How Precision Medicine Can Improve Treatment Of ADHD In Children

ADHD is one of the most diagnosed psychiatric disorders in children, and its prevalence has increased dramatically in recent years. After diagnosis, many children will then try different stimulants such as Concerta, Biphentin or Vyvanse, sometimes experimenting with a few different medications at different dosages to find one with sufficient benefit and acceptable side effects.

This one-size-fits-all approach may seem like blindly throwing darts. Many parents are understandably concerned about putting their children on medications, though some are ultimately relieved when they see their child’s school performance, self-esteem and behavior improve.

Precision medicine holds much promise in improving the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. Instead of filling out generic questionnaires, ADHD may in the future be diagnosed with brain activity scans, molecular or genetic analysis. This may result in earlier diagnosis of ADHD, or being able to distinguish ADHD into more subtypes, which will ultimately enhance treatment plans.

But precision medicine isn’t just about new technology that’s years down the road. It’s also about tailoring treatments to an individual child’s family, school and social context. It means that treating ADHD isn’t a one-and-done process, but a continual effort to adjust both medical and non-medical treatments to ensure a child has the best chance of success.

Dr. Bing Wu
Family Physician

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