Navigation Links
Research Shows How Ritalin Affects Brains of Kids With ADHD
Date:5/31/2013

By Barbara Bronson Gray
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Ritalin activates specific areas of the brain in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mimicking the brain activity of children without the condition, a new review says.

"This suggests that Ritalin does bring the brain [of a child with ADHD] back to the brain the typically developing kid has," said study author Constance Moore, associate director of the translational center for comparative neuroimaging at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Analyzing data from earlier studies that looked at how children's brains were affected by doing certain tasks that are sometimes challenging for kids with ADHD, the researchers found that Ritalin (methylphenidate) was having a visible impact on three areas of the brain known to be associated with ADHD: the cortex, the cerebellum and the basal ganglia.

The study could be helpful in diagnosing and treating children with ADHD, Moore said. "It may be helpful to know that in certain children, Ritalin is having a physiological effect in the areas of the brain involved with attention and impulse control," she said.

The research was published recently in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry.

Nine studies analyzed by the researchers used functional MRI to evaluate brain changes after children had taken a single dose of Ritalin. The children were involved in different types of tasks that tested their ability to focus and inhibit an impulse to act.

For example, to observe the brain's reaction during a test of what is called "inhibitory control," a child was told that every time he saw a zero show up on a screen, he should push the button on the right; every time he saw an X appear, he should push the left button. The children would then be asked to flip their responses, pushing the left button when they saw a zero.

"That's hard to do," Moore said, "because you've developed the habit [of pushing the other button], so you have to suppress your impulse. If you do 20 zeros and keep pressing and then you see an X, most kids with ADHD will hit the wrong button."

In three out of five of the inhibitory control studies, Ritalin at least partially normalized brain activation in ADHD children.

To note how the brain reacted to a selective attention test, Moore said, children would first be asked, for example, what word they were seeing. The word would be "red," and the color of the type also would be red. Then they would be shown the word "red," but the color of the type would be green. In several studies, Ritalin affected activation in the frontal lobes during such inhibitory control tasks.

Most of the studies included in the review were performed in the United States or the United Kingdom. The majority of participants were adolescent boys, and all studies compared their results to healthy children of the same approximate age.

Because none of the studies looked at the correlation between ADHD symptoms and whether the child was taking Ritalin, there is no way to link the changes in brain activation with clinical improvement, Moore said. "It's possible that kids who are not responsive to Ritalin may have brain changes too," she said.

ADHD affects between 3 percent and 7 percent of school-aged children in the United States, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Boys are more likely to have ADHD than girls.

One expert was not surprised by the results.

"The review article shows there is a consensus of well-designed imaging studies showing that [Ritalin] has an impact on the frontal cortex of the brain, where we have long believed these patients have issues," said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, in New Hyde Park. Adesman wondered if Ritalin may play a role in helping the brain mature.

"Their data provides partial support for that," he said. "But if anything, the medicine seems to help the brain look more normal and doesn't seem to do anything bad to it."

More information

Learn more about ADHD from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Constance Moore, Ph.D., associate professor, psychiatry, and associate director, translational center for comparative neuroimaging, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass.; Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; May 9, 2013, Harvard Review of Psychiatry


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. UCLA Brain Injury Research Center gets NCAA funding for research on sports concussions
2. NIH awards $20 million over 5 years to train next generation of global health researchers
3. Researchers develop a new cell and animal model of inflammatory breast cancer
4. Researchers uncover a viable way for colorectal cancer patients to overcome drug resistance
5. Sexually abused boys at risk for more unsafe sex: UBC research
6. Researchers Find Gene Mutations That May Be a Key to Autism
7. LSUHSC research finds HPV-related head & neck cancers rising, highest in middle-aged white men
8. Researchers find evidence of banned antibiotics in poultry products
9. Presidential keynote address and new research highlights from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology meeting
10. Scientific session and new research highlights
11. NJ stroke researchers report advances in spatial neglect research at AAN Conference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Research Shows How Ritalin Affects Brains of Kids With ADHD
(Date:5/27/2016)... , ... May 27, 2016 , ... This campaign aims ... stroke, which we as a society can control and change. , As nearly 795,000 ... every 40 seconds within the United States. Plus, with an estimated 129,000 of these ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and ... interest stories, courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It ... leading advocates and associations—namely Jones & Bartlett Learning. , Jones & Bartlett Learning ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Despite last week’s media reports ... Yellen and company to wait until March 2017 for an interest rate increase, according ... Robinson College of Business. , “The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... St. Louis, Missouri (PRWEB) , ... May 26, ... ... optimal cost, quality and clinical outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural ... with a focus on their mission of elevating the operational health of America’s ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... The Woodlands at John Knox Village , Florida’s first Life Plan ... and healing, celebrated its grand opening, today. The Woodlands at John Knox Village is ... Staff. , “This is an incredibly fulfilling time for John Knox Village as we ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016 Niederländische Chirurgen haben ... es Ärzten erlaubt, ihre Expertise weltweit zu teilen ... Live Streaming mit einer Instant-Messaging-Funktion und der Möglichkeit, ... in Europa, Afrika, Asien und den ... Plattform registriert. Information und Weiterbildung   ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016  Diana Russell suffers from a ... from the inside out.  This disease has put her ... her children and grandchildren to leave her home.  Because ... family cannot haul the wheelchair.  So if there is ... and Diana is left to wait for the bus. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)...  Joe Marziani has joined VMS BioMarketing as senior vice president of sales, announced ... new role, Marziani will lead the company,s business development and sales team, exploring new ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160523/371089 ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: