A stuffy from the Rockefeller University in New York suggests that Ritalin, a drug that is prescribed to children with hyperactivity disorders, may be addictive.
Yonk Kim and his colleagues came to this conclusion after noticing the drug to causes certain chemical and structural changes the brains of mice.
AdvertisementThe researchers revealed that when they gave mice the drug for a fortnight, a greater number of spiny neurons formed in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region stimulated by all addictive drugs.
"These changes in neuronal structure and brain chemistry are known to be associated with the process of drug addiction," New Scientist magazine quoted Kim as warning.
The finding, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is backed up by previous studies that found signs of addiction in recreational users.
The researchers also observed that hyperactive children prescribed the drug don't usually show signs of addiction.