Keith McBurnett, a scientist, said, “We haven’t even agreed on the symptom list” for sluggish
cognitive tempo. Credit Jason Henry for The New York Times
The New York Times APRIL 11, 2014
By ALAN SCHWARZ
Is Sluggish Cognitive Tempo a new disorder, part of ADHD or a normal variation?
The Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology recently devoted a whole issue to research involving Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT). This condition, initially described in the 1980’s, is said to be characterized by lethargy, daydreaming and slow mental processing, involving two million children. Opinions vary as to its existence. Dr. McBurnett’s study, sponsored by Eli Lilly concluded, “This (Strattera) is the first study to report significant effects of any medication on S.C.T.
According to Dr. Harold Levinson, SCT may be of unique origin or merely an atypical subset of ADHD, Inattentive Type. “Ive seen these symptoms in some of my patients with ADHD. And most responded well to stimulants and other meds. And although SCT “was reported to respond favorably to Strattera, I’ve seldom seen improvements to this drug for these symptoms or those of ADHD.” Since Levinson has always considered the diagnostic criteria for ADHD as too severe, mistakingly ignoring milder cases and even atypical variants, it seemed likely that SCT may be either a subset of ADHD or even unique comobid impairment stemming from similar mechanisms coexisting in other disorders, eg. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hypothyroidism, etc.
About Harold Levinson, M.D.
Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in Long Island, New York. He is a well-known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author. For more information, call 1(800)334-7323 or visit http://www.dyslexiaonline.com.