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Ritalin May Change Brain in Long Term

November 12, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

The stimulant Ritalin, a drug used to help children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, may cause long-term changes in the brain, researchers reported.

The changes look similar to those seen with other stimulants such as amphetamine and cocaine, at least in rats, the team at the University at Buffalo in New York found.

"Clinicians consider Ritalin to be short-acting," Joan S. Baizer, a professor of physiology and biophysics who led the study, said in a statement.

"Our research . . . suggests that it has the potential for causing long-lasting changes in brain cell structure and function."

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