Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial

Universität Bern, Berna, Bern, Switzerland
European Journal of Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.89). 12/2005; 164(12):758-67. DOI: 10.1007/s00431-005-1735-7
Source: PubMed


An increasing number of parents turn to homeopathy for treatment of their hyperactive child. Two publications, a randomised, partially blinded trial and a clinical observation study, conclude that homeopathy has positive effects in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of this study was to obtain scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in ADHD. A total of 83 children aged 6-16 years, with ADHD diagnosed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria, were recruited. Prior to the randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover study, they were treated with individually prescribed homeopathic medications. 62 patients, who achieved an improvement of 50% in the Conners' Global Index (CGI), participated in the trial. Thirteen patients did not fulfill this eligibility criterion (CGI). The responders were split into two groups and received either verum 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 (P<0.0001). During the crossover trial, CGI parent-ratings were significantly lower under verum (average 1.67 points) than under placebo (P =0.0479). Long-term CGI improvement reached 12 points (63%, P <0.0001). CONCLUSION: The trial suggests scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, particularly in the areas of behavioural and cognitive functions.


Available from: Heiner Frei
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    • "En muchos casos, estos estudios sobre tratamientos alternativos presentan cuestiones metodológicas que los hacen especialmente discutibles . Por ejemplo, en 2005, la Asociación Suiza de Médicos Homeopáticos financió un estudio controlado [71], doble ciego, en el que se demostraba que el tratamiento homeopático (aunque fuese con meses de trabajo) obtenía mejoras significativas en la sintomatología del TDAH frente al placebo. Sin embargo, hay que remarcar que sólo participaron en el estudio los niños con TDAH que en estudios piloto previos se mostraron 'respondedores' al tratamiento homeopático (por tanto, no todos los TDAH lo serían, y no se especifica claramente cómo diferenciarlos ) y, además, cada niño recibió (en un enfoque idiopático típico de esta disciplina) un tratamiento individualizado y diferenciado , de modo que, aunque se pueda concluir que la disciplina puede ser útil para tratar el TDAH, no se especifica un tipo de producto determinado, sino que varía en cada caso en función de los conocimientos y la opinión del médico. "
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015
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    • "Nanoparticles tend to trigger responses related to viruses, whereas larger micro-sized particles affect responses related to bacteria [71]. The cell danger response is implicated in a wide range of acute and chronic diseases [87], including many conditions that homeopaths sometimes report treating successfully, e.g., viral and bacterial infections [210,227,230] and sepsis [231], tissue injury [183,232], various allergies233234235236237238, autoimmune diseases [239], fibromyalgia [240], traumatic brain injury [241], attention deficit disorder [242], autism [243], and cancer [244,245]. The body has evolved mechanisms involving endogenous DAMPs as biological signals that detect and signify nano-and micro-scale and molecular threats to its survival [79,81]. "
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015
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    • "We conducted a search up to 3 April 2012 which identified 2,785 unique records of which 2,723 were screened out on the basis of the title and abstract. On the remaining 63, 20 were not about ADHD or did not have an ADHD-related outcome, 12 were not RCTs, 14 were not 'other supplements' as defined in the protocol, including two trials of personalized homoeopathy (Frei, Everts, & von Ammon, 2005; Jacobs, Williams, Girard, Njike, & Katz, 2005) and one trial of liothyronine (L-T-3) on children with ADHD and resistance to thyroid hormone (Weiss, Stein, & Refetoff, 1997), four in which supplements were adjuncts to other treatments, and one which included patients who were too old. Thus 11 trials were identified that investigated the effects of food supplements other than FFA that met the inclusion criteria. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficacy of three dietary treatments for ADHD has been repeatedly tested in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). These interventions are restricted elimination diets (RED), artificial food colour elimination (AFCE) and supplementation with free fatty acids (SFFA). There have been three systematic reviews and associated meta-analyses of the RCTs for each of these treatments. The aim of this review is to critically appraise the studies on the dietary treatments of ADHD, to compare the various meta-analyses of their efficacy that have been published and to identify where the design of such RCTs could be improved and where further investigations are needed. The meta-analyses differ in the inclusion and exclusion criteria applied to potentially eligible studies. The range of average effect sizes in standard deviation units is RED (0.29-1.2), AFCE (0.18-0.42) and SFFA (0.17-0.31). The methodology of many of the trials on which the meta-analyses are based is weak. Nevertheless, there is evidence from well-conducted studies for a small effect of SFFA. Restricted elimination diets may be beneficial, but large-scale studies are needed on unselected children, using blind assessment and including assessment of long-term outcome. Artificial food colour elimination is a potentially valuable treatment but its effect size remains uncertain, as does the type of child for whom it is likely to be efficacious. There are additional dietary supplements that have been used with children with ADHD. A systematic search identified 11 RCTs that investigated the effects of these food supplements. Despite positive results for some individual trials, more studies are required before conclusions can be reached on the value in reducing ADHD symptoms of any of these additional supplements.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
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