Disorders and Treatment
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A Doctoral student at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand is investigating micronutrients as a possible treatment for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Her research is looking at whether some nutrients can help boost social and cognitive skills in children with ADHD.
Kathryn Darling will be conducting the first-ever study into the impact of nutrients on social skills. The PhD student wonders if nutritional treatment could help in treating various mental health issues, specifically ADHD.
Normally, ADHD is treated using stimulant medication, which often comes with risky side effects and may not have long-term effectiveness. Worse, many of these medications, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) can be easily abused.
Yet the symptoms of ADHD affect all aspects of a child's life and can often continue through to adulthood. Children with ADHD are at higher risk of dropping out of school, criminal behavior, and more.
Initially, Darling will investigate balanced vitamin and mineral supplementation and how adding that to a child's diet improves ADHD symptoms and social interactions. Darling's goal is to show that balancing a child's nutritional intake can improve most ADHD symptoms.
Darling's investigation follows on from professors at Canterbury who've conducted clinical trials to document the benefits of broad-spectrum micronutrients for the treatment of psychiatric illness, including in treating ADHD in adults. The research, lead by Professor Julia Rucklidge, has been world-renowned for its innovation.
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