The following summary is an extract from a paper published in the Biomedical Therapy Journal by Leon Christian Strauss in 2000. (Vol XVIII / No:2). It looks at the efficacy of a particular homeopathic medicine in the management of ADHD. The remedy chosen was Selenium Homaccord. The Study was a double blinded, placebo controlled clinical trial with 20 children (10 on Ritalin and 10 using no conventional medication) There were 18 boys and 2 girls. Children and their families were asked not to change anything about their dosages or supplements during the trial period.
Selenium Homaccord was administered over a 2 month period, with 3 evaluations done during the treatment period. Children completed the ‘Children’s Checking Task’ and parent’s completed the well regarded ‘Conners Parent’s Symptom Questionnaire’.
Statistical analysis showed that Selenium Homaccord was effective in decreasing hyperactivity. Significant differences was seen in inattention, impulsivity, anxiety and sleep disturbances. The changes were more wide-spread in the experimental group than the control group.
Currently the management of ADHD involves using strong drugs with no real long term value and which often carry side-effects. Evidence suggests psychostimulants have value for between 1 and 3 months only! (Reference for this was the Journal of Learning Disabilities) common side-effects are decreased appetite, insomnia, increased heart rate or blood pressure, stomach aches and irritability. Long term use of psychostimulants may limit growth and weight most likely due to appetite suppression and altered growth hormone levels.
Homeopathic remedies are known to have no or minimal side effects and do not result in dependency. Selenium Homaccord consisted of selenium in varying potencies (10X, 15X, 30X, 200X) and potassium phosphate in varying potencies ( 2X, 10X, 30X, 200X).Selenium is indicated in the treatment diminished mental capacity, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, depression, exhaustion and poor memory.
This Study was a double blind, placebo controlled trial, without crossover. Each group of 10 children was randomly divided into 2 groups of 5; a control group and an experimental group. The treatment period was carried out over a period of 60 days. Results from the Ritalin and non-Ritalin group showed significant differences.
There was a 23% decrease in in-attention in the control group, but the experimental group showed a 33% improvement. The hyperactivity / impulsivity category had a positive result of 35.8% in the experimental group and 21.2% in the control group. Mood stability and conduct problems showed an improvement of 45.5% as compared to 22.1%. Anxiety is one of the most common causes of attention difficulties and excessive motor activity in children. Anxiety was also greatly reduced by 55.8% as compared to 3.1%!
An additional benefit to the study was that 6 parents reported that their child was sleeping very much better. Four of these children fell into the Ritalin group which is relevant as Ritalin is known to disrupt sleep.
The author suggests this Trial would benefit from longer term study in order to evaluate the efficacy of long term homeopathic treatment. I would also add that if conventional medical trials allowed for the individualised prescribing of homeopathic medicines perhaps the results would be even more encouraging?