Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often co-occurs with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although methylphenidate (MPH) efficacy and safety are well-demonstrated for ADHD, evidences are scant in the context of ASD. This naturalistic study aimed to analyze long-term MPH efficacy and safety in 40 ADHD children and adolescents with comorbid ASD, comparing them with 40 ones affected by ADHD without ASD. Treatment lasted from 6 to 156 months (longer than 24 months in more than three quarters of patients). Efficacy and safety were measured by clinical global impression and children global assessment scales; influence of intellectual functioning was examined. Comparisons between groups were made by Wilcoxon or Friedmann tests; relationships between functioning scores and other characteristics were analyzed by ordinal logistic and linear regression. Results demonstrated that MPH in patients with ASD was associated with significative reduction of illness severity, clinical improvement and amelioration of global functioning, without significant differences with patients having ADHD without ASD. The trend of reduction of illness severity and increase of global functioning were favorably related with intellectual functioning. No serious adverse events were reported. The findings showed that long-term MPH was effective and well-tolerated in ADHD children and adolescents with comorbid high functioning ASD.

Methylphenidate in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Long-Term Follow up Naturalistic Study

Ventura, Patrizia;de Giambattista, Concetta;Spagnoletta, Laura;Trerotoli, Paolo;Cavone, Maddalena;Di Gioia, Alessandra;Margari, Lucia
2020-01-01

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often co-occurs with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although methylphenidate (MPH) efficacy and safety are well-demonstrated for ADHD, evidences are scant in the context of ASD. This naturalistic study aimed to analyze long-term MPH efficacy and safety in 40 ADHD children and adolescents with comorbid ASD, comparing them with 40 ones affected by ADHD without ASD. Treatment lasted from 6 to 156 months (longer than 24 months in more than three quarters of patients). Efficacy and safety were measured by clinical global impression and children global assessment scales; influence of intellectual functioning was examined. Comparisons between groups were made by Wilcoxon or Friedmann tests; relationships between functioning scores and other characteristics were analyzed by ordinal logistic and linear regression. Results demonstrated that MPH in patients with ASD was associated with significative reduction of illness severity, clinical improvement and amelioration of global functioning, without significant differences with patients having ADHD without ASD. The trend of reduction of illness severity and increase of global functioning were favorably related with intellectual functioning. No serious adverse events were reported. The findings showed that long-term MPH was effective and well-tolerated in ADHD children and adolescents with comorbid high functioning ASD.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/316020
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