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Caffeine Consumption Could Treat ADHD: Spanish Study

A team of experts at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) has studied the possibility of including caffeine in the therapeutic arsenal used to alleviate some of the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), UOC reported to SciTechDaily.


Photo Insert: The study concludes that a prescribed consumption of caffeine can increase attention and retention capacity among adolescents and adults suffering from this psychiatric disorder.



A systematic review of pre-clinical studies carried out in animal models has concluded that regular caffeine consumption can increase attention and retention capacity in adolescents and adults diagnosed with ADHD, a psychiatric pathology for which diagnosis has increased exponentially over the last 20 years.


Current estimates suggest that this disorder affects between 2% and 5% of children in Spain, an average of one or two children per classroom, and up to 4% of the adult population.



A group of experts from the UOC is studying the possibility of using caffeine as part of the therapeutic arsenal to alleviate some of the symptoms of ADHD.


Led by Diego Redolar, a member of the UOC Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences who specializes in neuroscience at the Cognitive NeuroLab group of the UOC Faculty of Health Sciences, they studied the possibility of including caffeine in the therapeutic arsenal given the controversy surrounding the use of some medicines derived from methylphenidate.


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According to the authors, this is the first systematic review that has been carried out, including at the cellular level, with results linking caffeine consumption in different animal models of ADHD with an increased attention span, improved concentration, learning benefits, and improvements in some types of memory.


The study, a systematic review of animal studies published in open access in the scientific journal Nutrients, concludes that a prescribed consumption of caffeine can increase attention and retention capacity among adolescents and adults suffering from this psychiatric disorder.


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"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 who is also a researcher in the Cognitive NeuroLab group.



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