Increasingly parents turn to homeopathy for treatment of their hyperactive child. This study was designed to obtain scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in ADHD. A total of 83
children aged 6-16 years, diagnosed with ADHD using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria, were recruited.
The study involved three phases. First the children were treated with a constitutional homeopathic medicine individualized to their case. Only the children (62 of the 83) who improved by at least 50 percent on an ADHD rating scale were included in the second phase of the study, a crossover trial with a placebo group. Following that crossover phase, the children were then treated again with their homeopathic medicine in an open label phase. The primary device for
measuring improvement was the Conners Global Index (CGI), a 10-item rating scale containing the most important ADHD symptoms (temper outbursts, excitability, impulsivity, overactivity, crying often, inattentive, fidgeting, disturbing other children, easily frustrated,failure to finish things, quickly changing moods). Rating: 0= never,1= occasionally, 2= often, 3= very often. Therefore, the higher the score the more prominent and severe the symptoms.
Other assessment instruments included standardized achievement and intelligence tests. The responders were split into two groups and received either a homeopathic remedy for 6 weeks followed by placebo for 6 weeks (arm A), or vice-versa (arm B). At the beginning of the trial and after each crossover period, parents reported the CGI and patients underwent neuropsychological testing. The CGI rating was evaluated again at the end of each crossover period and twice in long-term follow-up. At entry to the crossover trial, cognitive performance such as visual global perception, impulsivity and divided attention, had improved significantly under open label treatment-with a less than 1 in 10,000 chance that this was improvement was just chance.
Results showed that children did not improve while taking placebo, but continued to improve while taking the homeopathic medicine during the blinded phase of the trial and in the post-crossover phase. The median Conners rating for ADHD symptoms dropped from 19 at the start of treatment to a median of 8 within 6 weeks after the crossover phase of the trial. During the blinded trial the children receiving placebo had a high CGI rating of 12 compared to the homeopathic group with a rating of 9. After all children were returned to their homeopathic medicine, both groups returned to the low symptom level they had achieved before the crossover phase (median of 8). The authors formed a definitive conclusion from this study-that they had
strong scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, particularly in the areas of behavioral and cognitive functions.
“Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial”, European Journal of Pediatrics, July 27,
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: The sheer number of children put on drugs for attention problems is shocking, and school authorities pressure parents to use dangerous stimulant medications and antidepressants to keep children behaving in specific desirable patterns in the classroom. Homeopathy has been scientifically demonstrated to be an effective approach. Why not consider it?