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Stein Lab
Stein Lab

Current Projects

Treating Parents and Children with ADHD (TPAC)

ADHD often runs in families. The TPAC study focuses on parents with ADHD who also have a child with the disorder, aiming to open the door to new ADHD treatments for adults and children. All parents in the study receive training that uses behavior modification techniques and reward-based interventions to improve communication, increase compliance and reduce negative interactions between parents and children. This training is offered in nine sessions via telehealth. Some parents in the study will also receive medication for ADHD.

This ADHD study aims to understand if treating the parent with medicine and/or parent training could reduce the need for medicine in young children, especially because children under six generally don’t respond well to medication. The theory with this approach is that parents with ADHD are more prone to being distracted and disorganized, and they are much less likely to receive treatment than children. If we can first help parents with ADHD, they may be more successful in implementing behavioral training to help their child.

Because a lot of ADHD research is conducted in white, middle-class families, our lab has added an additional piece to this study, focused on better serving under-resourced families. These families cover a broader range of ethnic groups and a larger geographic area. This research aims to reduce barriers to diagnosis and treatment, and include a wider range of participants in clinical trials. The goal of this work is to collect more data about how to best serve these groups and ultimately improve treatment and care in more diverse communities.

TPAC is a hybrid implementation study, meaning that it evaluates how well the treatment works and the impact on the region and providers. Twice a year, we have a focus group with pediatricians, social workers and parents that have been through this study to evaluate results. This collaborative approach aims to build a model for more multidisciplinary care and ultimately improve ADHD care across our state and beyond.

Interested in hearing more about this study? Please contact us at tpac@seattlechildrens.org.

Trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) for ADHD

TNS uses a device to send currents into the brain and stimulate the trigeminal nerve. This method has proven effective to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders. The research team is working to understand if this approach could help improve executive function and reduce symptoms of ADHD.

Previous studies have shown that this is effective for about half of people with ADHD. Our research team is working to better understand for whom this therapy might be most effective and if this could be a viable new treatment for ADHD.

Please contact us at tnsstudy@seattlechildrens.org.

A girl stares at the end of her pencil.

Polygenic Risk of ADHD Treatment (PRAT)

The PRAT study is taking a deeper look at several genes associated with ADHD and other psychological and medical disorders. The goal of this study is to understand if certain combinations of genes impact how well you respond to ADHD treatments.

The research team will examine DNA, symptoms, history of disease and level of impairment before starting a new treatment. Then, they’ll measure these metrics again six months later. They will also examine people who have had a poor response to treatment in the past. This will help researchers understand how genetics may impact how well you respond to treatment for ADHD and which treatments might work best for people with certain genetics.

Interested in hearing more about this study? Please contact us at steinresearchteam@seattlechildrens.org.

CES1 ADHD study

CES1 is an enzyme that helps metabolize methylphenidate, a common medicine used to treat ADHD in children. The Stein Lab is investigating how the gene that codes for CES1 impacts how people will respond to this medicine over time. The research team is examining whether people who have polymorphisms (two or more variations) in the gene that codes for CES1 might benefit from different dosing or experience different side effects from this common ADHD medication. This could ultimately shed light on if and how a person’s genetic profile impacts their response to treatment.

Interested in hearing more about this study? Please contact us at steinresearchteam@seattlechildrens.org.

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