Research published in Neuroscience Applied in October 2022 suggests that microdosing may improve symptoms in adults with ADHD. The study was led by Eline C.H.M.Haijen et al. at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
This study provides the first scientific evidence that microdosing may have therapeutic value in adults diagnosed with ADHD or experiencing severe ADHD complaints.
The researchers offer the following conclusion, “The decrease in ADHD symptoms after MD was in line with earlier findings showing that MD as self-medication used by people diagnosed with ADHD was rated as being more effective than conventional treatments and increasing their quality of life (Hutten et al., 2019a). Also, the findings were in line with anecdotes of individuals who microdosed to self-treat their ADHD (Andersson and Kjellgren, 2019).”
The study involved measuring symptoms of ADHD using the Conner’s Adult ADHD Rating Scale, well-being using the World Health Organisation-Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5), and time perception using an auditory time reproduction task (TRT) on participants at three moments in time: at baseline (before microdosing), after 2 weeks of microdosing, and after 4 weeks of microdosing.
Participants were microdosing on their initiative to relieve symptoms of ADHD. After removing a few data points for various inconsistencies, the study analyzed the results of 233 microdosers.
The study also segmented microdosers into two groups – those who were microdosing alongside the use of traditional pharmaceutical medications for ADHD and those who microdosing without the use of any traditional pharmaceutical medications. It was also investigated if having other diagnoses (comorbidities) alongside ADHD impacted the effect of microdosing.
Study results: decreased symptoms of ADHD, increased wellbeing
Results showed that after 2 and 4 weeks, microdosers in both groups (those microdosing alone and those microdosing while taking medications) showed statistically significant improvements in both scales used to measure ADHD symptoms and well-being. No significant results were seen in measurements of time perception.
Results also suggest that while those microdosing alongside the use of traditional medications had improvements in both a reduction of ADHD symptoms and improved well-being, that it took longer to see the beneficial results than those who were microdosing alone.
Microdosing as an alternative to ADHD medication
Common ADHD treatments in adults mainly include the use of stimulants, such as methylphenidate and amphetamine, and some non-stimulants, such as atomoxetine (Cortese et al., 2018).
Overall, it is determined that these medications can be effective for treating the symptoms of ADHD; however it is common for patients to stop using traditional ADHD medications after several months, many citing that the side-effects of these medications over shadow the benefits. There is also a segment of adults with ADHD who do not experience any beneficial effects of the conventional ADHD medication at all.
The study has limitations including the fact that participants were self-selected and had to source and measure their own microdose; additionally a placebo-control was not utilized. However, results of the study do warrant further research on the potential of microdosing to be a supportive tool for helping adults manage or relieve symptoms of ADHD and suggest that anecdotal reports may be substantiated.
Have you microdosed to support symptoms of ADHD? Your story can be of great value to others. Join our community on Discord or Facebook and share your story!
This study shows how scientific research and the people who directly benefit from it, can support one another. Many of our community members with ADHD have participated in the experiment. In the name of science, a big thanks to everyone who has participated.