We all have succumbed to the hyperactive restlessness that comes with being a child. Perhaps in school, you were made to contain your hyperactivity so that you could focus on school work. For many, the hindrance of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has brought them to a certain point where it just becomes easier to deal with the issue with a prescription drug. Ritalin is the most commonly prescribed drug on the market to combat the effects of ADHD so that a child may learn to focus more in school. However, a recent study was conducted on the effects of Ritalin on a young maturing brain and it promises links showing that the long-term effects of the drug hinder the maturing brain from reaching its fullest potential by the age of 23, which is when most brains reach full maturity.

Ritalin effects

The team in the Netherlands is the first in the world to conduct this study on the long-term effects of the prescription drug on maturing and matured brains. There have been studies tested on animals that have shown this hindrance in their maturing brains, which only further queried the concept of what this effect could be on humans. As complex as the brain is, the team was only able to conduct the study on one section of the brain, specifically the GABA neurotransmitter in the pre-frontal cortex. The GABA (Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid) sends signals through our nervous system that calm nervous activity in our brain, in this case it would be any nervous activity caused by ADHD.

Drug results

The study found that Ritalin does indeed hinder the growth of a maturing brain as specified within the pre-frontal cortex. Participants in the study who were taking Ritalin were found to have low-GABA levels, however these levels increased significantly once Ritalin was induced. More studies will need to be tested in order to fully understand the implications of the study.

Ritalin has become a reliant prescription drug for ADHD and is relied upon by families across the globe. So much of what we don't know can be attested to the long-term effects of any drug, even something as trivial as Tylenol. With pharmaceutical giants battling out over the pharmacy market, the reliance for the drug could be so heavy that any long-term effects may be looked over. Whether or not we find the true answers behind the prescription drugs most of us take on daily basis is unknown but let us hope that our search is not in vain.