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Keywords:

  • ADHD;
  • Hyperkinetic disorders;
  • Methylphenidate;
  • Computerised testing;
  • Drug effects

Background:  The aim of this study was to evaluate stimulant medication response following a single dose of methylphenidate (MPH) in children and young people with hyperkinetic disorder using infrared motion analysis combined with a continuous performance task (QbTest system) as objective measures. The hypothesis was put forward that a moderate testdose of stimulant medication could determine a robust treatment response, partial response and non-response in relation to activity, attention and impulse control measures.

Methods:  The study included 44 children and young people between the ages of 7–18 years with a diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder (F90 & F90.1). A single dose-protocol incorporated the time course effects of both immediate release MPH and extended-release MPH (Concerta XL, Equasym XL) to determine comparable peak efficacy periods post intake.

Results:  A robust treatment response with objective measures reverting to the population mean was found in 37 participants (84%). Three participants (7%) demonstrated a partial response to MPH and four participants (9%) were determined as non-responders due to deteriorating activity measures together with no improvements in attention and impulse control measures.

Conclusion:  Objective measures provide early into prescribing the opportunity to measure treatment response and monitor adverse reactions to stimulant medication. Most treatment responders demonstrated an effective response to MPH on a moderate testdose facilitating a swift and more optimal titration process.