Sunday, June 29, 2008

ADD- Good Science or Good Marketing?

This is the beggining of an article for Dr. Leo Jonathan who wrote "Rethinking ADHD; International Perspective, Edited by Sami Timimi :

Attention Deficit Disorder - Good Science or Good Marketing?

Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 142
Default Attention Deficit Disorder - Good Science or Good Marketing?
I'm going to post an article written by the Dean of Student Affairs at my medical school. His name is Dr. Jonathan Leo and he's one of the MANY dissenters of the whole ADHD/Ritalin case. He also publishes regarding SSRIs.
Please forgive any typos and I've left the notations out for convenience.

The article was originally published in SKEPTIC, Vol.8, no. 1, 2000.

In the 1960s, Americans discovered illegal mind-altering drugs for themselves. In the 1990s, Americans discovered a legal mind-altering drug for their children. Although it is illegal drugs that draw the attention of the media and law enforcement agencies, over the past decade there has been a meteoric rise int he number of children, under the guidance of a physician, taking mind-altering drugs.

The drug? Ritalin. The most recent estimate is that somewhere between 3-5 million children in this country are taking Ritalin or a similar type of drug. Furthermore, American children consume 90% of all the Ritalin produced worldwide, making this a unique spect of American cultire. Ritaline is the drug of choice for children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. It has now become acceptable to give children a drug to alter their personality and behavioral patterns in a specific situation, usually school. The acceptance of this practice, however, has more to do with marketing than science. In the past 10 years, millions of dollars have been spent by scientists to investigate the biological basis of ADHD. Likewise, millions of dollars habe been spent by the marketing departments of pharmaceutical companies to promote the use of drugs such as Ritalin. ...

By comparing the success rate of the scientists on one hand and the marketing departments on the other, it is clear why medicating children has more to do with marketing than science. The scientific basis of ADHD is on shaky ground and very little progress has been made in the last decade. It is hard to pin down the ADHD experts on what they think is the most convincing scientific proof of this disorder. Instead of one very good study that proves their case, ther are numerous marginal studies that individually have little significance. However, when these little pieces are piled high it appearts to some that significant understanding is at hand. continues...

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