I recently was asked by a reader if I had any knowledge or experience with Synaptol an ADHD Homeopathy remedy. She wrote that her sister had used in for a while for her nephew with ADHD and it worked for several weeks and then stopped working. She specifically wanted to know of any Research Studies that had been performed on Synaptol.
Synaptol ADHD Homeopathy Remedy
Synaptol contains a microscopic amount of many 'tropical' and sub-tropical natural ingredients. They are listed below:
Acconitum Ferox, Adrenalium, Apis Mellifica, Argentum nitricum, Avena sativa, Baptisia tinctoria, Cochlearia armoracia, Phosphorus, Medorrhinum, Sumbulus moschatus, Scutellaria laterifolia, Viola odorata, Litsea cubeba, Aesculus hippocastanum, Madia elegans, Mentha piperita, Myosotis sylvatica, Ranunculus occidentalis and Scleranthus annuus.
These ingredients are supposed to cure hyperactivity, concentration problems, attention problems and all the other problems seen in every kind of ADHD.
Homeopathy for ADHD
I have written at length about Homeopathy for ADHD and I will not repeat what I have written before but in short the way it Homeopathy works is this way. A Homeopathic physician evaluates every single patient and determines the exact combination of natural medicine that will help the individual. No two individuals are alike so no two individuals will require the exact same medicines. The formula that will work for ADHD will be different not only for every type of ADHD but for every individual.
Synaptol Research Studies
I did not find any research studies performed specifically on Synaptol. The research studies performed on Homeopathic remedies for ADHD have shown that they help some if the medicine is especially tailored to the patient. The only Homeopathy studies that have shown any benefit are those that have first proven that the patient will respond to the medicine that was made 'just for them'. If you only include patients in your study that have said that they respond to your medicine then you will always get positive results because you only started your study with people who responded positively.
Think of it this way. Let's say I wanted to know if the "Abracadabra" drug caused people to break out in hives. I first gave the drug to 500 people and found that 50 of them broke out in hives when they took the drug. I then only included the people in my study that had broken out in hives when I gave them the "Abracadabra" drug.
These 50 people were then re given the drug. When they broke out in hives I concluded that without a doubt the "Abracadabra" drug caused people to break out in hives. You can see how my study design was flawed from the get go. This is the way that these homeopathy studies are done. If the child has a positive response, they get included in the study and then the researchers evaluate how much better they get over a longer period of time.
Maybe this is not a totally flawed method but I feel that it is far from an ideal way of evaluating a treatment measure.
Homeopathy for ADHD has not been shown to be helpful in any well done clinical trial. There are no Synaptol Research studies and according to the laws of Homeopathy, Synaptol should not work for everyone because the formula that might work for me will not work for everyone.
ADHD Placebo Effect
Fifty percent of people with ADHD will respond to a placebo. This is heartening. It means that we could give our kids a Smarty and they would get somewhat better. This is not only true for ADHD; it is true for many medical conditions as pointed out in this excellent Wired magazine report. I have written about ADHD and the placebo effect as well.
The best then that I can report on Synaptol for ADHD is that patients may receive some benefit from it because of the placebo effect or they may receive some effect because the combination of homeopathy ADHD remedies works for them but the likelihood that Synaptol helps everyone with ADHD appears to be slim to none.