From the Editor

For my patient, ADHD medications transformed his life, helping him focus at school and at work – and even drive better. Many have had similar experiences. Do ADHD medications also reduce mortality? We know that those with ADHD have higher mortality rates and thus it’s reasonable to ask about the possible benefits of methylphenidate and sister drugs.

Lin Li (of the Karolinska Institutet) and her co-authors try to answer that question in a new JAMA Psychiatry paper. Drawing on Swedish databases, they analyzed data from almost 150 000 people with ADHD and looked at two-year mortality, including for those who die by unintentional injuries, suicide, or poisonings, by doing a target trial emulsion – simulating a randomized trial. “Among individuals diagnosed with ADHD, medication initiation was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality, particularly for death due to unnatural causes.” We consider the paper, the editorial that accompanies it, and the clinical implications.

ADHD meds: life saver?

And in the other selection, Dr. Rebecca Lawrence writes about support in a blog for Doctor and Patient. She is personal – besides working as psychiatrist, Dr. Lawrence has been treated for depression, including with ECT. She notes the incredible help her husband has given her over the years. “I look at myself in the mirror and am appalled, but he still smiles at me.


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