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Small Study Says Ritalin May Improve Motor Skills

A Norwegian study of 24 boys (ages 8 to 12) has led researchers to conclude that a single dose of the popular ADHD medication Ritalin can lead to short-term improvements in muscle control and movement among children with a specific type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Amy Norton of the Reuters News Service reported on the study in a June 4 article:
The study, reported in the online journal Behavioral and Brain Functions, focused on 24 boys newly diagnosed with hyperkinetic disorder (HKD), a diagnosis nearly identical to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder-combined type (ADHD-C).

Children with ADHD-C commonly have increased muscle tension, which can hinder normal movement. This, in turn, may manifest as problems such as stiffness, restlessness as a child repeatedly shifts to get comfortable, and even poor handwriting, explained Liv Larsen Stray of the University of Stavanger, the lead researcher on the study.

"Our study shows that a single dose of methylphenidate typically led to improvement of the muscular tone and to a more fluent movement in children with ADHD-C/HKD," Stray told Reuters Health.
Stray's report was first published May 13 on the website of the journal Behavioral and Brain Functions.

Labels: medications, Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder, ritalin, motor_skills

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ADHD Affects Movement More in Boys than in Girls

A study of children ages seven to 15 has found that boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder experience greater impairments to their gross motor skills than do girls with the same disorder.
"The study, published in the Nov. 4 issue of Neurology, found that girls with ADHD and a control group of children without the disorder did twice as well as boys with ADHD in a test that compared their abilities to tap their toes, walk on their heels, maintain balance and keep a steady rhythm."
Mark Mahone, the study's author, attributes the difference to the fact that girls' brains mature earlier than boys' brains do. Source: Reno Gazette-Journal

Labels: motor_skills, impairments, abilities

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