The University of North Texas will study the effect of amino acids and B vitamins on about 200 elementary school-age children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
This would be the first placebo-controlled study to determine the effectiveness of amino acids in treating ADHD, according to university researchers.
These third- through fifth-graders will take supplements in the form of small, low-calorie cookies twice a day for 14 weeks, beginning in January. The cookies have the equivalent level of amino acids found in a 35-oz portion of beef or 19 eggs.
Researchers will assess the children’s behavior and performance on a variety of cognitive tests before the children begin taking the supplements, six to seven weeks after they begin taking them, and after they complete the 14 weeks. The tests will be conducted at the UNT Psychology Clinic.
School nurses will oversee the supplement regimen and teachers will observe the children’s behavior, completing questionnaires during the 14 weeks of Phase III. Parents will also complete checklists of their children’s ADHD symptoms each week.
Amino acids may play a role in the treatment of ADHD as the body uses them to make neurotransmitters.
NeuroAssist, a private company, gave UNT $268,000 for the study.