Table of Contents
ISRN Psychiatry
Volume 2012, Article ID 804127, 8 pages
Review Article

Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Pediatric Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Descriptive Review

1Department of Psychology, Lake Superior State University, 650 West Easterday Avenue, Sault Sainte Marie, MI 49783, USA
2School of Social Work, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
3Department of Psychology, St. Catharine College, St. Catharine, Catharine, KY 40061, USA
4Department of Psychology, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101-3576, USA
5Algoma University Sault Marie, ON, Canada P6A 2G4

Received 12 November 2012; Accepted 28 November 2012

Academic Editors: K. Sagduyu and A. Weizman

Copyright © 2012 H. Russell Searight et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), characterized by impulsivity, distractibility, and inattention, has an estimated pediatric population prevalence of 6–8%. Family physicians and pediatricians evaluate and treat the majority of children with this condition. The evidence-based treatment of choice for ADHD, stimulant medication, continues to be a source of public controversy. Surveys suggest that among parents of children with ADHD, there is considerable interest in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). These therapies include herbal preparations, mineral supplements, sugar restriction, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Other AD/HD therapies include neuro-feedback, cognitive training, mindfulness meditation, and exposure to “green space.” In order to assist physicians and mental health professionals in responding to patient and parent queries, this paper briefly describes these CAM therapies and current research regarding their effectiveness. While investigations in this area are hampered by research design issues such as sample size and the absence of double-blind placebo-controlled trials, there is some evidence that omega three fatty acids, zinc supplements, and neuro-feedback may have some efficacy.