To clarify the role of oxidative stress and antioxidant activity in ADHD.
We examined the association of ADHD and oxidative stress by applying random effects meta-analysis to studies of oxidative stress and antioxidant status in medication naive patients with ADHD and controls.
Six studies of a total of 231 ADHD patients and 207 controls met our selection criteria. The association between ADHD and antioxidant status was not significant. We found a significant association between ADHD and oxidative stress that could not be accounted for by publication bias. The significant association lost significance after correcting for intrastudy clustering. No one observation accounted for the positive result.
These results are preliminary given the small number of studies. They suggest that patients with ADHD have normal levels of antioxidant production, but that their response to oxidative stress is insufficient, leading to oxidative damage.