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Acetyl-L-Carnitine in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Multi-Site, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Trial

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/51669

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Title: Acetyl-L-Carnitine in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Multi-Site, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Trial
Creators: Arnold, L. Eugene; Amato, Antonino; Bozzolo, Hernan; Hollway, Jill; Cook, Amy; Ramadan, Yaser; Crowl, Lindsay; Zhang, Dan; Thompson, Susan; Testa, Giussepe; Kliewer, Vernon; Wigal, Timothy; McBurnett, Keith; Manos, Michael
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers
Citation: L. Eugene Arnold et al, "Acetyl-L-Carnitine in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Multi-Site, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Trial," Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology 17, no. 6 (2007), doi:10.1089/cap.2007.018
DOI: 10.1089/cap.2007.018
Abstract: Objective: To determine whether acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC), a metabolite necessary for energy metabolism and essential fatty acid anabolism, might help attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Trials in Down’s syndrome, migraine, and Alzheimer’s disease showed benefit for attention. A preliminary trial in ADHD using L-carnitine reported significant benefit. Method: A multi-site 16-week pilot study randomized 112 children (83 boys, 29 girls) age 5-12 with systematically diagnosed ADHD to placebo or ALC in weight-based doses from 500 to 1500 mg b.i.d. The 2001 revisions of the Conners’ parent and teacher scales (including DSM-IV ADHD symptoms) were administered at baseline, 8, 12, and 16 weeks. Analyses were ANOVA of change from baseline to 16 weeks with treatment, center, and treatment-by-center interaction as independent variables. Results: The primary intent-to-treat analysis, of 9 DSM-IV teacher-rated inattentive symptoms, was not significant. However, secondary analyses were interesting. There was significant (p = 0.02) moderation by subtype: superiority of ALC over placebo in the inattentive type, with an opposite tendency in combined type. There was also a geographic effect (p = 0.047). Side effects were negligible; electrocardiograms, lab work, and physical exam unremarkable. Conclusion: ALC appears safe, but with no effect on the overall ADHD population (especially combined type). It deserves further exploration for possible benefit specifically in the inattentive type.
ISSN: 1557-8992
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/51669
Rights: © 2007 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers
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