The 2010 Proceedings of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) Research Conference recently published a case study involving the response of a 7-year-old child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to chiropractic adjustments over the course of a year.
Approximately 8 million children in the United States are labeled with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD and generally are being medicated for this condition. ADHD is a childhood mental disorder with onset before 7 years of age and involving impaired or diminished attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The behaviors must be excessive, last for at least six months, and cause a problem in a social environment, such as at school or home. Spokane-based Dr. Pat Dougherty, D.C., explains that “Ritalin is a common prescription given for ADHD, but since medications offer risk as well as possible dependencies, alternative options are worth investigating.”
A male child was diagnosed by a psychiatrist at age 3 with ADHD, due to behaviors such as uncontrolled violent outbreaks, difficulty following directions, and inability to function in social situations. From 3-7 years the child was prescribed anti-psychotropic medications, which only moderately controlled the patient’s behavior. His parents were under extreme stress attempting to cope with their child’s aggressive behavior and sought chiropractic care as a last resort at age 7.
“Within one month of care the patient demonstrated significant behavior improvements.” Dr. Dougherty related. “The parents reported the child was significantly calmer, “less defiant,” and had reduced aggressive behavior.” Working with the psychiatrist after 5 months of chiropractic care the child was able to be weaned off all psychotropic medication without any relapse of prior behavior.
“Chiropractic care of children with ADHD has some evidence in the published literature,” explained Dr. Dougherty, “so it is possible that a mechanical and/or neurological dysfunction could be contributing to a patient’s presentation as well as explain the success of chiropractic care with some cases. Greater research is needed into the study of chiropractic care of pediatric patients presenting with ADHD.”
Anyone wishing more information may contact Dr. Dougherty, whose office is located at 2110 N. Washington Street, Spokane WA (telephone 509-327-4373).