By Elias Marat As attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) continues to remain an extremely common diagnosis for children in the United States, researchers are warning doctors to hold off on issuing popular ADHD drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta unless absolutely necessary.
The warnings come as scans of children who take such drugs as methylphenidate (MPH), commonly known as Ritalin, show that they have a major effect on the development of white matter in the brains of children, impairing their ability to learn and coordinate communication between regions of the brain.
These drastic effects are completely absent when adults take methylphenidate, showing no such structural changes to the brain, according to a new study published in the scientific journal Radiology.
In the study, scientists from the University of Amsterdam analyzed MTH’s impact on children’s white matter development by gathering 50 boys and 49 adult males who were all diagnosed with ADHD. None of the participants had previously taken the drug before the study, making the study the first of its kind to look at how the drug alters brain development. Read more