A Critical Discussion of the Clinical Management of Dietary Supplementation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
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AbstractAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are both classified as neurodevelopmental disorders, affecting primarily young children and adolescents, stemming from biological/genetic and environmental origins that negatively influence neurobiological structures and leading to gastrointestinal discomforts. More precisely, toxins produced by pathogenic microorganisms’ overgrowth, unnecessary employment of antibiotics, abnormalities in the activity of carbohydrate digestive enzymes and gut’s mucosal lining disruptions result in alterations in children’s neurological functioning. Central nervous system alterations adversely affect brain maturation, social interactions, and cognitive abilities. In this respect, dietary supplementations such as omega-3 and omega-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and/or vitamins can be effectuated, potentially increasing the effectiveness of pharmacological medications. However, research findings divulge an unspecified consensus concerning optimal supplementation duration, exact dosages, consistent utilization of outcome measures, adherence to supplements, and their longterm behavioral and health effects. In addition, dietary supplements do not always enable for corrections of children’s micronutrient deficiencies, contributing to excessive intake. Thus, it can be speculated that they cannot be provided solitarily since they depict developmental insensitivities in addressing all nutritional needs of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder individuals. Accordingly, each individual’s developmental needs and entire dietary patterns should be carefully considered for the elimination of comorbid health conditions. In conjunction with the development and validation of universally accepted dietary plan, this shall allow for the construction of a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to dietary treatment schemes that can fully benefit these populations and are especially adapted to their needs. Future research should further explore gluten/casein-free and other restrictive diets, along with the clarification of effective randomized controlled trials.
CitationChatzinikolaou, M.D. and Apeiranthitou, V., (2021). 'A Critical Discussion of the Clinical Management of Dietary Supplementation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder'. EC Psychology and Psychiatry, 10(2), pp. 74-80.
PublisherECronicon Open Access
JournalEC Psychology and Psychiatry
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