Navigation Links
Mouse Study Suggests ADHD Drug Might Be Addictive
Date:2/3/2009

But expert says finding doesn't apply to patients because doses used were so high

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Ritalin, a drug commonly used to treat children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), caused changes in the brain cells of mice similar to those seen with cocaine, a new study shows.

The researchers, from The Rockefeller University in New York City, said the findings suggest that chronic exposure to Ritalin in high doses could prove addictive, and highlight the need for more research into its long-term effects.

However, one ADHD expert said he doubted the findings were applicable to children with the condition because the doses used in the study were so high.

Indeed, in experiments with mice, the researchers found that Ritalin in doses higher than those prescribed to treat ADHD caused changes in the reward region of the brain in a way comparable to cocaine. Ritalin and cocaine are both psycho-stimulants, the researchers noted.

"Methylphenidate [Ritalin] and cocaine have similar chemical structures and their pharmacological effects appear to be similar," said study author Yong Kim, a senior research associate at The Rockefeller University.

The findings were published in this week's online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In their experiments, Kim and his colleagues compared the effects of chronic exposure to Ritalin and cocaine in specific reward-related brain regions of mice.

Over two weeks, mice were given daily injections of Ritalin or cocaine. The researchers looked for changes in dendritic spine formation, which is related to the formation of synapses and communication between nerve cells. They also looked for levels of a protein, delta Fos B, which is associated with long-term actions of addictive drugs.

"The results indicate that chronic exposure of methylphenidate, like cocaine, changes neuronal morphology and brain chemistry, but the precise pattern observed is distinct from that of cocaine," Kim said.

The changes in brain chemistry are known to be associated with the process of drug addiction, Kim added.

"Our results show addictive properties of methylphenidate, and imply that chronic exposure of methylphenidate in humans may lead to addiction," he said.

Kim noted that the researchers used higher doses of Ritalin than those prescribed to people. Also, taking the drug orally may not lead to addiction. But, if it's taken in high doses or injected, Ritalin could become addictive, he said.

"Indeed, methylphenidate is widely abused for improving concentration and enhancing performance, or for recreational purposes," Kim said.

But Dr. Jon A. Shaw, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Miami School of Medicine, thinks there's a greater risk of later substance abuse among children with ADHD who aren't treated with Ritalin.

"There is a lot of evidence that the use of Ritalin decreases the risk of substance abuse and cocaine use in adult life," Shaw said. "Untreated ADHD subjects are at higher risk for substance abuse and misuse of drugs in adulthood than treated ADHD [subjects]," he noted.

Shaw also noted that the mice in the study were given high doses of Ritalin. "Generalizing these findings to adults makes no sense," he said.

Shaw said he has seen only two cases of addiction to Ritalin. In both, the patients were taking higher-than-normal doses and taking them more often than prescribed.

A study published in March 2008 in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that children who are prescribed psycho-stimulants for ADHD are no more likely than their peers to abuse drugs and alcohol as young adults.

More information

For more on Ritalin, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Yong Kim, Ph.D., senior research associate, The Rockefeller University, New York City; Jon A. Shaw, M.D., professor and director, child and adolescent psychiatry, University of Miami School of Medicine; Feb. 2-6, 2009, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Living with females extends the reproductive life of the male mouse, says Penn veterinary researcher
2. Cosmetic Surgery -Goldilocks Anesthesia Is Not Mickey Mouse
3. Common anesthetic induces Alzheimers-associated changes in mouse brains
4. Mouse model highlights histone methylation as distinguishing feature for leukemia subtypes
5. Mutant Mouse Gene Offers Clues to Hearing Loss
6. Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
7. Tumor suppressor genes speed up and slow down aging in engineered mouse
8. Mouse Skin Cells Reprogrammed to Act Like Embryonic Stem Cells
9. Mouse Adult Stem Cells Developed into Heart and Blood Cells
10. Mature Mouse Cells Reprogrammed to Stem Cell-Like State
11. Boston College biologists build a better mouse model for cancer research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health and Nutrition Company, is announcing ... full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing CBD market by reducing the ... incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end users. , The team of ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for a family ... for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , “What this ... often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell Vieira, owner ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and ... explains one of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, ... puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian ... On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers ... a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... to meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s ... experts and tested to meet the highest standard. , These products are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... Sept. 22, 2017 AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced ... now successfully helping those with the widespread pain associated ... diagnosed Amanda in Essex, England ... my hair, experiencing no sleep at all, tremendous pain, ... I cannot recommend [the AVACEN 100] enough, how this ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Ky. , Sept. 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ... predictive analytics, today announced that it has been ranked #1 ... Black Book™ Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was ... solution for large hospitals and medical centers over 200 beds ... Black Book,s healthcare technology user survey history. ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Sept. 18, 2017 EpiVax, ... of bioinformatics and immune engineering, today announced ... influenza A (H7N9) vaccine. ... to seasonal influenza and presents a challenge ... prior exposure to be effective. Using state-of-the-art ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: