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Tag Archives: ADHD

Study shows ‘brain doping’ is common in amateur sport

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What is brain enhancement?

So called “smart” drugs that can improve mental function have become popular in recent years. A number of substances have been developed that can improve concentration, attention, memory and cognition.

Methylphenidate: Known by the brand names Ritalin and Concerta among others. It is a psychostimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Prescriptions for these drugs increased by 50% in the six years from 2007.

Modafinil: This medicine is used to treat the sleep disorder narcolepsy. The drug helps people stay awake and improves alertness and the ability to concentrate.

Aking substances to enhance the brain is more popular among amateur athletes than taking drugs to boost the body.

Researchers in Germany found that 15% of recreational triathletes admitted to brain doping, using prescription medicines that increase attention.

Some 13% of competitors reported using physical enhancers like steroids or human growth hormone.

Brain doping is more popular say the scientists, because many of the substances aren’t banned.

 

The research has been published in the journal Plos One.

Previous studies have shown that, among amateur competitors, the use of performance-enhancing substances is widespread.

This new work used the responses of almost 3,000 triathletes taking part in events in Germany, to analyse the broader picture of physical and cognitive doping.

Researchers believe that many so-called “smart drugs” are being widely used to enhance mental functions outside the patients groups they have been designed to help.

They are also concerned that competitors in a variety of sports may be using these substances to gain an edge.

 

Previous studies have shown that, among amateur competitors, the use of performance-enhancing substances is widespread.

This new work used the responses of almost 3,000 triathletes taking part in events in Germany, to analyse the broader picture of physical and cognitive doping.

Researchers believe that many so-called “smart drugs” are being widely used to enhance mental functions outside the patients groups they have been designed to help.

They are also concerned that competitors in a variety of sports may be using these substances to gain an edge.

 

“There is some searching for additional help, we found a strong connection between those taking legal cognitive enhancers and those taking illicit ones,” said Prof Simon.

“There seems to be a certain proportion of our society that is willing to take a bit more of a risk to gain an advantage.”

 

The authors believe that the sporting status of cognitive enhancement may be affecting the attitudes of some of these amateur sports participants.

Athletes are aware that physical doping is forbidden and drug testing is common in triathlon competitions, including amateur ones.

However the use of cognitive substances is not associated with sanctions and therefore abusing them may seem a lesser infringement.

The researchers believe this reflects attitudes in society where the taking of ADHD medicine doesn’t carry the same stigma as using steroids.

The authors say their research leaves many unanswered questions about brain doping.

Prof Simon said: “On the cognitive level, we don’t know enough about these substances. Is there is a hyper performance effect?”

“What we know is that if you are a patient you are going to perform better than before, but if you are already a high-level performer we don’t know if there is an effect. That’s the big question.”

The researchers warn that, regardless of the enhancement, abusing brain doping substances can have damaging impacts in the long run.

 

A question of substance

The authors accept that getting to a precise definition of what constitutes doping is difficult. They tried to be as clear as possible in their questions on the different types of enhancement.

Physical doping: Have you used substances which can only be prescribed by a doctor, are available in a pharmacy, or can be bought on the black market (such as anabolic steroids, erythropoietin, stimulants, growth hormones) to enhance your physical performance during the last 12 months?

Cognitive doping: Have you used substances which can only be prescribed by a doctor, are available in a pharmacy, or can be bought on the black market (such as caffeine tablets, stimulants, cocaine, methylphenidate, modafinil, beta-blockers) to enhance your cognitive performance during the last 12 months?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Problems That Could Mean Adult ADHD

10 PROBLEMS THAT COULD MEAN ADULT ADHD

 10 Problems That Could Mean Adult ADHD

Many people think of rowdy kids who can’t sit still when they think of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. But the fact is, symptoms of ADHD can linger into adulthood. In fact, many adults with ADHD don’t realize that many of the problems they face, including staying organized or being on time, are symptoms of adult ADHD.

