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Samuele Cortese, MD, PhD: Balancing Therapy with Medication for ADHD

Medication might be best used as a first-line option for patients with ADHD.

Striking the balance between pharmacological treatment and non-pharmacological therapies is important for basically every psychiatric condition, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Because ADHD is often diagnosed in pediatric patients, there are many challenges in treating this patient population. However, there are answers that have proven effective for the majority of patients.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Samuele Cortese, MD, PhD, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Southampton, explained how important this balance of therapies is particularly important in ADHD.

“We’ve come to know in the past decade what pharmacological and non-pharmacological do is different,” Cortese said.

Cortese said if you consider the core symptoms of ADHD there is evidence showing medication is effective as the first-line treatment, decreasing the severity of the core symptoms.

Cortese also said it is not entirely clear what the impact of therapies have on reducing the severity of core ADHD symptoms, but they do play a role in treating some of the other symptoms associated with the disorder commonly found in child and adolescent patients.

However, in the end, Cortese said both options have value and should be considered for patients in an effort to treat ADHD.