Homeopathic treatment effective in ADHD
In the wake of the recent Lancet article on homeopathy that was so widely trailed in the media (see below) ECCH is pleased to be able to bring to the attention of the media details of a recent trial published in the European Journal of Pediatrics showing a positive effect for homeopathic treatment in the important area of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The main author of this trial André Thurmeyson has recently commented on what is increasingly being criticized as a flawed piece of work published in the Lancet . He maintains that Egger’s meta-analysis fails to prove anything. “They did not study trials that refer to proper homeopathic treatments. They have not analysed homeopathic treatment as it is practiced.”
The newly published study used “as it is practiced” individualized homeopathic treatment to treat the children in what was a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled crossover study. ‘The trial suggests scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, particularly in the areas of behavioral and cognitive functions.’
Contact Information: André Thurneysen
European Journal of Pediatrics
Publisher: Springer-Verlag GmbH
ISSN: 0340-6199 (Paper) 1432-1076 (Online)
Issue: Online First
Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial.
Heiner Frei 1, Regula Everts 2, Klaus von Ammon 3, Franz Kaufmann 2, Daniel Walther 2, Shu-Fang Hsu-Schmitz 4, Marco Collenberg 4, Katharina Fuhrer 2, Ralph Hassink 5, Maja Steinlin 2 Contact Information and André Thurneysen 3 Contact Information.
(1) Swiss Association of Homeopathic Physicians SAHP, Lucerne, Switzerland
(2) Division of Paediatric Neurology, University Childrenrsquos Hospital, Inselspital, 3010 Berne, Switzerland
(3) Kollegiale Instanz für Komplementärmedizin (KIKOM)/Homeopathy, Imhoof Pavillon, Inselspital, 3010 Berne, Switzerland
(4) Department of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science (IMSV), University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland
(5) Zentrum für Entwicklungsförderung und pädiatrische Neurorehabilitation, Bienne, Switzerland
Received: 8 March 2005 Revised: 23 May 2005 Accepted: 1 June 2005 Published online: 27 July 2005
Abstract An increasing number of parents turn to homeopathy for treatment of their hyperactive child. Two publications, a randomized, partially blinded trial and a clinical observation study, conclude that homeopathy has positive effects in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of this study was to obtain scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in ADHD. A total of 83 children aged 6–16 years, with ADHD diagnosed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria, were recruited.
Prior to the randomized, double blind, placebo controlled crossover study, they were treated with individually prescribed homeopathic medications. 62 patients, who achieved an improvement of 50% in the Connersrsquo Global Index (CGI), participated in the trial. Thirteen patients did not fulfill this eligibility criterion (CGI). The responders were split into two groups and received either verum for 6 weeks followed by placebo for 6 weeks (arm ‘A’), or vice-versa (arm ‘B’). At the beginning of the trial and after each crossover period, parents reported the CGI and patients underwent neuropsychological testing.
The CGI rating was evaluated again at the end of each crossover period and twice in long-term follow-up. At entry to the crossover trial, cognitive performance such as visual global perception, impulsivity and divided attention, had improved significantly under open label treatment (P<0.0001). During the crossover trial, CGI parent–ratings were significantly lower under verum (average 1.67 points) than under placebo (P =0.0479). Long-term CGI improvement reached 12 points (63%, P <0.0001).
Conclusion: The trial suggests scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, particularly in the areas of behavioural and cognitive functions.