Attention Deficit Disorder
• AADD; ADD; ADHD; Adult Attention Deficit Disorder; Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder; Hyperkinetic Syndrome
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) can cause hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and/or problems paying attention. It affects people of all ages. It can impact school and work and cause problems with relationships.
Treatment is aimed at improving function at school and work as well as maintaining healthy relationships. Standard treatments include therapy and medications, such as stimulants and antidepressants. Some people add alternative treatments to further control symptoms; however, none has been conclusively shown to be helpful.
These therapies are likely to manage symptoms:
May Be Effective
These therapies may manage symptoms:
May Not Be Effective
These therapies may not be effective in managing symptoms:
Unlikely to Be Effective
Not Enough Data to Assess
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution
Talk to your doctor about any alternative therapy you are taking to make sure it does not interfere with your treatment plan. Some supplement discussed here have certain concerns such as:
References [ + ]
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A4. Heilskov Rytter MJ, Andersen LB, et al. Diet in the treatment of ADHD in children - a systematic review of the literature. Nord J Psychiatry. 2015 Jan;69(1):1-18.
Herbs and Supplements
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B2. Kleijnen J, Knipschild P. Niacin and vitamin B 6 in mental functioning: a review of controlled trials in humans. Biol Psychiatry. 1991;29:931-941.
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B4. Lyon MR, Cline JC, Totosy de Zepetnek J, et al. Effect of the herbal extract combination Panax quinquefolium and Ginkgo biloba on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a pilot study. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2001;26:221-228.
B5. Van Oudheusden L, Scholte H. Efficacy of carnitine in the treatment of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2002;67:33.
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B12. Chang JP, Su KP, et al. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Youths with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials and Biological Studies. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018 Feb;43(3):534-545.
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B15. Shakibae F, Radmanesh M, et al. Ginkgo biloba in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. A randomized, placebo-controlled, trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2015 May;21(2):61-67.
B16. Catalá-López F, Hutton B, et al. The pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: A systematic review with network meta-analyses of randomised trials. PLoS One. 2017 Jul 12;12(7):e0180355.
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B19. Cooper RE, Tye C, et al. The effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on emotional dysregulation, oppositional behaviour and conduct problems in ADHD: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Affect Disord. 2016 Jan 15;190:474-482.
B20. Puri BK, Martins JG. Which polyunsaturated fatty acids are active in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder receiving PUFA supplementation? A fatty acid validated meta-regression analysis of randomized controlled trials. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2014 May;90(5):179-189.
B21. Ghanizadeh A, Berk M. Zinc for treating of children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review of randomized controlled clinical trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jan;67(1):122-124.
B22. Schoonees A, Visser J, et al. Pycnogenol® (extract of French maritime pine bark) for the treatment of chronic disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Apr 18;(4):CD008294.
B23. Raz R, Gabis L. Essential fatty acids and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2009 Aug;51(8):580-592.
C1. . Dovis S, Van der Oord S, et al. Improving executive functioning in children with ADHD: training multiple executive functions within the contest of a computer game. A randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial. PLoS One. 2015 Apr6;10(4).
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D1. Chen SC, Yu BY, et al. Massage therapy for the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med. 2019 Feb;42:389-399.
E1. Zhang J, Díaz-Román A, et al. Meditation-based therapies for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children, adolescents and adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Ment Health. 2018 Aug;21(3):87-94.
E2. Evans S, Ling M, et al. Systematic review of meditation-based interventions for children with ADHD. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2018 Jan;27(1):9-27.
E3. Krisanaprakornkit T, Ngamjarus C, et al. Meditation therapies for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jun 16;(6):CD006507.
F1. Cerrillo-Urbina AJ, García-Hermoso A, et al. The effects of physical exercise in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials. Child Care Health Dev. 2015 Nov;41(6):779-788.
G1. Goode AP, Coeytaux RR, et al. Nonpharmacologic Treatments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics. 2018 Jun;141(6). pii: e20180094.
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Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Eric Hurwitz, DC