asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they are satisfied with the level of knowledge of the long-term consequences of the use of Ritalin and amphetamine-based drugs in the neurological development of young people suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. [HL1661]
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence published guidance on the use of methylphenidate for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in October 2000.It recommended long-term follow-up to monitor the incidence of adverse effects in the light of insufficient formal research evidence currently available. The lengthy experience of the use of methylphenidate has not so far highlighted serious causes of concern though it has been known for some while that growth can be affected. Studies to assess long-term impact of methylphenidate are underway, mainly in the United States. All new information received on adverse effects of medication is assessed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. There are also warnings on the prescribing information regarding monitoring patients on long-term treatment.The safety profiles of all licensed medicines including methylphenidate arc continually monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency-Committee on Safety of Medicines.
asked Her Majesty's Government:How much research has been undertaken into the alternatives to drugs for young people suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; and how this has been evaluated and disseminated. [HL1662]
A considerable amount of research has been conducted into the alternatives to drugs for young people suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including the multi-centre multi-modal treatment study in the United States and a study in Southampton of health visitor-delivered training programmes for parents of preschool children diagnosed with ADHD.A number of evaluations of the literature on the identification and treatment of ADHD have been published including European clinical guidelines guided by an evaluation of the scientific evidence-based information and developed by a group of child psychiatrists and psychologists from several European countries.An exemplar of clinical good practice in the care of a child with ADHD is currently being developed and will be published as part of the further documentation to inform the delivery of the children's national service framework. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence will also be developing a clinical guideline on the identification and treatment of ADHD, that will include alternatives to drugs, and this is due to be published in 2008.
asked Her Majesty's Government:What research has been undertaken into the effects of stimulatory exercises and dietary changes in the treatment of young people suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. [HL1664]
The Department of Health is not aware of any satisfactory research into the effects of stimulatory exercises in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Discussions at the European network for hyperkinetic disorders has concluded that here is some limited evidence for the value of elimination diets that seek to exclude foods to which intolerance exists, but an elimination diet will help only a minority of children and can be difficult to apply.A recent study on the impact of food supplements on the incidence of aggressive behaviour amongst young people in custody has demonstrated positive results but further research is required and the study was not specifically focused on ADHD.