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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Caffeine consumption may treat some ADHD symptoms

Boy Drinking Coffee

A team of experts at UOC has studied the possibility of adding caffeine to the therapeutic arsenal used to reduce some of the symptoms of ADHD.

A systematic review of pre-clinical studies conducted in animal models concluded that regular caffeine consumption may enhance the diagnosis and retention capacity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adolescents and adults.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a psychiatric disorder for which diagnoses have increased rapidly over the past 20 years. In fact, current estimates suggest that the disorder affects 2% to 5% of children in Spain, with an average of one or two children per class and up to 4% of the adult population.

Despite these high incidence rates, controversy remains over the treatment and therapeutic approaches for this pathology. This varies widely depending on each patient, the symptoms they present, and their intensity. For this reason, experts are continuing to investigate various components and substances that may be able to offer new treatment opportunities for patients diagnosed with ADHD.

A group of experts at the UOC is studying the possibility of using caffeine as part of a therapeutic arsenal to ease some symptoms of ADHD, given the controversy surrounding the use of certain types of drugs.

A team of experts at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), coordinated by Diego Radolor, a member of the UOC Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, specializes in neuroscience and research with the Cognitive Neurolab group of the UOC Faculty of Health Sciences. studied the possibility of adding caffeine to the therapeutic arsenal used to ease some symptoms of ADHD, given the controversy surrounding the use of certain drugs derived from methylphenidate, among others. study, a systematic review of animal studies published in open access in the scientific journal Nutrientsconcluded that a prescribed consumption of caffeine can increase attention and retention capacity in adolescents and adults suffering from this psychiatric disorder.

“The therapeutic arsenal for alleviating ADHD is limited, and there is some degree of controversy surrounding the use of certain types of drugs and stimulants, particularly during childhood and adolescence. This is why studies of the efficacy of other substances such as caffeine It is useful to do this,” explained Javier Vazquez, one of the lead authors of this paper, who is also a researcher in the Cognitive NeuroLab group.

better cognitive processes

According to the authors, this is the first systematic review that has been carried out at the cellular level, which has linked caffeine consumption in various animal models of ADHD with an increased attention span, improved concentration, learning benefits, and some improvement in cognitive performance. types of memory.

ADHD is a psychiatric disorder, estimated to affect between 2% and 5% of the child population.

“This substance improves these types of cognitive processes, and increases capacity and flexibility in spatial attention and selective attention, as well as in both working memory and short-term memory,” emphasizes Vazquez, who worked with this substance. Added controlled treatment. Does not alter blood pressure, and does not increase or decrease body weight.”

Still, the researchers point out that while caffeine may be a therapeutic tool for these types of symptoms, the consequences for other typical symptoms of ADHD, such as hyperactivity and impulsivity, are unclear. “The results are very positive, but we should be more careful when prescribing caffeine-based medical treatment for these symptoms. In diagnoses in which the problem is fully noticeable, caffeine may be an appropriate therapy, but if hyperactivity or If there is a symptomatic presence of convulsions, then we should be more cautious, ”said the expert.

These benefits therefore clearly indicate that caffeine may be a therapy indicated for the treatment of ADHD. “Our results reinforce the hypothesis that the cognitive effects of caffeine found in animal models can be translated and applied in the treatment of ADHD in people, especially at young ages such as adolescence,” the authors said. concluded.

Prevalence of Diagnosis in ADHD

ADHD is a mental disorder whose diagnoses have increased rapidly over the past 25 years, especially among children. However, it is rarely prevalent in adulthood. “ADHD is not properly diagnosed in adults, although there is a great deal of diagnoses in children and adolescents,” Vazquez said.

The prevalence of this disorder in adults is very low due to the lack of diagnosis.

Because it is a highly infantile or adolescent pathology, treatment to reduce ADHD symptoms requires an intensive level of medication, so there is considerable controversy in many families and some areas of medicine.

“We would like to emphasize that we are not against medication for ADHD, but we are open to examining all possible options to improve this type of disorder, and all from a therapeutic point of view with appropriate therapy. Are ready to be able to use caffeine. Supervision, a prescribed treatment and follow-up,” Vazquez said.

The study has been published in a scientific journal with a high impact factor and considerable impact in the field, a boost for the entire UOC group. “Publicating in” Nutrients The high quality standards of the magazine have been a challenge for the team. We are very proud and satisfied, and this encourages us to continue working in this area to improve the treatment of ADHD and reduce its impact on the population,” concludes Vazquez.

Reference: “Effects of Caffeine Consumption on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Treatment: A Systematic Review of Animal Studies by Javier C. Vazquez, Oa Martin de la Torre, Judit López Palomé and Diego Radollar-Ripoll”, 10 February 2022, Nutrients,
DOI: 10.3390/nu14040739

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