"I'm sorry to say that we can't really say that there's anything more today that works compared with 30 years ago," she said. "We've tried many things that didn't pan out. Right now, the only effective treatment is stimulant treatment, and the children in this study had access to that treatment back then."
Klein noted that although such treatment was automatically stopped at the age of 13 because of the fear among clinicians that stimulants could prove addictive, the thinking on that has since changed.
"It is possible that if we keep treating children to an older age they might do much better," she added.
Steven Safren, director of behavioral medicine in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said the findings "are in line with prior research."
"I think that what happens is that kids are diagnosed and treated while in childhood, while their parents have responsibility for it," he said. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of focus on treatments for adults with ADHD, Safren added.
For more on ADHD, visit the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.
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