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April 28, 1989

Attention Disorder in Children: Is the Literature Purged? Was It Ever Tainted?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Conn

Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Conn

JAMA. 1989;261(16):2330-2331. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420160054020

In Reply.—  Dr Knoll asks why the recent reports in JAMA fail to "acknowledge the taint that Breuning's influential work must have brought to the literature in this area?" At the most obvious level, we did not reference Breuning (nor did any of the authors referenced in our editorial) because his reports were not relevant to our discussion. Safer and Krager1 reference only one article referring to stimulant therapy in the mentally retarded (reference 13), and no references to Breuning appeared in this source either.There are several possibilities for the lack of references to Breuning in any of these sources. One possibility, apparent from the tone of Dr Knoll's letter, is that there is some sort of scientific cover-up: investigators either consciously or unconsciously "have cleaned up the literature." A more likely explanation for the absence of any reference to Breuning is that many investigators have no reason