As is abundantly clear following the discussion of the previously posted alternative therapies, further research is necessary before clear statements can be made regarding the efficacy of such treatments. Though research studies in the area of alternative treatments in ADHD cases are plentiful, many are riddled with inconsistencies, short trial periods, small subject sizes or non-standardized assessment tools. In addition, possible harmful or negative side effect profiles of each alternative treatment were not explored extensively in this paper. These factors call into question many of the positive benefits initially observed and beg for clearer and more convincing evidence before they can be called valid and efficacious treatment alternatives. Further, though these therapies may provide slightly better options for children with ADHD when compared to psychiatric medications, most fulfill the same function of symptom management rather than addressing the root cause of the cognitive and behavioral components at hand. Discussion of such core factors, however, goes beyond the scope of this paper. The bottom line in the investigation of alternative treatments in regard to the ADHD diagnosis is the simple fact that multiple therapies have been tested, some positive outcomes have been observed and there is extensive research still needed before clear conclusions can be drawn in this field.
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Part V - Alternative Treatments and ADHD - Homeopathic Remedies
When considering homeopathic treatments for any disorder or malady, a plethora of articles can be found to support or dispute their effect. However, yet again, it is important to look closely at the proposed treatment modalities to determine efficacy. A review of available studies was conducted in regard to the use of homeopathy in subjects with the ADHD diagnosis.Q Results showed that the use of homeopathy did not provide significant treatment outcomes and authors concluded that there is little evidence to support the use of homeopathy in people with the ADHD diagnosis.Q A 2005 randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled crossover trial studied the benefits of homeopathic medication in 83 children diagnosed with ADHD over the course of 12 weeks.R Results indicated efficacy in those treated with homeopathic medication when compared with the control group, specifically in terms of behavioral and cognitive functioning.R Similarly, a group of 115 children with the ADHD diagnosis were treated with a traditional medicine approach (methylphenidate) or a homeopathic medicine approach and evaluated in terms of ADHD symptoms.S Though homeopathic remedies were shown to have a positive effect in 75% of the subjects, limitations were also noted.S The authors stated that though homeopathic medication showed a positive effect on symptoms, response times were oftentimes lengthy, thus posing a potential downfall in situations in which amelioration of symptoms is deemed urgent.S Further, authors reported that, “The choice of the correct medication is dependent on the individuality of the symptoms, if a patient only has the ‘standard symptoms’ of ADHD and nothing peculiar, the homeopathic physician may have to make ‘therapeutic trials’ to find the correct medicine.”S Authors also stated that homeopathic medication may have additional benefits for treatment such as a low side effect profile, ease of administration, and no abuse potential, leading to the conclusion that homeopathic medications may have unique potential for benefit.S As has been mentioned before, this treatment option may have potential in some cases but would require unique and detailed investigation of the particular situation prior to recommendation.
Q. Heirs M, Dean ME. Homeopathy for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or hyperkinetic disorder. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2007; 4: 1-3.
R. Frei H, Everts R, Von Ammon K, et al. Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial. European Journal of Pediatrics. 2005; 164: 758-767.
S. Frei H, Thurneysen A. Treatment for hyperactive children: Homeopathy and methylphenidate compared in a family setting. British Homeopathic Journal. 2001; 90: 183-188.
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