Today’s Solutions: May 27, 2023

An estimated 4.4 percent of adults are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, a neurological condition where people find it hard to pay attention or control their behavior and experience hyperactivity.

Diagnoses of this condition have increased exponentially over the past 20 years due to a deeper understanding of the brain and psychology. As each case is different, researchers are looking for treatments that work for every individual, and they continue to find interesting new solutions all the time.

A team of researchers from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) is looking into caffeine as a treatment to alleviate some symptoms of ADHD.

“The therapeutic arsenal for alleviating ADHD is limited, and there is a certain degree of controversy around the use of some types of medications and stimulants, especially during childhood and adolescence. That’s why it’s useful to study the efficacy of other substances, such as caffeine,” explained Javier Vázquez, one of the main authors of this paper.

Caffeine has also been picked up as a possible way to reduce your risk of a heart attack by clearing up the bad cholesterol in your arteries and also lowering the risk of diabetes. Who knew that your morning coffee could have so many potential therapeutic uses?

The ADHD study, published in Nutrients, found that a prescribed amount of caffeine may increase the attention and retention of people with the disorder. They made this discovery through animal models, finding the substance “increases capacity and flexibility in both spatial attention and selective attention, as well as in working memory and short-term memory,” said Vázquez.

The results so far have been positive, although the team is aware that some of the other symptoms of ADHD like hyperactivity and impulsivity may be exaggerated by caffeine. More research is needed, with the team suggesting it may just be appropriate when the symptoms are purely attentional based and should only be administered under appropriate medical supervision.

Using caffeine as a treatment for ADHD could be a more accessible and cheaper alternative to current methods of medication. The team hopes to conduct further research in humans to explore this new avenue of therapeutics.

Source study: NutrientsEffects of Caffeine Consumption on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Treatment: A Systematic Review of Animal Studies

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