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Australian study on ADHD drug safety prompts alternative approach: Neuropsychologist recommends Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation News-UK    Translate This Article
17 May 2010

An important new study on ADHD by the government of Western Australia has found that 'long-term use of drugs such as Ritalin and dexamphetamine may not improve a child's social and emotional well-being or academic performance.'

The study was commissioned by the region's Department of Health. Drawing on data on over 3000 children involved in a long-term health survey, it 'found that stimulant medication did not significantly improve a child's level of depression, self perception or social functioning and they were more likely to be performing below their age level at school by a factor of 10.5 times'. The findings published in February 2010 have renewed calls for alternative approaches to be used in the treatment of ADHD.

Professor Louis Landau, who led the study, said it also suggested that a child's heart function may be affected by long-term stimulant use and may remain affected even after stopping medication. 'While these differences were small, the results suggest that doctors should look at a child's cardiovascular risk symptoms before starting treatment with stimulant medication,' he said.

William Stixrud, PhD,, an American clinical neuropsychologist, was co-author of a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Current Issues in Education on the effects of Transcendental Meditation on children with ADHD. Dr Stixrud says Transcendental Meditation may be an effective and safe non-pharmaceutical treatment, as it reduces stress and anxiety and improves cognitive function.

The children in the pilot study practised Transcendental Meditation twice a day for 10 minutes. After three months, researchers found over 50% reduction in stress and anxiety, and reduced ADHD symptoms in the entire group.

'The children also showed improvements in focus, attention, working memory, organization, and behaviour regulation. The fact that these children are able to do TM, and do it easily, shows us that this technique may be particularly well suited for children with ADHD,' says lead researcher Sarina J. Grosswald, EdD, a cognitive learning specialist who heads the David Lynch Foundation's Office of ADHD and Learning Differences.

© Copyright 2010 Maharishi FoundationTM

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