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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Tina K. Head
Doctor of Philosophy
Title: Evaluation of Medication Effects on Academic Performance, Sleep, and Core ADHD Symptoms in Children
Dr. Galen Alessi, Chair
Dr. Scott Gaynor
Dr. Bradley Huitema
Dr. Mark Sloane
Date: Thursday, October 8, 2009 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
3723 Wood Hall
Idiosyncratic effects of Vyvanse™ (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) and placebo are evaluated in a double-blind alternating treatments experimental design in this four-week study. Direct, objective measures are combined with traditional behavior ratings to provide data sets to assess whether or not the prescribed stimulant medication shows detectable therapeutic effects for a child whose positive response to medication is not obvious via traditional subjective methods. Effects of medication on core ADHD symptoms, academic performance, and sleep in four children ages 10-12 with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. Potential side effects are also measured. Daily measures include parent rating scales, side effects checklist, sleep journal and sleep questionnaires. Weekly data collections of objective measures include a computerized continuous performance task, one-minute reading and math tests, and youth self-report instruments. Brief daily school interval data and teacher ratings are collected for one child who was enrolled during the school year. A local pediatrician followed standard clinical practice to provide dose titration and clinical supervision.
All children are referred for clarification of effects or dose titration of Vyvanse. Data sets provide copious and sometimes conflicting information between parent ratings and objective measures. The ability to conceptualize medication effects from both parent responses and direct measures enable the physician to alter the child’s course of treatment. Attention and motion data from the M–MAT offer information not otherwise available, allows a behind-the-scene look at effects of less-obvious processes (e.g. processing speed, patterns of attendant responses, subtle hyperactivity), and a process that supports clinical experience and judgment. Daily monitoring of side effects and weekly visits with a physician provide for closer monitoring for potential adverse events. Data plotted over time (parent ratings) or condition (objective measures) paint a different clinical picture for each child. Responses common to all participants include minimal side effects and no discernable effects on sleep. Medication effects are fairly straightforward for two participants, while a more enigmatic picture presented for the final two children.