The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California. Neurology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from AAN 2018.

LOS ANGELES — Levels of some micronutrients, including magnesium, folate, vitamin B12, zinc, and vitamin D 25-OH, were significantly altered in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to data presented at the annual American Academy of Neurology meeting from April 21-27, 2018, in Los Angeles, California.

“Abnormal micronutrient levels, due to decreased intake or inborn metabolic dysfunction, have been suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis of ADHD,” wrote researchers from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and The College of New Jersey.

To study the levels of micronutrients in children with ADHD, researchers collected micronutrient data from 71 individuals with hyperactive (n=12), inattentive (n=17), and combined (n=42) ADHD. Control data were clinical reference values (mean and standard deviation) from the laboratory. Researchers contrasted data among the ADHD types for each nutrient using one-way analysis of variance. Because there were no differences for any variable, the researchers pooled data among ADHD types and tested the deviation from the reference mean for each variable with one-sample t-tests.

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The average age of the participants was 9.4 (range 4-19) years. Mean values of micronutrients in children with ADHD (vs the control value) were: magnesium 2.11 (2.05) mg/dL, vitamin D 25-OH 28.8 (63) ng/mL, vitamin B12 927.85 (578) pg/mL, folate 15.9 (13.6) ng/mL, and zinc 77.8 (95) μg/dL. In children with ADHD, levels of magnesium (P =.001), folate (P <.001), and vitamin B12 (P <.001) were significantly higher, and levels of zinc (P <.001) and vitamin D 25-OH (P <.001) were significantly lower compared with reference ranges.

“Levels of a number of micronutrients (magnesium, folate, vitamin B12, zinc, and vitamin D 25-OH) were significantly altered in children with ADHD. The ADHD subtype did not significantly influence these abnormalities,” the researchers concluded.

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Gupta S, Pecor K, Agarwal S, Oh D, Kornitzer J. Micronutrient levels in patients with ADHD. Presented at: 2018 AAN Annual Meeting; April 21-27, 2018; Los Angeles, CA. Poster 315.