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Greenwich Parent Voice

trials for new ADHD treatments 

This is a letter from Kings College London Institute of Psychiatry:


"Dear parent/caregiver
Several research teams at King's College London are inviting boys (aged between 10 and 18) with ADHD within the London area to participate in paid trials assessing new treatments for ADHD. The trials will take place at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (near Denmark Hill station). Here are summaries of the studies, but for more information please see also information packs attached.

Summary of Trial 1 - Experimental fMRI study on the comparison of the brain function effects of a single dose of guanfacine and lisdexamfetamine relative to placebo in children and adolescents with ADHD.

Right-handed boys (aged between 10 and 18-years) with ADHD, who are currently not taking any ADHD medication, are invited to participate in a study testing the brain effects of two recently licensed ADHD medications – lisdexamfetamine and guanfacine.

Both of these drugs can improve ADHD behaviours, but we do not know what they do to the function of the brain. In this study we use functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to record brain activity while the boys do simple games that involve concentrating, stopping or changing what they are doing. The study involves a screening appointment and three MRI visits. T

his study is the first to test the effects of these new drugs on the brain activity of ADHD adolescents and the findings will help us understand how these new drugs work.

Points of contact:

Olivia Kowalczyk, olivia.kowalczyk@kcl.ac.uk
Tel: 0778 544 6645

Summary of Trial 2 – fMRI Neurofeedback as a novel neurotherapy for children with ADHD
Boys (aged between 10 and 18-years) with ADHD will be trained over several sessions to enhance their brain activity in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner by playing on a computer game that is connected to their brain activity. By seeing their brain activity directly, boys will be able to learn to change it. This is called Neurofeedback.

We have found in our pilot study that this Neurofeedback training improved all the behavioural problems ADHD children have and the attention skills as measured in attention tests. Furthermore, we found that the positive effects were still observed and even better 11 months after the study and that there were no side effects of any kind.

This study will build on our previous work, and help us to develop a new treatment for ADHD that is not using medication but trains the ability of patients to self-regulate their brain activity.

Points of contact:
Marion Criaud, PhD rteans_team@kcl.ac.uk
Tel: 0207 848 5370

Summary of Trial 3  -- A novel brain-based therapy for ADHD children using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) combined with cognitive training
Boys (aged between 10 and 18-years) with ADHD will be trained over several sessions to improve their attention and self-control with a computer game and at the same time they will receive brain stimulation using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). tDCS consists of very small electrical currents which will be placed over a frontal part of your brain to boost the learning effect in the computer game by giving your brain an extra "push". This technique has been around for more than 20 years, it is completely safe, has no side effects and is used in many other patient groups. This study will help to develop a new treatment for ADHD that is not reliant on pharmacological medication but on the patients' own training of their attention and self-control skills with the extra help of some brain stimulation. 

Points of contact:
Samuel Westwood, PhD samuel.westwood@kcl.ac.uk
Tel: 0207 848 5078
Thank you

Email: sophie.wallace-hanlon@kcl.ac.ukSophie Wallace-Hanlon
Research Assistant
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience
King's College London
16 De Crespigny Park