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ADHD in Children Health Center

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Strep Infections May Be Associated with ADHD


Meanwhile, the study's authors caution against treating children with OCD or ADHD with antibiotics in hope of improving those conditions. Of course, if a child has a sore throat or an ear infection due to strep, antibiotics are appropriate. But the researchers say they see no point in trying to use antibiotics as a general preventative measure until we know far more about the relationship among these three conditions and strep infections.

Wolraich and Schubiner say they agree with that conclusion. "Even if ADHD did turn out to be due to an immunological reaction to a strep infection, or to any infection, antibiotic treatment would not necessarily help, since you have to treat the immune reaction, not the infection itself," Schubiner says.

The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institutes of Health, and the Stanley Foundation of Muscatine, Iowa.

Vital Information:

  • A new study has shown that children with ADHD are more likely to have high levels of strep antibodies, suggesting a recent strep infection.
  • Previously, scientists had suspected that strep infections were associated with Tourette syndrome and OCD, but the new study did not find such an association.
  • Researchers caution that giving antibiotics to prevent ADHD is not a good option at this point.

To read more, visit our Diseases and Conditions ADD/ADHD page.

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