Medications used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) don’t boost cognitive function in young adults who don’t actually have the condition, and may actually impair their thinking, according to researchers at the University of Rhode Island (URI) in Kingston and Brown University in Providence.
Their small study (just 13 subjects) contradicts common perceptions about stimulants in high schools and colleges throughout the United States: An estimated 5 to 35 percent of college students in the U.S. and other countries use these controlled substances illegally to bolster their academic performance.
Based on that, the researchers hypothesized that stimulant drugs like Ritalin, Adderall, and Vyvanse could improve academic performance. Instead, they discovered that the expected effects of the drugs – improved attention and focus – didn’t translate to better results on tests measuring reading comprehension or fluency, and in fact, the meds took a toll on working memory.
Sourced from: Pharmacy