Visual fields in children with attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder before and after treatment with stimulants

Acta Ophthalmol. 2008 May;86(3):259-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2008.01189.x.


Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate visual function in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to correlate these data with the morphology of the optic nerve, and to find out if and how psychostimulant medication affects visual functions.

Methods: The visual acuity (VA) and visual fields (VFs) of 18 children with ADHD (two girls and 16 boys), aged 6-17 years, were examined before and after treatment with psychostimulants. A control group, consisting of 24 children (nine girls and 15 boys), aged 7-18 years, were examined twice to evaluate the repeatability of the tests and the learning effect. Fundus photographs were analysed by digital planimetry.

Results: Visual acuity increased significantly (p = 0.0039) in the ADHD group after treatment. The difference between the two VF examinations was significantly larger in the ADHD group compared with the control group (p = 0.036). Significantly more ADHD subjects had subnormal VF results without stimulants, compared with controls (p = 0.0043), but with stimulants the difference was no longer significant.

Conclusions: Children with ADHD showed better VA and VF results with than without psychostimulant medication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Optic Nerve / pathology
  • Photography
  • Refraction, Ocular
  • Visual Acuity / drug effects
  • Visual Fields / drug effects*


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants