Can a drug designed to treat ADHD improve reading skills in dyslexic learners?

A new study of the drug atomoxetine, used to treat Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) suggests possible improvement of reading skills among dyslexic learners aged 10-16 years of age.

Atomoxetine (brand name Strattera ) is diagnosed for children, teens and adults with ADHD.  The drug is thought to increase the amount of a chemical in the brain called noradrenaline and may help individuals concentrate better, be less impulsive and feel calmer.

The new study investigated the reading skills of 209 children, with either dyslexia alone or with both ADHD and dyslexia, compared to a placebo.  The study claims that atomoxetine treatment improved reading scores in both groups of children. The study was headed up by Sally Shaywitz, a renowned dyslexia professional from Yale University and claims to be the “first report of improvements in reading measures following pharmacotherapy treatment”.

Could this be the first step towards a potential new treatment option for dyslexia?

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Posted in Dyslexia News

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