How does Ritalin cause brain damage

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posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 09:57 AM
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My nephew takes it and I was wondering if anyone has evidence or specifics in what ritalin does to change chemicals in the brain?




posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by AnDroidX107
My nephew takes it and I was wondering if anyone has evidence or specifics in what ritalin does to change chemicals in the brain?


Ritalin is basically a stimulant that alter the activity of various neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, etc. Similar to amphetamine and coc aine in general action, but differ in their action at the synaptic level.

Exactly how it works to improve the symtomology of ADHD is still not completely understood. But it does work. One favoured hypothesis is that ADHD is caused by high levels of Dopamine transporter (DAT) ligands, these would reduce levels of dopamine in important areas of the brain. Dopamine is important for attention and also reward processing. And, therefore, treatment with ritalin apparently increases dopamine activity in these areas, as they are strong DAT inhibitors.

However, there is also suggestions that methylphenidate works through enhancing noradrenaline activity in the frontal lobe. So, still stuff to learn.

Various studies show that using stimulants brings the brain activity of ADHD kids to within normal levels (i.e. untreated ADHD kids show very low activity in the frontal lobe and elsewhere), they also perform numerous neuropsychological and cognitive tests normally when treated (e.g., improved performance on the stroop test). And, of course, their everyday behaviour is improved.

However, the long-term effects of such treatment are still under examination.

[edit on 27-9-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 06:19 PM
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reply to post by AnDroidX107
 


Ritalin does work, however, it is one of the most overprescribed drugs out there.

One thing you can do is make sure that the doctor prescribing the drug is a specialist trained for pediatrics and ADHD. A family doctor or GP may mean well, but the diagnosis and treatment needs to come from a specalist. he/she may alternative treatments than may work just as well.



posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 06:36 PM
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Touretts can be exasperated by Ritalin, but that's all I'm aware of.


KTK

posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 07:38 PM
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In my experience the effects same as any amphetamine if the patient is missdiagnosed as having add/adhd. You have heart problems and your brain shuts down due to lack of sleep.


Im 28 now and was in that first generation of Australians to have this crap forced down our throats.

My own brother was on dexamphetamine, nasty stuff and the doctor kept increasing his dose without looking at other issues.

Anyone of any age group small amounts of amphetamines daily is not good we get told this in our anti drug campains. The kids zombie out due to sleep deprivation/disruption and bad nutrition due to a supressed appitite.

I have never seen ritalin or dexamphetamine do its supposed miracles. Most of it prescribed got sold at school or to local junkies for $1 a pill. Most of the kids I knew that were on either drug ended up with a dependence on amphetamines and straight to Ice/meth.


I find that most cases of adhd/add are misdiagnosed. Think about what kids today have to put up with compared to previous generations. We suffered information overload and adjustment issues as it was its worse for kids now days. Our western school systems are still stuck in the 50s and totally conflict with the outside technology, media and forced cultural influence. Any normal child would rebel and shut off in that environment and then they get diagnosed with something.


Please ensure your nephew has the correct diagnosis. I had all the supposed symptoms my brother did but being female I had better handwriting skills so they didnt pounce on me. I dont have adhd im just a product of my generation



posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 08:05 PM
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Ritalin a.k.a Methylphenidate acts upon (primarily) dopamine receptors in the brain. Basically, that means it affects your moods, energy and general motivation. In general, it seems if you have an excess it suppresses it and alleviates a deficiency. That's just a broad generalization of course as I am not a physician or pharmacist- consult one for more precise information.
The problem, it seems, is that no one knows for certain what the long-term consequences of usage are. Does it permanently "fry" certain neuro-receptors? Does it "lodge" in the brain (as say '___')? What are the eventual permutations of use before/during puberty? Even though it has been in existance for about an half-century, it has really only been extensively used for ten or twenty years. I have the sneaking suspicion that this is going to be one of those things that the medical community comes out (twenty years from now) and says: "Oooops, Sorry!". (See Thalidomide, Swine Flu Vaccine, et al)



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 10:10 AM
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If the drug is not understood

why do they want kids to take it



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 10:14 AM
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android, because they think its a miracle. And it isnt.
Kids are kids, they'll always be hyperactive and never sit still in school. They think there's something great happening outside and sitting in the classroom is making them miss out on whatever fun they think is outdoors. lol. Kids, being kids, don't really have the attention span to sit through most classes. Yet everyone wants to diagnose normal children with ADD/ADHD, its really pathetic, turning this new generation into a bunch of drug addicts by age 10.

edit: Misread androids post lol

[edit on 28-9-2007 by Chiiru]



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 10:18 AM
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Now that Bush is hoping to block healthcare for children or he is against it.