What Causes Adult ADHD?
While experts don’t know for sure what causes ADHD, they believe genes may play an important part in who develops attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Environmental issues, such as exposure to cigarettes, alcohol, or other toxins while in the womb, may also play a role.

Unlike other psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression, ADHD doesn’t begin in adulthood. So symptoms must have been present since childhood for a diagnosis of adult ADHD to be made.

10 Problems That Could Mean Adult ADHD
The conventionally used diagnostic criteria for ADHD, including the most common symptoms, were developed based on how the condition shows itself in children.

These symptoms include forgetfulness and excessive daydreaming, as well as an inability to sit still, or constant fidgeting with objects.

Yet many experts think adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms manifest themselves differently and more subtly. This can make it difficult to recognize and diagnose adult ADHD.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 1: Difficulty Getting Organized
For people with ADHD, the increased responsibilities of adulthood — bills, jobs, and children, to name a few — can make problems with organization more obvious and more harmful than in childhood. While some ADHD symptoms are more annoying to other people than to the person with the condition, disorganization is often identified by adults struggling with ADHD as a major detractor that affects their quality of life.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 2: Reckless Driving and Traffic Accidents
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder makes it hard to keep your attention on a task, so spending time behind the wheel of a car can be difficult. ADHD symptoms can make some people more likely to speed, have traffic accidents, and lose their driver’s licenses.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 3: Marital Difficulties
Many people without ADHD have marital problems, of course, so a troubled marriage shouldn’t be seen as a red flag for adult ADHD. But there are some marriage problems that are particularly likely to affect the relationships of those with ADHD. Often, the partners of people with undiagnosed ADHD take poor listening skills and an inability to honor commitments as a sign that their partner doesn’t care. If you’re the person suffering from ADHD, you may not understand why your partner is upset, and you may feel you’re being nagged or blamed for something that’s not your fault.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 4: Extreme Distractibility

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a problem with attention regulation, so adult ADHD can make it difficult to succeed in today’s fast-paced, hustle-bustle world. Many people find that distractibility can lead to a history of career underperformance, especially in noisy or busy offices. If you have adult ADHD, you might find that phone calls or email derail your attention, making it hard for you to finish tasks.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 5: Poor Listening Skills

Do you zone out during long business meetings? Did your husband forget to pick up little Jimmy at baseball practice, even though you called to remind him on his way home? Problems with attention result in poor listening skills in many adults with ADHD, leading to a lot of missed appointments and misunderstandings.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 6: Restlessness, Difficulty Relaxing

While many children with ADHD are “hyperactive,” this ADHD symptom often appears differently in adults. Rather than bouncing off the walls, adults with ADHD are more likely to exhibit restlessness or find they can’t relax. If you have adult ADHD, others might describe you as edgy or tense.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 7: Difficulty Starting a Task

Just as children with ADHD often put off doing homework, people with adult ADHD often drag their feet when starting tasks that require a lot of attention. This procrastination often adds to existing problems, including marital disagreements, workplace issues, and problems with friends.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 8: Chronic Lateness

There are many reasons adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are usually late. First, they’re often distracted on the way to an event, maybe realizing the car needs to be washed and then noticing they’re low on gas, and before they know it an hour has gone by. People with adult ADHD also tend to underestimate how much time it takes to finish a task, whether it’s a major assignment at work or a simple home repair.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 9: Angry Outbursts

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often leads to problems controlling emotions. Many people with adult ADHD are quick to explode over minor issues. Often, adults with ADHD feel as if they have absolutely no control over their emotions. Many times, their anger fades as quickly as it flared, long before the people who dealt with the outburst have gotten over the incident.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 10: Prioritizing Issues

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can wreak havoc on planning, too. Often, people with adult ADHD mis-prioritize, failing to meet big obligations, like a deadline at work, while spending countless hours on something insignificant, such as getting a higher score on a video game.

Do You Have Adult ADHD?

