More Research Needed on Exercise as an ADHD Treatment
the Psychiatry Advisor take:
Results from a meta-analysis indicate that exercise improves children's cognitive function, a discovery that could have an impact on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder treatment.
The analysis of eight studies examined the effects of exercise on children’s cognitive performance and concluded that exercise is associated with improved cognition, academic achievement, behavior, and psychosocial functioning.
Although there have been literally hundreds of studies of medication treatment for ADHD, almost no research on exercise as an ADHD treatment has been conducted.
The clinical utility of the current study is limited by the brief exercise duration, i.e., examining impact after a single exercise session, and the absence of any sustained follow-up, the researchers noted.
"More rigorous trials with adequate sample sizes assessing the impact of APA on children’s cognitive abilities, psychosocial functioning, behavior, and academic achievement are needed, with standardized interventions, valid and reliable tools of measurement, and long-term follow-up for sustained cognitive and psychosocial outcomes," they wrote.
Several years ago, however, results from a longer trial of physical activity in children with ADHD were published, and the these results speak more directly to the promise of exercise as a treatment for ADHD.
Physical Exercise Can Help ADHD, But Not Enough
Results from multiple studies indicate that exercise mitigates aging-related declines in cognitive functioning and that it may enhance cognitive functioning in older adults. Exercise has also been shown to be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression.
A study published in Preventing Chronic Diseases examined the effects of exercise on cognition, academic achievement, behavior, and psychosocial functioning outcomes in kids with ADHD.
Sign Up for Free e-newsletters
Psychiatry Advisor Articles
- Etiology of Schizophrenia: Strong Association With Certain Rare Copy Number Variants
- Long-Term Lithium Use: More Evidence Needed to Associate With Cancer Risk
- FDA to Review Lumateperone for Treatment of Schizophrenia
- AMA Survey Collects Advice for Physicians Approaching Retirement
- Revised Children's Anxiety and Depression Scales Reliable Measurement Tool for Adults
- Cannabis Use, Cannabis Use Disorder Linked to Psychotic, Depressive Symptoms
- Abstinence From Regular Cannabis Use Improves Memory Among Adolescents, Young Adults
- Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is Effective Treatment for Adolescent Anxiety
- Association Between Opioid and Benzodiazepine Misuse and Suicidal Ideation
- The Intersection of Eating and Alcohol Disorders: Detecting and Managing "Drunkorexia"
- Cognition, Depression, and Limited Functioning Linked in Middle Age
- Coping With Challenges When Working the Holidays
- Lithium Preferred Method of Maintenance Monotherapy in Older Adults With Bipolar Disorder
- Hypobetalipoproteinemia Associated With Aggression and Schizophrenia
- AMA Code of Medical Ethics Guides Physicians in Fighting Harmful Online Health Information