Homeopathy effective for children with ADHD
Homeopathy is effective in treating children suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children with ADHD suffer from disturbances in mood, behaviour and school performance. About one child in every school class suffers from ADHD1-2. Up to 64 % of parents of children with ADHD choose complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to treat their children4-3 and homeopathy is one of the preferred treatment modalities4-6.
No curative conventional treatment exists, but homeopaths have considerable positive experience in treating children who have been diagnosed with ADHD, as well as children with other types of concentration, learning and behavioural difficulties7-20. Research supports homeopaths’ positive clinical experience.
Research – evidence of improvement with homeopathic treatment
Four clinical trials including a total of 263 children diagnosed with ADHD treated with classical homeopathy have been published21-24. Three of these were so-called randomised double-blinded trials where the children, their parents, practitioners and researchers did not know whether the child had received a homeopathic medicine or an inactive placebo pill until after the study was finalised22-24. Results suggest that beneficial effect continues long after treatment has been completed.
The study of highest methodological quality showed a significant effect of homeopathy over a 12 week period22. One and a half years later the children were still 63 % better. Their mood was more stable and they had improved short time memory.
A second study showed a significant effect of homeopathy compared to placebo and children were still 57 % better 2 months after treatment24. A third study found significant improvement in both the homeopathy and placebo groups, which indicates that the homeopathic consultation may also positively influence the state of these children23. A fourth (non-blinded) study showed that a minimum of 73% improvement in 75 % of 115 children diagnosed with ADHD21.
Conventional drugs can have serious side effects – homeopathy is safe
No serious side-effects were reported in any of the homeopathy trials with children diagnosed with ADHD. The safety of homeopathy is one of the main reasons why parents choose homeopathy for their children. Conventional treatment in ADHD is inadequate and includes the risk of adverse effects. The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning that conventional ADHD drugs may cause cardiovascular disease25-26.
Sufficient time and more research is needed
More research should be carried out to further determine the effect of homeopathy for children suffering from ADHD. A minimum treatment period of one year should be allowed for in order to properly treat these children and to assess potential long-term benefit.
For safe and effective homeopathic treatment of their children, parents should make sure that the practitioner they consult is a registered member of an ECCH or ICH Member Association. For information, please refer to www.homeopathy-ecch.eu and outside Europe www.homeopathy-ich.org
• ADHD is persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in people at a comparable level of development27
• One of the most common psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents28-29 • Frequency: Estimates range from 3-5 % in some studies1, and 1.7-16 % in others2 • ADHD may negatively influence
• Social skills
• Academic performance • It is often accompanied by30
• Low self-esteem • Anxiety • Depression • Antisocial behaviour • Drug abuse
• Sleep disturbance • Diagnosis is made by ruling out other conditions AND considering patients’ symptoms • No curative conventional therapy exists • Conventional treatment consists of combinations of medication and psychosocial
behavioural treatment30, but conventional drugs may have serious side-effects25-26
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