Research published in Neuroscience Applied in October 2022 suggests that microdosing can improve symptoms in adults with ADHD. The study was led by Eline CHM Haijen et al. from Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
This study is the first of its kind and provides the first evidence that microdosing may have therapeutic value in adults diagnosed with ADHD or experiencing severe ADHD symptoms. The findings are in line with previous studies on microdosers, in which people with ADHD rated microdosing as more effective than conventional treatments and increasing their quality of life (Hutten et al., 2019a). The findings were also consistent with anecdotes from the microdosing community (Andersson and Kjellgren, 2019).
The study measured ADHD symptoms using the Conner's Adult ADHD Rating Scale, well- being using the World Health Organization-Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5), and time perception using an auditory time reproduction task (TRT) in participants in three time points: at baseline (before microdosing), after 2 weeks of microdosing, and after 4 weeks of microdosing.
The participants took microdoses on their own initiative to relieve the symptoms of ADHD. After removing some data points due to various inconsistencies, the study analyzed the results of 233 microdosers.
The study also divided microdosers into two groups – those who microdose in addition to taking regular medication for ADHD and those who microdose without the use of regular medication.
The results showed that after 2 and 4 weeks, microdosers in both groups (those who microdosed only and those who microdosed while also taking medication) showed statistically significant improvements in ADHD symptoms and well-being . No significant results were seen in measures of time perception.
The results also suggest that while those who microdose and take regular medications at the same time saw improvements in both a reduction in ADHD symptoms and improved well-being, it took longer to see the positive results.
First-line ADHD treatments in adults mainly include drugs to improve dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurotransmission with stimulants, such as methylphenidate and amphetamine, and non-stimulants, such as atomoxetine (Cortese et al., 2018). They have generally been proven to be effective in adults with ADHD (Asherson et al., 2016; Castells et al., 2011; Koesters et al., 2009), inducing rapid symptom relief and thereby improving the person's quality of life improve. However, there are also patients who stop their ADHD medication after a few months, because they feel that the improvements of this medication do not outweigh the side effects. There also seems to be a proportion of people who experience no beneficial effect at all from conventional ADHD medication.
The study has its limitations, including the fact that the participants were self-selected and required to compile and measure their own microdose. However, the results of the study warrant further investigation into the potential of microdosing as a supportive tool to help adults manage/relieve the symptoms of ADHD and suggest that anecdotal reports may be warranted.
Do you have ADHD and have you used microdosing to support it? Your story can be of great value to others. Join our community on Discord or Facebook and share your story!
This research shows how scientific research and the people who directly benefit from it can support each other. Many of our community members with ADHD participated in the experiment. In the name of science, a big thank you to everyone who participated!