Authors: Emily Brown
An international trial aiming to investigate the impact of the hormone melatonin in aiding sleep in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has begun recruiting. Children with ADHD often encounter problems getting to sleep, which can be exacerbated by the medications utilized to abate ADHD symptoms.
In collaboration with researchers at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane, Jane Nikles from The University of Queensland (both Queensland, Australia) and team are recruiting children aged 6–17 years with a diagnosis of ADHD who are currently receiving stimulants such as Ritalin [Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Surrey, UK] and experiencing sleep troubles.
Trial participants will receive melatonin as part of a special individual medication effectiveness test. Sleep activity will initially be monitored for 2 weeks, after which each child will randomly receive melatonin or a placebo treatment in blocks of 1 week each, for a total of 6 weeks.
Reporting further on the details of the trial, Nikles commented: “During the 6 weeks you will be asked to keep a sleep diary and complete some questionnaires, and your child will wear an activity watch to help measure their sleep activity.”
An in-depth report discussing the impact of melatonin on each child’s sleep will then be provided to their healthcare provider to assist in treatment decisions.