19 February 2009

Eczema Sufferers More Likely to Have ADHD

This news release really caught my attention. Here's a synopis:

The children in a German study of almost 2900 children and teenager founds that across the board, 5.2 percent of eczema patients had ADHD while only 3.4 percent of eczema-free youngsters did. A research letter will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Young people with atopic eczema were found to be 54 percent more likely to have an ADHD diagnosis than those without it. About 20 percent of children in Western nations are found to have atopic eczema by age 6.

"Atopic eczema is highly prevalent in children and it is known to gravely affect the quality of life," Schmitt and Romanos wrote in an email. "Therefore the assumption that it might be related to or influence the presence of psychiatric problems is not far-fetched."

Before the finding can be official, the link needs to be confirmed by more research. There also exists that eczema-related itching or sleep disturbances may exacerbate ADHD symptoms in some children. It's also possible that atopic eczema and ADHD could share an underlying cause.

Special diets have been proposed for treating ADHD, but the role of diet and food sensitivity in the condition has been highly controversial. Some research has linked ADHD to allergic conditions such as hay fever. Jan Buitelaar, M.D., Ph.D., of Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in The Netherlands has coauthored a 2008 paper suggesting that ADHD may be an allergic condition in some patients.

"There is data that allergic mechanisms could alter brain neurotransmission and brain functioning," Buitelaar said. He also pointed out that children could develop "disruptive and restless behavior" as a result of the itchiness and pain caused by the skin condition.

Treatment for ADHD should be a combination of medication for ADHD and environmental changes that promote positive behavioral changes.

Two out of five studies (unnamed in the original article) have found some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids may benefit ADHD patients.

Very interesting. Can't wait for some follow up studies.


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Anonymous said...

wow. i have eczema AND ADD. :o