A major review of the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will be carried out, the government has announced.
It follows a call from Baroness Greenfield, a neurologist, for ministers to look at the causes of ADHD in the light of research from the University at Buffalo.
The study, reported on nursinginpractice.com, suggested the prescription drug Ritalin is not effective at treating the condition in the long term.
She said: "Given the more than three-fold increase in prescriptions in drugs over the last 10 years, might it not be valuable to explore the concomitant possible changes over the last 10 years in environment, dietary and social factors?"
In response, government spokeswoman Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, said: "It is not clear whether the percentage of children with ADHD has increased in recent years or whether this reflects greater awareness of the condition.
"But I certainly think the suggestion that there should be a wide-ranging review is interesting, although of course it would go far wider than the Department of Health. It would have to be a cross-government initiative.
"I would therefore have to take it back to my colleagues who I am sure will discuss the suggestion with you. But I can assure you we will pursue your suggestion."