Maybe they won't have insurance for Ritalin at least W hopes



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by AnDroidX107
If the drug is not understood

why do they want kids to take it


It's more a case that ADHD is not completely understood. The action of the likes of ritalin and amphetamines in the brain are fairly well understood, that is, what neurotransmitters they act on etc. The long-term effects of treating kids isn't.

But ADHD is less well understood. I don't want to put across that researchers know nothing, that's totally not the case. For example, there appears to be a genetic component to ADHD, and the genes that have been identified underpin dopamine functioning. So, the dopamine hypothesis of ADHD has good support. But, again, it can't be linked to single gene abnormalities, which is the case for most mental disorders.

As the likes of ritalin affect dopamine functioning, there is good reasons to accept their validity as efficacious treatments. They do improve the functioning of ADHD kids.

Whether anyone wants to medicate their kids for such disorders is up to the family. There are other therapeutic approaches, and I'm sure there will be better non-stimulant psychopharmacological treatments in future. Indeed, Modafinil appears to be promising.

I have no doubt that ADHD is becoming overdiagnosed, and kids are being mistreated in the aim of a quick fix for behavioural issues. But that doesn't negate the existence of the true disorder.

The reason why stimulants are the treatment of choice is because, firstly, they do work; secondly, it is cheap and easy. Proper behavioural therapy is timely and costly. It's the same with most mental conditions - the likes of CBT is expensive, popping prozac is cheap.

I wouldn't want give my child stimulants. But I don't have a ADHD kid, so I can't really judge whether I would if I was in such a position. I'm sure it's not an easy decision.

[edit on 28-9-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 11:36 AM
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Here is my story. I was put on ritalin at age 5 and took it until I was 14. When I stopped taking it at age 14, I had mild depression and mood swings. Everyone just said, "You are a teenager it's normal to feel up and down." Well, I knew better.
I remember it taking away my appetite, it made my mind race, increased my sex drive, but at the same time, made me a little more focused. Then I started taking it again at age 22 and took it ntil I was 24. This time I noticed all the same things as when I was younger.
Now I am age 26 turning 27 in June and ever since I stopped taking ritalin at age 24, I have very little libido and sex drive at all. According to different posts on the internet, I may have permanent damage. Now, as a male, and having my sex drive taken away, what do I do now? How do I get it back?



posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 10:01 PM
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I used to take Ritalin then I told my parents no. Here is what went down.

Ritalin for me did indeed cause me to be more focused but it wasn't always allowing me to focus on what mattered, lets say a fly lands on a desk across the room I would watch the fly for 20 mins before noticing. Ritalin also for me did no improve my mood it made me more violent and example of this would be a few hours after taking a dose my sister did something to set me off I grabbed her by the throat threw her against a wall and with all my rage and anger yelled at her until she began to cry my face was red, my eyes bulging. When it was all said and done she ran off and locked herself in her room, I fell to the floor curled up into a ball and wept.

That was the deciding factor to stop taking ritalin and an excuse my parents understood. Since then I've had to work hard to stay focused but there is always that distraction but overall I am happy with the choice I made.



posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 10:03 PM
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reply to post by Anonymous ATS
 


Not sure the ritalin has anything to do with your libido, I stopped taking ritalin at the age of 15 ( only took ritalin for 3 years ) It may be due to your life style?



posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 10:05 PM
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Sometimes I'm still baffled by the prescription of a coc aine-like narcotic stimulant for someone (E.G; a minor) who has a hyperactive disorder.

Don't get me wrong, that's the miracle of modern science, but the drug is way too over-prescribed for kids IMO.



posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 11:21 PM
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Originally posted by Anonymous ATS
Now I am age 26 turning 27 in June and ever since I stopped taking ritalin at age 24, I have very little libido and sex drive at all. According to different posts on the internet, I may have permanent damage. Now, as a male, and having my sex drive taken away, what do I do now? How do I get it back?


Talking to your doctor seems like the best plan.

If you decide to use alternative medicine (herbal supplements for example), be extra careful that you're getting it from reputable sources and taking it as recommended on a good alternative medicine website. Or even see a naturopath.

