'Natural' cure found for attention deficit disorder
Thursday 16 February 2006
A British millionaire has announced that he may have discovered a way of curing children suffering from the worst form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) without resorting to drugs.
Wynford Dore said yesterday that years of painstaking research have shown that, by using space-age technology normally reserved for testing astronauts returning from space, doctors may be able to rebalance the brains of those suffering from such disorders.
The treatment could help revolutionise how children in Australia - where Mr Dore now lives - and millions of others worldwide are treated for chronic learning difficulties.
Children with ADHD are thought to have problems with the cerebellum, a part of the brain that controls the organisation and direction of thought and behaviour. Mr Dore's new theory gives rise to hopes that stimulating the dormant parts of the cerebellum, using a series of balance and eye exercises, could expand it and encourage it to work better without needing to use chemical treatment.
Mr Dore, who originally made his money selling fire-resistant paint, said that the new findings were discovered by accident.
"These are wonderful, incredible results and yet we didn't even try and do this," he said at a press conference in Sydney. "By accident, we stumbled on something that could have the most dramatic effect on individuals' lives."
The battle against ADHD became something of a personal crusade for Mr Dore after his daughter tried to commit suicide because of her chronic learning difficulties. But the new treatment does not come cheap. The therapy costs £1,700 and takes up to 15 months to complete.
As many as one in every 20 children suffers from some form of attention disorder and the problem, scientists believe, has dramatically increased over the past 50 years.
Statistically, boys are three times more likely to suffer from the condition. ADHD is usually treated by a group of drugs known as psychostimulants which, while effective, can have unpleasant side effects.
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