The most common mental condition in children with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is attention deficit and/or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which commonly continues into adulthood. Although stimulant medication has been shown to be extremely helpful in idiopathic ADHD, data in 22q11DS was limited. Previous research demonstrated the safety and efficacy of methylphenidate (MPH) on core ADHD symptoms as well as improvement in related cognitive impairments. However, just a few cognitive domains had been investigated.
A clinical investigation including 23 people with 22q11DS and attention issues, aged 8–24, was conducted to determine the effects of MPH on clinical symptoms, cognition, and daily-life behavior. In a within-subject approach, the effects of therapy were evaluated with and without medication. The experiment comprised both newcomers to the molecule and long-term users.
Treatment benefit was indicated by a reduction in core ADHD symptoms, notably inattention symptoms, as well as improvements in cognitive assessments of attention and inhibition. Other executive skills (such as cognitive flexibility, working memory, initiation), learning, and memory, on the other hand, showed no significant change. Furthermore, no substantial increase in ecological measures of daily-life executive functioning was seen, which might be attributed to the short treatment duration. Researchers confirmed safety, and while it was quite common, side effects were modest and comparable to earlier findings.
The study added to the understanding of the effects of MPH in patients with 22q11DS. Treatment was shown to be successful in treating core ADHD symptoms as well as cognitive assessments of attention and inhibition.