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Use and misuse of ADHD drugs and nootropics among teenagers and toddlers

Human-brain-pillsRital­in may pose brain risks for young peo­ple with­out ADHD, study shows (Fox News):

Smart” drugs, like Rital­in, also known as nootrop­ics, are known to increase a person’s atten­tion span, mem­o­ry and abil­i­ty to stay alert. As a result, they have become increas­ing­ly abused by stu­dents seek­ing an extra edge in their stud­ies. Accord­ing to a report from The Part­ner­ship at Drugfree.org and the MetLife Foun­da­tion, approx­i­mate­ly 1.3 mil­lion Amer­i­can teenag­er report­ed hav­ing mis­used or abused methylphenidate with­out a pre­scrip­tion in the past month.

Now, research is show­ing that methylphenidate may have some hid­den side effects for those tak­ing the drug with­out a pre­scrip­tion – or for those mis­di­ag­nosed with ADHD.…Over the long term, the researchers sus­pect that young peo­ple who abuse methylphenidate could be vul­ner­a­ble to devel­op­ing hyper-focused or rigid behav­ior, dif­fi­cul­ties with mul­ti­task­ing or prob­lems with short-term mem­o­ry – par­tic­u­lar­ly because a person’s pre­frontal cor­tex does not fin­ish ful­ly devel­op­ing until their late 20s or ear­ly 30s.”

Thou­sands of Tod­dlers Are Med­icat­ed for ADHD, Report Finds, Rais­ing Wor­ries (The New York Times):

More than 10,000 Amer­i­can tod­dlers 2 or 3 years old are being med­icat­ed for atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der out­side estab­lished pedi­atric guide­lines, accord­ing to data pre­sent­ed on Fri­day by an offi­cial at the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. The report, which found that tod­dlers cov­ered by Med­ic­aid are par­tic­u­lar­ly prone to be put on med­ica­tion such as Rital­in and Adder­all, is among the first efforts to gauge the diag­no­sis of A.D.H.D. in chil­dren below age 4.”

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Categories: Attention and ADD/ADHD, Cognitive Neuroscience

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