There are a number of herbs that are supposed to be helpful for boosting libido, but understandably it's also one of the most exploited issues by snake oil salesmen. And some of the "remedies" that they sell in markets are downright dangerous – there have been deaths attributed to taking pills that claimed to be a "natural Viagra"



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 06:02 PM
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I would try the old "tried and true" methods: Exercise more, eat red meat and engage in some kind of sporting competition. A martial-art, boxing or the like is probably the best but almost anything - even soccer - is better than nothing. Do what you can. Exercising stimulates the endocrine system and muscular-skeletal system, which in males, requires and encourages the production of testosterone. Red meat provides L-carnitine and other necessary building blocks for male hormones. Also, the act of competing in sports, winning and losing, builds up male tension - both psychologically and physically. All of the aforementioned raise testosterone levels naturally.

Also, try denial for a while. Don't engage in anything that has a sexual connotation. Avoid anything that might stimulate you as best you can and don't provide yourself with any relief. Keep it up (no pun intended) as long as you can and then take your partner out on a date and pay real close attention to them. You'll be surprised at how 'interested' you'll be. Get them to reciprocate and you'll be...well...happy. This is like the 'sailor on leave' effect.

If these natural methods aren't enough then - like the commercial says - see your doctor. But I think you should give them at least one chance and see what happens. If they work, just keep repeating and enjoy the rest of your life.



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 06:14 PM
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Get him off that crap. That's all I can say. My sister was on Ritalin when she was like 10 and it nearly almost made her commit suicide. You need to look for answers to his problems in his diet. Psychiatric drugs will never ever fix his problem for good. This is coming from someone who spent 5 years on them and then had a hell of a time getting off of them.

I do not recommend the cold turkey method. You have to taper him off gradually. When I got off the drug I was on, I did it in a month and it was definitely the most mentally agonizing experience I have ever felt in my life.

Kids bounce back fast, though. The fact is that these drugs offend me very deeply because I was on them for so long and they were forcing me to operate at a very parred down level. If you can get him off quickly, you should do that. But the general wisdom is that you want to reduce the drug by 10% over an entire year.

You need to do you're own research, though. The fact of the matter is, though, that the people who make these drugs don't even know how exactly they work. I read that in a peer reviewed article awhile back.



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 06:23 PM
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Ritalin is not like prozac or other SSRIs that have a very long half life and stay in your system for weeks or even months.

It is in and out of your system really quickly and other than maybe a few days of being sleepy and really hungry you are not going to have major weirdness like with antidepressents.



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 06:36 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
reply to post by AnDroidX107
 


Ritalin does work, however, it is one of the most overprescribed drugs out there.

One thing you can do is make sure that the doctor prescribing the drug is a specialist trained for pediatrics and ADHD. A family doctor or GP may mean well, but the diagnosis and treatment needs to come from a specalist. he/she may alternative treatments than may work just as well.



'work' is an interesting turn of putting it. If 'work' is to mean the sedation of kids then yes it does, but its a really poor substitute for bad parenting and poor diet.

studies have shown that children are worse off in the long run after taking it than those that haven't.
www.timesonline.co.uk...

Anyone who prescribes it is just being lazy. You can't or shouldn't medicate human behaviour, its morally abject.

Most if not all of the psychiatrists who made up this 'illness' have financial links to drug companies!

Ritalin is just a cashcow and the biggest scam out there. It is damaging in so many ways.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 09:21 PM
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www.neldc.org

Nine percent of all American children, mostly boys are labeled with the "mental disorder" ADHD which is often diagnosed solely on a checklist of behaviors. There are no brain scans, x-rays, genetic or blood tests that can prove they actually have this disorder, Yet these children, are prescribed psychiatric drugs that increase heart beat, blood pressure and interfere with sleep and nutrition.
Chinese children continue to have better control of their behavior and outperform American children in school, yet Chinese children do not take Psychotropic medications like Adderall.

I wanted to believe what the doctors told me even though I was against medicating my son. It was not until my youngest son Nicholas was placed on this medication and I saw the side effects, which his pediatrician called "normal" that I realized that something was terribly wrong. I took him to another doctor and he was diagnosed with tachycardia. After coming off the drug, Nicholas made the honor role and at parents night when I asked if my son had any attention problems, his teachers told me that he was a hard working well focus student who was a delight to have in class. After taking the medication he is now under doctors orders cannot play sports as because of heat damage done by the medication. Ann Hohmann's son Matthew was not so fortunate. He dropped dead on the bathroom floor, after being on Adderall XR 20 mg for 29 doses. His mother appeared on Good Morning America to tell what happened to her son.





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