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J Atten Disord. 2002 Sep;6(2):49-60.

An experimental comparison of Pycnogenol and methylphenidate in adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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The Attention Deficit Center in St. Louis 63141, MO.


Twenty-four adults (24 to 53 years old) with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Combined Type, were studied in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of Pycnogenol and methylphenidate. Pycnogenol is an antioxidant derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. Methylphenidate is a standard pharmaceutical intervention for ADHD. Anecdotal reports suggest that Pycnogenol improves concentration in adults with ADHD without adverse side effects. Participants received Pycnogenol, methylphenidate, and placebo, each for three weeks, in a randomized and counterbalanced order. Although ADHD symptoms improved during treatment, neither methylphenidate nor Pycnogenol outperformed the placebo control, as measured by self-report rating scales, rating scales completed by the individual's significant other, and a computerized continuous performance test. The conservative dosage levels and relatively brief length of treatment may have contributed to the absence of significant differences among treatment conditions. Implications for future research are noted.

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