A deeper look into prior research on youngsters with ADHD shows that timely treatment can significantly decrease the negative outcomes such as academic and behavioral problems, depression and substance abuse. The analysis was conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital. According to Dr. Joseph Biederman, the head of Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Adult ADHD Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, the study showed that early treatment with stimulant medications such as Adderall, Concerta and Vyvanse has a very strong protective effect against developing serious complications that can result from untreated ADHDsuch as Anxiety and Depression, Oppositional and Conduct disorders, Alcohol and Drug addiction, and school failure.
Earlier research of the effects of ADHD treatment only looked at the outcomes very broadly without measuring the actual extent of the protective effects of treatment. This recent study looked at specific statistical data called the number needed to treat (NNT), which shows exactly how effective the treatment actually is in preventing negative outcomes of untreated ADHD. The researchers studied the data from three earlier studies, two long-term studies of kids with and without ADHD, some treated with stimulant drugs and some not; the 3rd study was of young adults with ADHD comparing their performance on a driving simulation before and after they received treatment with either a stimulant medication or a placebo.
The analysis indicated that treatment of ADHD with stimulant medications prevents the development of many rather severe complications of untreated ADHD down the road.