Children with allergic rhinitis (AR) and borderline attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should initially be treated for their AR and then monitored for improvement in ADHD symptoms, according to the results of a recent study.
This is the recommendation made by investigators who looked at whether elevated ADHD scores in children with AR could be decreased by treatment of AR. The study found that, compared with healthy controls, children with AR experienced elevated ADHD symptom scores that were corrected significantly by AR therapy, according to the lead author of the study, Ming-Tao Yang, MD, of the department of pediatrics at Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
The prospective study included 68 children aged six to 16 years with untreated AR, all of whom were evaluated to determine AR symptom scores, ADHD symptom scores, and computerized continuous performance test scores, before and after AR therapy. Therapy included nonpharmacologic intervention, oral antihistamines, and topical steroids. Outcomes of these children were compared to those of 31 age-matched controls and 13 children with pure ADHD.
The study found that after treatment for AR, AR symptom scores in children with AR decreased significantly, as did their ADHD scores. Age, drugs, AR subtypes, and multiple atopic diseases were significant predictors for improved ADHD scores.
“Allergic rhinitis should be considered in the differential diagnosis when clinical physicians or practitioners are facing children presenting with inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity,” said Dr. Yang