News Article Details

Butler County resident part of UC study on ADHD

Hamilton Journal News - 3/27/2017

March 27--BUTLER COUNTY -- A Butler County resident is part of a study at the University of Cincinnati that is researching brain changes in adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, before and after treatment with medication.

Researchers at UC are using MRI technology to look at the effects of standard treatment prescriptions for drugs like Adderall for ADHD and how these drugs affect brain structure and function in adolescents that have a relative with bipolar disorder.

Dr. Melissa DelBello, professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at UC, said the study began a year-and-a-half-ago.

"So, we are looking at the affects of medication on brain development in kids who have ADHD," she said. "Basically, we are also looking at if they are at risk for bipolar disorder because ADHD has been looked at as a precursor for it in youth, particularly who have a family member with bipolar disorder."

DelBello explained that symptoms of ADHD can include hyperactivity, fidgeting, trouble focusing or the need to get up frequently -- behaviors like these that may have a negative impact at home, school or in social environments.

Butler County resident Tyler Boes, 19, a 2016 Lakota East grad, who is currently attending Wright State University, is part of the study at UC. Boes and his younger brother, 12, were both diagnosed with ADHD.

"I was actually flipping through a magazine and I saw an ad for the study," Boes said. "I was a broke student at the time and that is how I got involved with the study. I was diagnosed with ADHD in fourth grade and my younger brother was diagnosed in first grade. It was very difficult throughout school in general with my attention span.

Boes said he was prescribed medication after his diagnosis and took it until his junior year.

'I stopped taking it my junior year and had a pretty easy class load my senior year and that is the only reason I was able to survive without the medication," he said. "The whole 'doing academics thing' was a lot more difficult that I was prepared to handle without the medication."

Boes said the study had helped him get back on medication and has made his transition to college manageable and he feels it will continue to shed light on the issue.

"This study definitely helped me and got me back on medication," he said. "It has really helped me make the transition to college."

Dr. Robert McNamara, co-chair of the study and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience and director of the Lipidomics Research Program, said Boes is like many other youth who are prescribed medicine who need to be studied.

"By studying early brain changes in response to psychostimulant treatment, we will develop a better understanding of how this standard ADHD treatment may affect high-risk youth differently," he said.

The study is funded by a five-year, $3.23 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.


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