Micro-PET/CT Demonstrates Prolonged Ritalin Use Safe in ADHD

A long-term study carried out by scientists from the US FDA and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Rhesus monkeys found that Ritalin (methylphenidate—MPH) was “not associated with statistically significant changes in the markers of monoamine function in [the] NHP [non-human primate] brain.” The study was published online on July 12, 2021, in Neurotoxicology and Teratology.

This finding indicates that “Adults who started taking methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, when they were children for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be able to lay aside concerns over whether the drug has neurotoxic effects,” according to Will Morton of AuntMinnie.

In addition to the promising finding, the research team also found that their technique using micro-PET/CT imaging “provides a noninvasive biomarker that assess[es] neurochemical processes associated with chronic exposure to CNS medications,” making further exploration of other medications possible.

X. Zhang, J. Talpos, M.S. Berridge, S.M. Apana, W. Slikker, C. Wang, M.G. Paule,
MicroPET/CT assessment of neurochemical effects in the brain after long-term methylphenidate treatment in nonhuman primates,
Neurotoxicology and Teratology, Volume 87, 2021, 107017, ISSN 0892-0362, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2021.107017. Accessed July 26, 2021.

“Micro-PET/CT shows long-term Ritalin use safe in ADHD” By Will Morton, AuntMinnie.com staff writer. Available at: https://www.auntminnie.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=mol&pag=dis&ItemID=132931 Accessed July 26, 2021.