Attention Deficit Drugs May Have Long-Term Effects
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Drugs given to children to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could have long-term effects on their growing brains, studies on rats suggest.
Several studies published on Monday show that rats given a popular ADHD drug were less likely to want to use cocaine later in life, but also often acted clinically depressed and behaved differently from rats give dummy injections.
While rats are different from humans, the studies suggest that doctors should watch children for long-term effects, too.
In the United States between 3 percent and 5 percent of children are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, marked by reduced ability to concentrate, difficulty in organizing and impulsive behavior.