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December 1980

In Rebuttal

Author Affiliations

The Hospital for Sick Children 555 University Ave Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1X8 Fairview State Hospital 2501 Harbor Blvd Costa Mesa, CA 92626; University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario Canada

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(12):1124-1125. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130240008003

In her discussion of a recent article by us1 on the effect of food dyes on hyperactive children, Dr Wender raises an interesting point about the performance of our subjects during the day following challenges with placebo. She claims that the differences in performance between the dye and placebo conditions can be accounted for by an "unexpected pattern of response" by the hyperactive group of subjects in the placebo condition, and she recommends that our results be seriously questioned until this unexpected response is explained. In fact, for the procedures used in our study and data analysis, the pattern of performance in the hyperactive group after a placebo challenge is virtually identical to the pattern we reported earlier,2 and it is the pattern of the nonhyperactive (or less hyperactive) group that differs from our previous report. Thus, the opposite of Dr Wender's claim may be true for our data.