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Child Care Health Dev. 2011 Sep;37(5):671-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2010.01193.x. Epub 2010 Dec 20.

A randomized targeted amino acid therapy with behaviourally at-risk adopted children.

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Department of Psychology, TCU, Fort Worth, TX 76129, USA.



Increasing numbers of children are at-risk for behavioural and emotional disorders, a phenomenon contributing to increased use of pharmacological interventions for paediatric clients. Adverse side effects and other risks associated with pharmacological approaches have helped fuel interest in nutritional interventions for behaviourally at-risk children.


The current randomized clinical trial evaluates the efficacy of a neurochemical intervention involving the glutamine and glutamate analogue L-theanine and 5-hydroxytryptophan, the precursor for serotonin, with children adopted from traumatic backgrounds.


Results include significant increases in urinary levels of the biomarkers for serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid, coupled with significant decreases in parent reports of the children's behaviour problems.


While further research is needed, these initial findings are encouraging and are consistent with a growing number of studies indicating the efficacy of nutritional approaches to help behaviourally at-risk children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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