ADHD medications may help hyperactive youngsters stay out of trouble, says a new study.
People with ADHD or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have trouble paying attention, controlling their behavior and are overtly active. The condition is rapidly increasing in the U.S., with 1 out of every 10 children showing symptoms of ADHD. The condition can't be cured, but it can be successfully controlled.
Previous studies have shown that children diagnosed with ADHD between ages 5 and 12 years are more likely to be involved in a criminal activity when they are older when compared to other children. Children with ADHD are also more likely to develop conduct and antisocial personality disorders.
A new study from Sweden suggests that ADHD medication can lower crime rates in people who are diagnosed with ADHD.
Researchers obtained data on more than 26,000 patients who were diagnosed with ADHD from Swedish national registries. Medical information along with criminal records of these people was checked.
Researchers then compared the rates of criminal conviction in ADHD patients receiving treatment with the rate of criminality of ADHD patients who weren't on ADHD treatment.
The research team found a significantly lower rate of criminality (almost 32 percent lower) in people who were on ADHD treatment.
"It seems as though ADHD medications decrease the risk for criminality while under treatment," said the study's lead author, Dr. Paul Lichtenstein, professor of genetic epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, HealthDay reports.
Dr. Lichtenstein said that medications for ADHD have their pros and cons, but these medications are less dangerous for young patients than being involved in a crime and spending time in jail, according to New York Times.
"The study adds a lot. Cutting the crime rate, that's not trivial. Maybe it will get some help for people in jail. It gives people who were on the fence maybe a little more confidence in this treatment," Dr. Gabrielle Carlson, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Stony Brook University medical school, who was not involved in the study, told New York Times.
The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Published by Medicaldaily.com