ADHD Medication
Thursday, August 20, 2009

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who take medication to treat the condition tend to do better on standardized tests compared to their peers who also have ADHD but do not take medication. Dr. Edward Hill takes a look at a national survey’s conclusions in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

Students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder usually struggle in the classroom, but research offers support that medication can help them in school.

In the study, grade school-aged children with ADHD who took medication performed better on standardized math and reading tests than children who did not take medication.

More than 4 million children in the United States have a diagnosis of ADHD, and it is believed that about 60 percent take prescription medications for the disorder.

The study followed nearly 600 children with ADHD from kindergarten through fifth grade.

Researchers were able to track the children’s academic progress by examining standardized math and reading scores.

Medicated children were about one-fifth of a school year ahead of their non-medicated peers in math and about one-third of a school year ahead in reading.

Although earlier studies have shown that medication helps with short-term memory in the classroom, this research is the first to show that treatment is associated with long-term improvements in academic performance.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.