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1.  Cogmed Working Memory Training for Youth with ADHD: A closer examination of efficacy utilizing evidence-based criteria 
Objective
The current review applied the evidence-based treatment (EBT) criteria espoused by the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (Silverman & Hinshaw, 2008) to specifically evaluate the short- and longer-term efficacy of Cogmed Working Memory Training (CWMT) as a treatment for youth with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Method
Utilizing a systematic literature search, seven studies that employed the school-age version of CWMT were identified for this review.
Results
The data reviewed herein suggest mixed findings regarding the benefit of CWMT for youth with ADHD. Two randomized controlled studies have demonstrated that CWMT led to improvements in neuropsychological outcomes and parent-rated ADHD symptoms relative to wait-list control and placebo treatment conditions. Another study demonstrated effects of CWMT relative to a placebo condition on an analog observation of behavior during an academic task, although this study did not find an effect of CWMT on parent-rated ADHD. Finally, an additional study utilizing an active comparison control condition did not find incremental benefits of CWMT on parent- or teacher-rated ADHD. Critical issues in interpreting existing studies include lack of alignment between demonstrated outcomes and the hypothesized model of therapeutic benefit of CWMT, issues with equivalence of control conditions, and individual differences that may moderate treatment response.
Conclusions
Collectively, the strengths and limitations of the studies reviewed suggest that CWMT is best defined as a Possibly Efficacious Treatment for youth with ADHD. We suggest future directions for research and conclude with clinical implications of our findings for the treatment of youth with ADHD.
doi:10.1080/15374416.2013.787622
PMCID: PMC3744604  PMID: 23668397
ADHD; Youth; Treatment; Cogmed Working Memory Training; Cognitive Remediation; Working Memory Training
2.  Divalproex Sodium vs Placebo for the Treatment of Irritability in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders 
Neuropsychopharmacology  2009;35(4):990-998.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social and language deficits and by repetitive behaviors and interests. Irritability/aggression is a significant comorbid symptom in this population, which greatly impacts burden of care. This study examined the effect of divalproex sodium for irritability/aggression in children and adolescents with ASD. This was a 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. All efficacy measures were obtained by an independent evaluator blinded to randomization condition and side effects. A total of 55 subjects gavetheir consent and 27 were randomized in a 1 : 1 manner (mean age 9.46±2.46, mean nonverbal IQ 63.3±23.9). Two subjects from the active group and one subject from the placebo group discontinued the study because of either a lack of efficacy or side effects (increased irritability). Primary outcome measures were Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Irritability subscale and Clinical Global Impression-Improvement, which focused on irritability. Overall, 62.5% of divalproex subjects vs 9% of placebo subjects were responders (CGI-irritability OR: 16.7, Fisher's exact p=0.008). A statistically significant improvement was also noted on the ABC-Irritability subscale (p=0.048). There was a trend for responders to have higher valproate blood levels compared with nonresponders. This study suggests the efficacy of divalproex for the treatment of irritability in children and adolescents with ASD. Larger sample follow-up studies are warranted.
doi:10.1038/npp.2009.202
PMCID: PMC2846602  PMID: 20010551
ASD; irritability; divalproex; children; adolescents; Development/Developmental Disorders; Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Psychopharmacology; Clinical Pharmacology/Trials; autism; adolescents; children; EEG; divalproex
3.  DIVALPROEX SODIUM VS. PLACEBO FOR THE TREATMENT OF IRRITABILITY IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS 
Objective
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social and language deficits and repetitive behaviors and interests. Irritability/aggression is a significant co-morbid symptom in this population, which greatly impacts burden of care. This study examined the effect of divalproex sodium for irritability / aggression in children and adolescents with ASD.
Methods
This was a 12 week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. All efficacy measures were obtained by an independent evaluator blinded to randomization condition and side effects. Fifty five subjects signed consent and 27 were randomized in a 1:1 fashion (mean age 9.46±2.46, mean non verbal IQ 63.3±23.9). Two subjects from the active group and one subject from the placebo group discontinued the study due to either lack of efficacy or side effects (increased irritability).
Results
The primary outcome measures were Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Irritability subscale and Clinical Global Impression-Improvement, focused on irritability. 62.5% of divalproex subjects vs. 9% of placebo subjects were responders (CGI-irritability OR:16.7, Fisher’s exact p=0.008). A statistically significant improvement was also noted on the ABC-Irritability subscale (p=0.048). There was a trend for the responders to have higher valproate blood levels than the non-responders.
Conclusions
This study suggests efficacy of divalproex for the treatment of irritability in children and adolescents with ASD. Larger sample follow-up studies are warranted.
doi:10.1038/npp.2009.202
PMCID: PMC2846602  PMID: 20010551
ASD; irritability; divalproex; children; adolescents

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