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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997 Oct;36(10):1407-15.

Effects of methylphenidate on preschool children with ADHD: cognitive and behavioral functions.

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School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



To report on implications for methylphenidate treatment of this very young age group and the need to examine factors related to achieving compliance.


Thirty-one children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), aged 4 to 6 years, participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study using placebo, 0.3 mg/kg, and 0.5 mg/kg of methylphenidate twice per day.


Improvements related to medication were obtained on cognitive tests of attention and impulsivity as well as behaviors assessed by parent rating scales. In an interactive setting with their mothers, attentional abilities and the children's ability to work more productively also showed improvement. However, no changes were obtained with respect to the children's tendency to comply with parental requests. Side effects increased slightly with the high dosage of medication but remained mild.


The results suggest that methylphenidate can be used to improve the functioning of preschool-age children with ADHD, in a manner similar to their school-age counterparts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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