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article imageStudy Indicates Ritalin May Have Negative Effect On Young Brain Chemistry

By Pamela Jean     Jul 18, 2007 in Health
Between 2 to 18 percent of US children are believed to suffer from ADHD. Ritalin remains the most widely prescribed medication for this illness. Results from the first study ever done to determine effects on brain chemistry have been released.
U.S. medical researchers have just completed the first study on Ritalin's effect on brain chemistry. The results indicate that use of the drug for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be carefully considered, as it causes changes in pediatric brain chemistry.
Studies were conducted on rats and indicate that certain areas of the brain are changed.
"The changes we saw in the brains of treated rats occurred in areas strongly linked to higher executive functioning, addiction and appetite, social relationships and stress, said Professor Teresa Milner, the study's lead author. "These alterations gradually disappeared over time once the rats no longer received the drug."
Doctors are cautioned to be careful not to prescribe the medication to children that are not suffering from ADHD, as it would be harmful to those that, in actuality, have healthy brain chemistry.
Ritalin is a stimulate, much like amphetamines and cocaine, and is one of the most widely prescribed drugs used for the treatment of ADHD.
Well, this report really angered me. First of all, how could it be possible, that after all of the years this drug has been in circulation, medical researchers are just now getting around to studying it's effects on brain chemistry??
I know of many teens that have taken this drug simply for it's side effects - weight loss and a "high" similar to that of speed or coke.
Now we discover that people using this drug that do not suffer from ADHD are likely to suffer brain damage.
How wrong is that!?
More about Ritalin, Pediatrics, Adhd