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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2004 Oct;43(10):1276-82.

Actigraphic monitoring during sleep of children with ADHD on methylphenidate and placebo.

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Douglas Hospital Research Centre and the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.



Sleep disturbances appear as a comorbid condition in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of activity levels during sleep and therapeutic response to methylphenidate (MPH).


Nightly sleep actigraphic recordings during a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical study (1-week of 0.5 mg/kg MPH; 1-week of placebo) were obtained on 44 children, 6 to 12 years old, diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (DSM-IV).


Significant (p <.005) differences between the conditions were found in several software-computed parameters: sleep onset latency (MPH, 39.3 minutes; placebo, 28.2 minutes), sleep efficiency (MPH, 78.0%; placebo, 80.4%), total sleep time (MPH, 7 hours; 57 minutes; placebo, 8 hours, 16 minutes). No significant differences on any of these measures were found among the 26 subjects who showed a moderate or large global improvement on MPH over placebo compared with 18 subjects who showed mild or no clinical improvement.


MPH, given twice daily, induces a slight but significant sleep disturbance. Motor activity levels during sleep did not differentiate children who responded to MPH from those who did not respond. This suggests that responders to MPH treatment do not experience greater sleep disturbances than nonresponders, at least at the dose studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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