ADHD Drugs - Alter Kid's Brains - To Be Used As Last Resort Only

You read that right. Scientists now know ADHD drugs alter children’s brains in significant ways.

Scientists have discovered that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs alter the structure of children’s brains. This finding is important enough for warnings to be issued to doctors against prescribing such medications unless strictly necessary.

Scientists scanned the brains of 50 children using an MRI. None of the children had previously taken Ritalin, but all were taking Ritalin (methylphenidate) at the time of the study. The scientists discovered changes in the distribution of the children’s white brain matter. That structure is important for learning and communications within the brain.

What is also alarming is the changes were apparent in children after only four months of taking the drug.

The long-term effects of ingesting Ritalin are unknown. With such profound changes over such a short time, the study’s authors are concerned about long-term exposure. They further warned the drug should only be given to children significantly affected by ADHD.

Ritalin is a heavily prescribed medication around the world. By some estimates, between 1-2% of children in developed nations are prescribed the drug. This statistic does not account for the growing concern for Ritalin abuse, both as a street drug and among various populations such as university students who use it to improve concentration. 

This study sounds the alarm. Many children and adolescents may be exposed to an unnecessary high risk of permanently damaging their brains.

Given the over-prescribing of drugs such as Ritalin, parents should seriously consider other less invasive manners of treating ADHD. It starts with an understanding of each individual and what may be within their normal limits.