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David Baxter

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Low Iron Levels May Contribute to ADHD
December 16, 2004

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) seem to have iron deficiency, according to the results of a small study. The researchers suggest that such kids may benefit from iron supplements.

Iron deficiency causes abnormal functioning of the brain neurotransmitter dopamine "and may contribute to the physiopathology of ADHD," Dr. Eric Konofal, of Hopital Robert Debre in Paris, and his colleagues explain in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

The team measured iron levels in 53 children with ADHD and in a comparison group of 27 matched children. Ferritin levels in blood were used to assess iron stores, and a standard rating scale measured the severity of ADHD symptoms.

Forty-two (84 percent) of the children with ADHD had abnormal ferritin levels compared with five children (18 percent) in the "control" group. Extremely low serum ferritin levels were found in 17 (32 percent) ADHD subjects but only one of the matched kids.

The researchers also saw that the lower the ferritin levels, the more severe were general ADHD symptoms, as well as specific mental deficits.

Konofal's group suggests that iron supplementation might improve dopamine activity in children with ADHD, "decreasing the need for psychostimulants."

SOURCE: Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, December 2004;158:1113-1115.
 

^^Phoenix^^

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my brother was 'supposedly' diagnosed with adhd (this is an argument that has gone waaaay back so excuse the inverted comma's) and he had low iron levels as a boy.

I just found this article interesting.
 

David Baxter

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One of the links may be that with low iron levels the body isn't able to utilize vitamin B12 as effectively, and there is a suggested link between low B12 and serotonin -- if so, given that that brain chemistry and the endocrine system are tightly interwoven, one might get a "domino" effect which could result in aberrant levels of dopamine and norepinephrine as well, in turn resulting in ADD-like symptoms or even ADD itself.
 
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