to be disputed and seriously considered.
At present, we don’t have enough data to show what the potential side effects of nerve stimulation might be in the developing brain. Additionally, when considering the efficacy of any treatment, patients need to observe that any evidence should be based on results provided from different studies that replicate the original, or from meta-analyses (summaries of different studies) but not just from one single study. This is the case for other treatments for ADHD such as medication or neurofeedback, for instance, where scientific evidence is based on hundreds of articles and several meta-analyses including several thousands of patients.