16 Stories

Military May Boost Soldier Performance With Brain Stimulation

Seen as safer alternative to prescription drugs

(Newser) - Air crew, drone operators, and other personnel serving in the military's most demanding roles may soon get a non-pharmacological boost: brain stimulation. Devices that use five electrodes to shoot weak currents into very specific targets in the cortex have performed very well in studies investigating performance under pressure, boosting... More »

Audra Didn't Need Meds? Well, My Kid Does

Belinda Luscombe on how helpful ADHD meds have been for her son

(Newser) - As she accepted her record sixth Tony , Audra McDonald thanked her parents "for disobeying the doctors’ orders and not medicating the hyperactive girl." Which didn't sit well with Belinda Luscombe. Luscombe has kids and she hopes they someday thank her, too. "Here’s the thing though.... More »

Rare Ritalin Side Effect: Painful Erections

FDA issues warning about attention-deficit drugs

(Newser) - Labels on Ritalin and other drugs used to treat ADHD will soon have a new warning: Beware long, painful erections. It seems that a chemical in the drugs called methylphenidate is a stimulant that can mess with the body's central nervous system, explains Vocativ.com . It “may in... More »

Diagnosed With ADHD? You May Have Been Sold a Lie

Drug companies target parents through false advertising: report

(Newser) - The diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has itself become hyperactive, with doctors handing out too many pills, ads creating unrealistic expectations, and drug companies downplaying side effects like insomnia and mood swings, the New York Times reports. "The numbers make it look like an epidemic. Well, it's... More »

People With ADHD 4x More Likely to Commit a Crime

But medication drastically reduces risk of criminality: study

(Newser) - Scientists know that people with ADHD are more likely to break the law than non-sufferers, but a new study shows how stark the contrast is—and the difference meds can make. People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are four to seven times more likely to commit a crime than their... More »

For My Hyper 7-Year-Old: Coffee

Like Ritalin with fewer side effects, writes Christie Haskell

(Newser) - What do you do when your kid can’t sit still—but you’re concerned about the side effects of Ritalin? One mom offers an unusual remedy that goes against standard medical advice: Give the youngster coffee, she writes at the Stir blog at Cafe Mom . Christie Haskell didn’t... More »

Sorry Kids, Adderall Only Makes You Think You're Smarter

Study suggests so-called 'smart pills' have little effect

(Newser) - Bad news, overachievers: taking so-called “smart pills” like Adderall and Ritalin to improve your mental performance probably doesn’t actually work. It’s a trend that’s been sweeping through colleges, and even the ranks of adult professionals, but scientists are having trouble finding brain-boosting effects of the drug... More »

Teen ADHD Drug Abusers Suffer Serious Side Effects

(Newser) - Calls to poison control centers about teens abusing attention-deficit drugs soared 76% over eight years, a new study shows, highlighting the dangerous consequences of prescription abuse. The calls were from worried parents, emergency room doctors, and others seeking advice on how to deal with side-effects of ADHD drugs, which can... More »

ADHD Drugs Linked to Teen Sudden Death

Children, teens who died suddenly likelier to have been on meds that those killed in car crashes

(Newser) - A new study suggests that taking ADHD drugs like Ritalin puts young people at a higher risk of sudden cardiac death, WebMd reports. Children in the study who died suddenly and inexplicably were six to seven times likelier to have been taking ADHD medication containing stimulants. More »

Drug Trials a Lot Like Reality TV

(Newser) - Only one couple from The Bachelor has actually gotten married. No Apprentice winner has become fabulously wealthy. American Idol produced Taylor Hicks. Reality shows don’t always make good on their real-world promises, and in that way, they’re a lot like clinical drug trials, writes pediatrician Darshak Sanghavi in... More »

More Students Get Fix From Study Drugs

Adderall, Ritalin used to boost concentration despite health risks

(Newser) - Attention-deficit disorder drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin are gaining popularity on college campuses as an easy way for students to knuckle down, NPR reports. The drugs offer a “perfect kind of transition into a study mentality,” says one student, and can make work more pleasurable. But they’... More »

Legal or Not, Bottled Smarts Are Here to Stay

Safer, cheaper drugs will quell dissidents, scientists argue

(Newser) - The case is stacking up in favor of "smart pills," memory- and alertness-boosting prescription drugs already used by fighter pilots, corporate execs, and students for a cognitive edge, writes Maia Szalavitz in Time. Proponents say legalization debates are moot at this point—"the genie is already out... More »

Legalize Ritalin-Like Drugs as Brain Boosters: Experts

But Will Employers Turn into Pushers?

(Newser) - Attention-disorder drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall are becoming so commonly used for the off-label purpose of gaining a mental edge that they should be legalized for such use, says a team of neuroscientists and ethicists. They make their case in Nature, arguing that laws "should be adjusted to... More »

Forget Sugar; That Dye Can't Be Good for You

Weighing link to kids' hyperactivity, FDA mulls ban on artificial colors

(Newser) - The FDA is weighing a ban on a handful of artificial food dyes in the face of mounting evidence that some of the chemical compounds trigger hyperactivity in children, reports the Los Angeles Times. "The safety testing on these [dyes] was done 30 to 50 years ago," says... More »

Pre-Drug Heart Checks Urged for ADHD Kids

Ritalin and other stimulants carry slight risk of cardiac trouble

(Newser) - Children with ADHD should have their hearts checked for abnormalities before starting treatment with Ritalin or other stimulants, the American Heart Association warns. Serious heart problems have occurred in only a small fraction of the millions of children being treated for ADHD, but the group's experts say it's enough for... More »

Number of Baseball Players Taking ADD Drugs Spikes

Ban on amphetamines seen as obvious factor

(Newser) - Since baseball's 2006 ban on amphetamines, the number of players claiming to have Attention Deficit Disorder and obtaining prescriptions for stimulant drugs has nearly quadrupled from 28 to 103, reports the Associated Press. The MLB anti-performance enhancing policy gives the players exemptions on certain drugs, including Ritalin and Adderall, if... More »

16 Stories
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