An animal study recently published in the Journal of Neural Transmission revealed that nonprescription use of the stimulant drug #Ritalin, a common treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (#ADHD), was associated with increased risk-taking behaviors, sleep disruption, and other unpleasant side effects. As part of the study, a team of researchers at the #UniversityatBuffalo Research Institute on Addictions examined how the Ritalin affected the brain chemistry in rats that were given regular doses of the drug. The animal models received the doses during a period that would be equivalent to adolescence in humans, where crucial brain growth and development take place. “We saw changes in the brain chemistry in ways that are known to have an impact on the reward pathway, locomotor activity, and other behaviors, as well as effects on body weight. These changes in brain chemistry were associated with serious concerns such as risk-taking behaviors, disruptions in the sleep/wake cycle and problematic weight loss, as well as resulting in increased activity and anti-anxiety and antidepressive effects…Understanding more about the effects of methylphenidate is also important as people with ADHD show greater risk to be diagnosed with a drug dependency problem. In addition, this study highlights the potential long-range risks college students take in using Ritalin for a quick study boost,” senior researcher Panayotis (Peter) Thanos said in ScienceDaily.com.
According to the study, female rats were more susceptible to these behavioral effects compared with male rats. Thanos hopes that determining Ritalin’s effect on people without ADHD may provide better insight on how it interacts with the brain and behavior, which in turn may help researchers gauge the drug’s impact in young people. 🖐🏾More in comments👇🏾