Animal study: long-term ritalin doesn't impact growth

Animal study: long-term ritalin doesn't impact growth
Chronic use of methylphenidate (Ritalin) in young monkeys has no significant effect on growth or the dopamine system, or the likelihood of becoming addicted to cocaine, according to a study published online July 18 in Neuropsychopharmacology.

(HealthDay) -- Chronic use of methylphenidate (Ritalin) in young monkeys has no significant effect on growth or the dopamine system, or the likelihood of becoming addicted to cocaine, according to a study published online July 18 in Neuropsychopharmacology.

Kathryn E. Gill, from the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem, N.C., and colleagues treated 16 juvenile male (about 30 months old) daily with placebo or a sustained-release formulation of methylphenidate for a year, followed by a washout period of three to five months. The animals were then given the opportunity to intravenously administer cocaine over several months.

The researchers found that chronic methylphenidate treatment had no effect on weight gain or other measures of growth. Imaging studies showed no difference on the binding availability of D2/D3 receptors and dopamine transporters, although, after washout, D2/D3 receptor availability did not continue to decline at the same rate as controls. Chronic methylphenidate treatment had no effect on the propensity to acquire cocaine, overall response rates, or cocaine intake.

"In an animal model that closely mimics human development, chronic treatment with therapeutic doses of sustained-release methylphenidate did not have a significant influence on the regulation of dopamine transporters or D2/D3 receptors, or on standard measures of growth," Gill and colleagues conclude. "Furthermore, this and subsequent drug washout did not have an impact on vulnerability to ."

One author disclosed to pharmaceutical companies, including UCB Inc., which provided the methylphenidate.

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gene therapy reduces cocaine use in rats

Apr 16, 2008

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have shown that increasing the brain level of receptors for dopamine, a pleasure-related chemical, can reduce use of cocaine by 75 percent in rats ...

Ritalin may cause changes in the brain’s reward areas

Feb 04, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A common treatment for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, prescribed millions of times a year, may change the brain in the same ways that cocaine does, a new study in mice suggests. Research from Rockefeller ...

Attention deficit medication helps drug addicts: study

Jul 26, 2010

The active ingredient in Ritalin, a medication used to control the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, could help boost self-control in cocaine addicts, a study published Monday showed.

Receptor limits the rewarding effects of food and cocaine

Jul 12, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers have long known that dopamine, a brain chemical that plays important roles in the control of normal movement, and in pleasure, reward and motivation, also plays a central role in substance ...

Recommended for you

Mothers don't speak so clearly to their babies

Jan 23, 2015

People have a distinctive way of talking to babies and small children: We speak more slowly, using a sing-song voice, and tend to use cutesy words like "tummy". While we might be inclined to think that we ...

Explainer: What is sexual fluidity?

Jan 23, 2015

Sexual preferences are not set in stone and can change over time, often depending on the immediate situation the individual is in. This has been described as sexual fluidity. For example, if someone identifies as heterosexual but th ...

Lucky charms: When are superstitions used most?

Jan 23, 2015

It might be a lucky pair of socks, or a piece of jewelry; whatever the item, many people turn to a superstition or lucky charm to help achieve a goal. For instance, you used a specific avatar to win a game and now you see ...

Low-income boys fare worse in wealth's shadow

Jan 22, 2015

Low-income boys fare worse, not better, when they grow up alongside more affluent neighbors, according to new findings from Duke University. In fact, the greater the economic gap between the boys and their neighbors, the ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.