FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:
Previous studies - including randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials - have shown that various dietary interventions can help to reduce symptoms in children with ADHD, and among these, the use of a 'few foods' diet is one of the most well-supported by clinical trial evidence
This study used brain imaging in addition to standard ADHD symptom ratings to investigate possible mechanisms underlying any behavioural changes associated with a few-foods diet.
Following this diet led to reduced ADHD symptoms in more than 60% of the children studied.
No correlation was found between reductions in ADHD symptom ratings and specific brain regions known to be involved in the attentional task the children performed during brain imaging.
However, ADHD symptom improvements were significantly linked with activation of a brain region called the precuneus - an assocation area that integrates sensory and other information from multiple brain areas, and is implicated in visuopatial attention, cognition and memory.
This brain area is thought to be involved in the inhibition of inappropriate responses, and also to play a central role in the so-called 'default mode network' (i.e. the network of brain regions that remains activated when someone is conscious but resting, and is not deliberately engaged in any sensory or motor activity).
It is therefore at least plausible that increased activation of this brain region could help to explain a reduction in ADHD symptoms of inattention, impulsivity or hyperactivity.
More importantly, however, this study once again shows that for many children with ADHD, a 'few foods' diet can lead to improvements in attention and behaviour.
For news articles reporting on this study please see: