In a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled study, 61 children with an average age of nine and suffering from ADHD were supplemented every day for a month with pycnogenol, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree.
The children, who were not given any other drugs or vitamins during the study, were given a full evaluation before and after the treatment and one month after the end of the treatment.
When the children's teachers compared the before and after scores, there was a significant drop in hyperactivity and inattention amongst those taking the pycogenol compared to the start of the study, and to those on the placebo.
‘These findings are especially notable for parents who are concerned about over-medicating children diagnosed with ADHD’ said Dr Peter Rohdewald, Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Germany's University of Munster and one of the authors of the study. ‘The results of this study show pycnogenol may serve as a safe, effective alternative treatment to prescription drugs with potentially dangerous side effects.’
The researchers also found that, one month after end of the treatment, ADHD symptoms in the pycnogenol group returned to the levels measured before the study started, strongly suggesting that it was the pycnogenol which had reduced the ADHD symptoms.
First published in May 2007
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