I'm a boyish 42 year old w/ ADHD :). I started a flurry of posts here last month when I wrote about the possible connections between type O and ADHD. You know, I did EVERYTHING wrong until these last few years...subsisting on sugar, dairy, flour, grains w/ little meat,vegetables or exercise. I think the _proper_ blood-type diet (w/ individual modulations for the condition), exercise and supplements can do well for ADHD symptoms. There are many competing opinions and theories about the cause, diagnosis and cure. But the hard science points more and more toward genetics as a root cause for the "real" ADHD (not discounting that allergies, diet, traumas and other things may mimick or complicate the condition & diagnosis).
Speaking for me, the above ER4YT regimens seem to have made a big difference in my overall health and immunity. They also greatly help my overtly hyperactive symptoms (keep those carbs away!). This in itself may be enough for most parents to consider. I could have been spared SO much w/ this knowledge when growing up. But my cognitive abilities and concentration are still not always optimal (maybe from years of "being out of practice"). For this, I have largely foregone my brief trial of stimulant medication (Adderal, BTW, is now overtaking Ritalin as the current drug of choice). I find that "smart" nutrients like Phosphatydl Serine, bacopin (brahmi or gotu kola), huperzine, vinpocetine, tyrosine, B-vitamins, choline, DMAE, likely some of the ER4YT neurological formulas, and others, can very helpful. These strange-sounding names can be researched on the web - just try to cut through all the sales pitch and get to the research when studying them.
Some of the above remedies were effective, but short-lived for me. A number of them were sold, more-or-less, as "drugs" in Europe. They are now sold here as "nutritional supplements" - like Ginkgo Biloba.
Now, (to come out of the closet) - the best of all, for me so far, has been my private use of European "nootropic" pharmaceuticals designed for memory, concentration and learning disabilities. These are often amino-acid or vitamin-like compounds that have been altered or added to, so they most likely could not be sold here as OTC "naturally occuring" nutritional supplements (vinpocetine - a kind of a supercharged ginkgo derived from Periwinkle - was borderline, and got marketed here only after winning a COURT CASE).
The major nootropic is called PIRACETAM. It is available (sometimes over-the-counter) everywhere in the world - except HERE, of course (and Australia). It is widely said to be one of the safest ("like salt"), least toxic drugs ever developed. Nootropics are now being seriously studied here for Downs Syndrome and Alzheimer's. I've read one reference to early Piracetam / ADHD studies that didn't pan out later. Instead, I use, (under a knowledgable physician's guidance, per FDA regulations) the more potent, fat-soluable analogs of Piracetam: ANIRACETAM or PRAMIRACETAM. The results, at least for me, are INFINITELY better than the usual amphetamines-only approach officially recognized here in the US. No side effects, and, by all accounts, much safer and healthier as well. Nootropic drugs can apparently (in lab animals) GROW new neurons and brain connections, prevent damage from sedatives, barbituates, hypnotics, stroke, epilepsy or oxidative and oxygen-starved conditions. One Italian study showed that not only did one such drug NOT cause birth defects when administered to pregnant mice - but that the offspring (who were never directly given the drug after birth) were born "more curious" than the control mice. And they later displayed better memory and learning abilities.
Obviously, I can't recommend this to everyone. The FDA officially doesn't recognize this family of drugs as having any medical use. Even though I read somewhere on the web that FDA officials stated in the past that these drugs ARE safe. And it was even rumored that their LACK of side effects and toxicity made them believe that nootropics could have NO real effect to begin with (you know, "Every effective drug must have side-effects to really work").
There is an innate prejudice in society against any "pill" that could possibly make someone "smarter" (IQ norms can rise 10 points in healthy people using this stuff). It's always been between the conservative "pull your own bootstraps" character-building or the liberal "make society fairer" socializing approach toward improving an individual's situation. But, as the new millenium continues, I think that we will see a THIRD way: more and more conclusive evidence that "we are just born (or, at least, start-out) that way." Just as a blood-type diet is now starting to make some headway in mainstream society. When we understand and accept this, then we can take the proper medical and lifestyle steps to overcome our genetic limitations.
Again - I can't recommend or prescribe nootropics to anyone for any condition. You have to obtain your own medical guidance (I found my doc thru web-referrals). That being said, I just think it may be useful to let any interested party know that there ARE alternatives for some of us out there. I will be happy to share more of my experiences privately with anyone through e-mail.