Only a qualified health professional can make an accurate diagnosis of adult ADHD, but there are some self-screening tests that may help you decide whether to consult a medical professional about your adult ADHD symptoms.

Since many different conditions can cause adult ADHD-like symptoms, these tests alone can’t diagnose adult ADHD.

If, after talking with a qualified health professional, you or your loved one is diagnosed with adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, you’ll need to work together with your doctor to design the best treatment plan. Often, adult ADHD is treated with a combination of ADHD medications, such as Adderall , Concerta, Ritalin, or Strattera, and therapy. 

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What is Ritalin?

what-is-ritalin

What is Ritalin?

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

Ritalin is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used in the treatment of a sleep disorder called narcolepsy (an uncontrollable desire to sleep). When given for attention deficit disorders, Ritalin should be an integral part of a total treatment program that may include counseling or other therapies.

Ritalin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

 

Important information

You should not use Ritalin if you have glaucoma , tics or  Tourette’s syndrome, or severe anxiety, tension, or agitation.

Do not use Ritalin if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 15 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, rasagiline,linezolid, phenelzine, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

Slideshow: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
Recognizing Signs & Treatment Options
Does Your Child Have ADHD? Recognizing Signs & Treatment Options

Ritalin may be habit forming. Never share methylphenidate with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

 

Before taking this medicine

Do not use Ritalin if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

You should not use Ritalin if you are allergic to methylphenidate or if you have:

  • glaucoma;
  • a personal or family history of tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome; or
  • severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (methylphenidate can make these symptoms worse).

Tell your doctor if you have any heart problems. Some stimulants have caused sudden death in people with serious heart problems or congenital heart defects.

Tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, heart rhythm disorder;
  • coronary artery disease (hardened arteries); or
  • history of heart attack.

To make sure Ritalin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • high blood pressure;
  • a personal or family history of mental illness, psychotic disorder, bipolar illness, depression, or suicide attempt;
  • peripheral vascular disease such as Raynaud’s syndrome;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome;
  • a stomach disorder; or
  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

Ritalin may be habit forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Ritalin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

Methylphenidate can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Long-term use of Ritalin can slow a child’s growth. Tell your doctor if the child using this medication is not growing or gaining weight properly.

Do not give Ritalin to a child younger than 6 years old without a doctor’s advice.

How should I take Ritalin?

Take Ritalin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take Ritalin tablets at least 30 to 45 minutes before a meal. The extended-release forms of Ritalin can be taken with or without food.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release Ritalin tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the tablet may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

You may open the extended-release capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of pudding or applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.

To prevent sleep problems, take this medication in the morning.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Ritalin. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Ritalin is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is later than 6:00 p.m. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

 

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of methylphenidate can be fatal.

What should I avoid?

Ritalin may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid drinking alcohol, especially if you take an extended-release tablet. Alcohol may cause the methylphenidate to be released from the tablet into the bloodstream too quickly.

 

Ritalin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Ritalin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking Ritalin and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • new or worsening symptoms such as mood swings, aggression, hostility, or changes in personality or behavior;
  • panic, delusion, extreme fear, hallucinations, unusual behavior, motor tics (muscle twitches);
  • chest pain, fast or slow heart rate, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest, feeling like you might pass out;
  • numbness, pain, cold feeling, unexplained wounds, or skin color changes (pale, red, or blue appearance) in your fingers or toes;
  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
  • easy bruising, purple spots on your skin;
  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer (rare); or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Common Ritalin side effects may include:

  • feeling nervous or irritable, sleep problems (insomnia);
  • loss of appetite, weight loss;
  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness; or
  • stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Ritalin?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Ritalin, especially:

  • clonidine;
  • guanethidine;
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin, Coumadin;
  • an antidepressant–amitriptyline, citalopram, doxepin, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, and others;
  • cold or allergy medicine that contains a decongestant;
  • medications to treat high or low blood pressure;
  • seizure medicine–phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone; or
  • stimulant medications or diet pills.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Ritalin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

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