Myth: Ritalin has no long-term effects on brain functioning among individuals living with ADHD.
Truth: This is false.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been characterized by restlessness and difficulty with attention and control. The main pharmaceutical to manage ADHD-related symptoms is Ritalin.
A study published in NeuroImage Clinical divided 44 individuals with ADHD into three groups: a stimulant-treated group, late stimulant-treated group, and a stimulant-free group. They found at baseline, before a prescription of Ritalin, the early stimulant-treated group had lower GABA levels in their prefrontal cortex. This suggests that stimulant use for long-term may impact the brain’s chemistry into adulthood.
To read more about Ritalin’s effects on a child’s brain, click here.
- Solleveld MM, Schrantee A, Puts NAJ, Reneman L, Lucassen PJ. Age-dependent, lasting effects of methylphenidate on the GABAergic system of ADHD patients. Neuroimage Clin. 2017;15:812-818. Published 2017 Jun 2. doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2017.06.003