Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 3, Fall 2005 (
THE USE OF PSYCHOSTIMULANTS
IN PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL
Patricia Karen Abanilla, M.D., Greg A. Hannahs, M.D.,
Robyn Wechsler, M.D., and Raul R. Silva, M.D.
Many children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) display prob-
lematic behaviors similar to those seen in children with Attention Deﬁcit Hy-
peractivity Disorder (ADHD). This paper will look at the controversy concerning
diagnosing comorbid ADHD in children who meet criteria for PDD and review
the existing literature examining the efﬁcacy of stimulants in these particular
set of behaviors or symptom clusters (hyperactivity, impulsivity and inatten-
tion). The potential drawbacks of using stimulants in a population of children
and adolescents who exhibit symptoms of PDD and ADHD will be discussed.
Finally, this review will also attempt to deﬁne potential areas of future research
to examine the utility of the psychostimulants in children and adolescents with
PDD and symptoms of ADHD.
KEY WORDS: pervasive developmental disorder; mental retardation; attention deﬁcit
hyperactivity disorder; stimulants.
All authors are afﬁliated with the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
New York University School of Medicine.
Address corresponding to Patricia Karen Abanilla, M.D., NYU School of Medicine,
Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 550 First Avenue, NBV 21S6, New York,
NY 10016-9196; e-mail: email@example.com.
2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.