Study in young male prisoners suggest that aggression can be reduced by treating ADHD

Study in young male prisoners suggest that aggression can be reduced by treating ADHD

By: Evelin

9. Oct 2014

At an international meeting held by the Aggressotype Consortium in Mainz, Germany, researchers from King’s College and Imperial College London presented initial results of an ongoing study in young male imprisoned offenders, showing that treating ADHD in affected individuals drastically reduced aggressive incidents in the prison. Since 20% of the prisoners investigated in this study were diagnosed with ADHD, a number also supported by recent meta-analyses, this potentially represents a major advance in the management and rehabilitation of offenders. The researchers therefore call for broader studies into the potential benefits of a cost-effective social and healthcare infrastructure for the treatment of offenders with ADHD.

The Aggressotype Consortium, which studies the biology of aggression problems linked to the psychiatric disorder ADHD and the often co-occurring conduct disorder, held its yearly meeting from September 29 to October 1 in Mainz, Germany. Aggressotype is a large international consortium funded by the European Union consisting of 18 academic and 6 commercial partners. Aggressotype researchers aim to unravel the biological causes and mechanisms underlying aggression, but also investigate how aggression can best be prevented and treated. In their stimulating 3-day meeting, the 60 researchers discussed the progress made during a successful first year of their 5-year project, with issues presented covering a wide range of disciplines. A particular highlight was also the contribution of a representative of the European ADHD patient organization ADHD-Europe, who put out a plea for accurate communication by researchers in both scientific and popular press to avoid stigmatization of whole patient groups.

The filming of a video explaining the research aims and approaches of the Aggressotype Consortium to the general public was an additional item on the agenda for this meeting, which will be placed on the website of the consortium (

From the University of Tartu, Prof./Dr. Jaanus Harro ( and several investigators of his group are members of the Aggressotype Consortium.