Psychostimulants for Children: Are We Over or Under Dosing?

Kenneth Blum, Catherine Dennen, Paul R. Carney, Elizabeth Gilley, Panayotis K. Thanos, Eric R. Braverman, David Baron, Colin Hanna, Edward J. Modestino, Mark S. Gold, Igor Elman and Rajendra D. Badgaiyan

An estimated 3% to 10% of school children meet the DSM-V criteria for ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), however, to be over-diagnosed, the rate of children inappropriately diagnosed with ADHD (false positives) would have to be larger than the number of children with ADHD who are under-identified and not diagnosed (false negatives). Accordingly, a number of investigators take the position that under-treatment with psychostimulants, especially in children and adolescence, will result in continued ADHD symptomatology including future Substance Use Disorder (SUD). However, other researchers and clinicians believe otherwise and espouse laudable arguments for caution and prolonged methamphetamine treatment. While there is ongoing controversy of the role of genetics and epigenetics linked to ADHD, it seems clear that a number of dopaminergic genes and their risk polymorphisms act as DNA antecedents impacted by epigenetic induced methylation. Our hypothesis and literature review suggest that one possible solution is to embrace non addictive interventions to induce global dopamine homeostasis.

Published on: April 22, 2023
Citation:  Blum K, Dennen C, Carney PR, Gilley E, Thanos PK, et al. 2023. Psychostimulants for Children: Are We Over or Under Dosing? J Addict Psychiatry 7(1): 1-4.