How Effective is Attend in Helping Children with Attention Disorders?
In 1996-97 we were contracted by VAXA International of Tampa, FL to provide clinical, "real world" information on the effectiveness of their product called "Attend." Their product was a homeopathic nutraceutical medicine, meaning that it contains homeopathic medicines, plus nutritional medicines. The product has over 70 selected ingredients including specific amino acid combinations, essential fatty acids, phospholipid complexes, vitamins, minerals, and more.
Our study involved subjects ranging in age from 8 to 22. In our clincial studies we found that 70% of the subject using "Attend" for 30 days made statistically significant improvements on the Test of Variables of Attention, or TOVA test. The TOVA is a widely used CPT test for the diagnosis of ADHD, and to track the effectiveness of various treatment interventions. An improvement of 1/2 standard deviation on the TOVA is considered signficant improvement, meaning that it didn't happen by accident.
Subjects focus improved one standard deviation on the bell curve; which means that the subjects could pay attention to their boring testing task much better than before, and for a longer period of time than before. You could expect to see your child, or teenager, stay focused to his school work, or other tasks, longer and better. It will also help concentration in sports, and is sold under a different label for professional golfers.
Self-Control, or the ability to inhibit impulsivity, improved over one and one-have standard deviation; which means that the subjects made fewer mistakes from being impulsive. They controlled themselves better, and made better decisions.
Reaction Time, as measured by a computer, in thousanths of a second, improved one-half of a standard deviation; which means that their neurological processing speeds actually improved. They could process information faster, and respond to the information faster.
The Consistency of Performance score improved more than one standard deviation! This is also known as the Variability score on the TOVA test. This is the most important score on the TOVA related to diagnosing and treating ADD ADHD. When this score improves, it means that the subject is focused longer to task, is more "dialed in" to the task, and his overall level of performance is better. He is not so "scattered" but is performing much better.
These were very signficant results for an over-the-counter product. VAXA then put this formula of "Attend" on the market early in 1997. Since then we have helped the company to develop specific targeted treatment strategies for each different "type" of ADHD using their "Attend" product, as well as other products that they have produced for the treatment of other specific symptoms. For example, their product "Extress " is highly effective for anxiety disorders. However we have successfully used it, along with "Attend" in helping children and teens with ADHD who also experience anxiety, temper outbursts, hyperactivity, or excessive restlessness.
Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.
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