The Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine

ADHD Drugs Slow the Growth Rate of Teenage Boys


Irvine, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/25/2013 --As a physician, who can prescribe drugs, I, Dr. David Velkoff, always have to weigh the risks versus benefits of a clinical treatment. The Drake Institute has always chosen neurofeedback; more recently brain map-guided neurofeedback, as the preferred treatment of ADHD or ADD as opposed to drugs. This is because of brain map guided neurofeedback's safety, clinical improvements, and long term improvements that the ADHD drugs cannot match.

In 2007 a report in the United States revealed that ADHD drugs slowed children's growth rate. Now, in 2013 the Medical Journal of Australia reports on a recent study that adolescent boys with ADHD, who were taking stimulant drugs for 3 years or more, had a slower rate of physical development during puberty. The drugs did not seem to affect the onset of puberty, but the study suggested the drugs affected the rate of physical maturation during puberty.

The ADHD boys on stimulant drugs, 14 to 16 years old, had lower height and weight compared to the boys without ADHD. The teenage boys who were on ADHD stimulant drugs for 3 years were 3 cm shorter than expected. The larger the dose, the slower the growth rate.

Over the years in clinical practice at the Drake Institute, I have often seen our children and adolescent patients, whose growth was suppressed by the ADHD drugs, experience a rebound growth when I have been able to significantly titrate down or eliminate the ADHD drugs. An x-ray of the hand can determine bone age of the child or adolescent to see if the drugs have merely slowed down their growth rate as opposed to stunting their growth.

One of the superior aspects of brain map guided neurofeedback over drugs is that the brain map can pinpoint the regions or networks in the brain that are deregulated or weak, so we can then treat or train only the specific weak areas to strengthen or normalize them. The rest of the brain that is functioning normally you leave alone. Unfortunately, the drugs affect the brain globally, including areas that are functioning normally, so you may get side effects.

In contrast to more evidence that ADHD drugs can be associated with negative outcomes as discussed in the study above, there are over 400 published scientific studies confirming the clinical effectiveness of neurofeedback for ADHD. In addition brain map guided neurofeedback maximizes the clinical improvements and can shorten the number of treatments needed.

About The Drake Institute
Drake Institute has evolved into the most experienced treatment facility worldwide, using the medical technology for which we are known. Thirty years and and over 12,000 individuals have been treated whose symptoms were approached by mobilizing resources within the patient to resolve their disorders.