Because children and teens, who are developing social, emotional and learning skills, can suffer devastating effects from GAD, appropriate and effective counseling and medical treatment of the illness is essential, says co-author Arifulla Khan, M.D., medical director of the Northwest Clinical Research Center (NWCRC) in Bellevue, WA and adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine. It is welcome news that our study revealed that one medication, venlafaxine, which is effective in helping adults with depression and GAD achieve remission -- virtual elimination -- of symptoms, also is significantly effective in reducing the symptoms of GAD in children and teens.
About 2.8 percent of U.S. adults and five percent of U.S. children suffer from GAD, excessive anxiety and worry that are difficult to control. These are the children who miss school because of headaches, stomachaches, vomiting, etc. Further, they are constantly going to see the school nurse, cannot function well in school, are shy, and withdrawn. GAD differs from normal feelings of nervousness because the symptoms are chronic and include alarming reactions that can occur for no apparent reason. If left untreated, children with GAD may have social difficulties, school problems, low self-esteem and increased risk for other serious conditions including substance abuse, depression, and suicide.
In the study of children and adolescents aged six to 17 years with GAD, the venlafaxine extended release formulation produced a significant decrease in GAD symptoms, averaging 18.6 points, on a standard GAD measurement scale, compared to an average 12.4 point decrease among th
Contact: Arif Khan, MD