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Research Article: Attention Deficit Disorder and Allergic Rhinitis: Are They Related? 


Isaac Melamed and Melinda Heffron
IMMUNOe Research Centers , Centennial, CO 80112, USA
Academic Editor: Enrico Maggi
Copyright © 2016 I. Melamed and M. Heffron. T

The association between ADHD and allergy remains controversial. Our previous findings suggest that nerve growth factor may link the nervous and immune systems. The primary objective of this study was to determine if a combination of cetirizine + methylphenidate is effctive in children with comorbid ADHD and allergic rhinitis. We also examined the role of nerve growth factor in these comorbidities. Our randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study enrolled 38 children diagnosed with comorbid ADHD and allergy using cetirizine (= 12), sustained-release methylphenidate (= 12), or cetirizine + methylphenidate (= 14). Endpoints compared baseline to post treatment evaluations for allergic rhinitis and ADHD scores. Serum nerve growth factor levels were measured using ELISA. For allergy endpoints, combination therapy produced results superior to individual therapy. For ADHD, similar scores were achieved for individual therapy; however, combination therapy resulted inimproved scores. Nerve growth factor levels were downregulated following this trend. We conclude that ADHD and allergic rhinitis
may have common mechanism and represent a comorbid condition that links the nervous system to the immune system. Further studies are needed.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  1. Roslyn Steeler M.S.W. December 16, 2016 at 2:23 am — Reply

    Many of my patients with ADHD have allergies so this possible connection is of great interest !

  2. Margaret Utter December 20, 2016 at 7:38 pm — Reply

    Do you have plans to do similar research in adults? My husband has been diagnosed with allergies, ADD, and autoimmune issues.

    • IMMUNOe December 21, 2016 at 10:21 pm — Reply

      Thank you for your comment! We invite you to visit our Allergy and Immunology Clinics, where our Immunologists can help find the underlying triggers for these diagnoses.

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