About Dr Alison Poulton

I am a general and behavioural paediatrician and my research perspective is that of an experienced clinician. I have been treating children with ADHD since 1996.

I completed my MD with Cambridge University in 2011. This was based on research into the collateral effects of stimulant medication on children’s height, weight and body composition. With the recognition of behavioural similarities between obesity and ADHD in the areas of motivation and impulse control. I am now applying my experience in the use of stimulant medication to the treatment of obesity. I have been employed as a Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics at Sydney Medical School Nepean since 2007. I have four children.

Research Area 1 - Treatment of obesity
Obesity is a major problem for our local population in Penrith. Access to treatment is limited due to lack of resources within the public sector. We are working on developing a 6 month treatment programme for establishing lifestyle changes promoting weight control for adults with obesity, based on combining behavioural intervention with dexamphetamine.

Treatment of obesity:

  • RCT comparing dexamphetamine with placebo
  • Developing a behavioural programme for use with dexamphetamine to increase response rate
  • Baseline predictors of treatment success in terms of long-term weight control, including previous history of attempts to lose weight, behavioural characteristics, features of ADHD, genetic predictors
  • Establishing objective indicators that can be used to guide dose titration for an appropriate therapeutic dose
  • Monitoring for medical/health benefits to treatment and treatment side effects during and after the treatment phase

Research Area 2 - Cohort study of teenagers with ADHD.
There is a lack of detailed information regarding the long term outcomes of Australian teenagers with a diagnosis of ADHD as they progress into adult life. We plan to recruit and monitor a cohort of teenagers aged 14-16, focusing on the research areas listed below.

Teenagers with ADHD
  • Current mental and physical health, including social and academic functioning, interests, co-morbid diagnoses, growth and physical development
  • Background including family history, presentation with ADHD and treatment history, reasons influencing decisions relating to starting pharmacological treatment
  • Predictors of social dysfunction in adult life
  • Recruitment for a longitudinal study through late adolescence and into adulthood, looking at social functioning including substance abuse, ongoing or cessation of pharmacological treatment, treatment side effects into adult life, ongoing mental health and co-morbidities, predictors for the development of obesity and social dysfunction

Selected publications

For a full list of Dr Poulton's publications please her her Sydney Medical School Academic Profile, link here