Posted on March 9, 2015

Photo: flickr

There are high chances that ADHD symp­toms often per­sist into adult­hood, poten­tially com­pro­mis­ing an individual’s func­tion­ing over many years. Under­stand­ing how ADHD impacts long-term func­tion­ing, and whether adverse long-term affects are dimin­ished with treat­ment, is thus extremely impor­tant.

Crucial issues were addressed in a paper titled "A sys­tem­atic review and analy­sis of long-term out­comes in atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der: Effects of treat­ment and non-treatment".

The authors’ ambi­tious goal in this paper was to sum­mary exist­ing research on long-term out­comes asso­ci­ated with ADHD to address 3 fun­da­men­tal questions:

1) With­out treat­ment, how often do indi­vid­u­als with ADHD expe­ri­ence sig­nif­i­cantly worse out­comes than those with­out the disorder?
2) Is there evi­dence that ADHD treat­ment improves long-term out­comes? And,
3) Is there evi­dence that ADHD treat­ment gen­er­ally nor­mal­izes outcomes?

Their study resulted in a way that they made these conclusions:
1) With­out treat­ment, the major­ity of indi­vid­u­als with ADHD attain sig­nif­i­cantly poorer out­comes in mul­ti­ple domains rel­a­tive to peers.
2) Treat­ment gen­er­ally results in more pos­i­tive out­comes rel­a­tive to no treat­ment, par­tic­u­larly for dri­ving, obe­sity, self-esteem, and social func­tion­ing. The con­sis­tently pos­i­tive results found for obe­sity may reflect the appetite sup­press­ing effects of stim­u­lant med­ica­tion. Anti­so­cial behav­ior and occu­pa­tional out­comes were less likely to show ben­e­fits with treatment.
3) Although ADHD treat­ment gen­er­ally results in bet­ter long-term out­comes rel­a­tive to no treat­ment, even with treat­ment out­comes are typ­i­cally not nor­mal­ized. Thus, most indi­vid­u­als with ADHD con­tinue to be doing less well in mul­ti­ple domains than their peers.

There have been limitations in the study despite its peresistent effects based on the participants, research method and other factors. The question of long term effect of ADHD treatment remain dubious.

For more information about the study, click the link.

Category(s):Adult ADHD

Source material from SharpBrains