New research has shed light on how the drug methylphenidate (the generic name for Ritalin) may affect learning and memory in children with ADHD. The study was conducted by Luis Populin, an associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.
How Much Is Too Much?
The results parallel a 1977 finding that a low dose of the drug boosted cognitive performance of children with ADHD, but a higher dose that reduced their hyperactivity also actually impaired their performance on a memory test.
The study results had another parallel with daily life, Populin says. Drug dosages may be set high enough to reduce the characteristic hyperactivity of ADHD,
but some children say that makes them feel less creative and spontaneous; more like a robot. If learning drops off as it did in our study, that dose may not be best for them.
These findings couldn’t be more important, because according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 5% of American children are currently taking various ADHD medications. That is a large part of our youth whose ability to learn and thus their future could potentially be adversely effected if not dosed correctly.
Fortunately, the amount of neurocognitive therapy an individual with the condition partakes in does not have the same effect and the benefits yielded from its administration are long lasting, even after the treatment stops. All the more reason to do the ‘Extra!’ treatment at the end of your daily treatment in the app ADHD Treatment. If you don’t have it already, you can get it in the App Store for any of your iDevices.
Rajala, A., Henriques, J., & Populin, L. (2012). Dissociative effects of methylphenidate in nonhuman primates: Trade-offs between cognitive and behavioral performance. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(6), 1371-1381.
Gani, C., Birbaumer, N., Strehl, U. (2008) Long term effects after feedback of slow cortical potentials and of theta-beta-amplitudes in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). International Journal of Bioelectromagnetism, 10, (4), 209-232.