To examine the evidence for efficacy of phosphatidylserine for symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
Medline, Cochrane Library, and ClinicalTrials.gov were searched from inception through August 2020. Studies of any design that assessed phosphatidylserine supplementation for children aged <=18 years with a diagnosis of ADHD were included in the systematic review; only randomized clinical trials were included in the meta-analysis. Standardized mean differences and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated, and the heterogeneity of the studies was estimated using I<sup>2</sup>. The overall quality of the evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation tool.
Four studies met the inclusion criteria for the narrative review (n = 344) and three for the meta-analysis (n = 216). Results of the meta-analysis showed a statistically significant effect of 200-300 mg/day of phosphatidylserine on symptoms of inattention relative to placebo (effect size [ES] 0.36; 95% CI: 0.07 to 0.64; p = 0.01). The effects of phosphatidylserine on overall symptoms of ADHD (ES 0.76; 95% CI: -0.07 to 1.60; p = 0.07) and hyperactivity-impulsivity (ES 0.24; 95% CI: -0.04 to 0.53; p = 0.09) were not statistically significant.
Preliminary evidence suggests that phosphatidylserine may be effective for reducing symptoms of inattention in children with ADHD, although the quality of the evidence is low and additional research in this area is warranted.
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