ADHD Stimulant Also Eases PTSD Symptoms

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A very small suggests that a common drug used in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder may also be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Thomas W. McAlister, MD, the chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Indiana School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a 12-week randomized, double-blind placebo controlled study examining the potential of methylphenidate in easing PTSD symptoms with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, or both. A total of 32 patients were randomized to receive either methylphenidate, the Alzheimer’s disease drug galantamine (Razadyne), or placebo.

Methylphenidate treatment was associated with improvement in PTSD symptoms, based on the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist, fewer cognitive complaints, based on the Ruff Neurobehavioral Inventory-Postmorbid Cognitive Scale, and improvement in concussion symptoms, based on the Rivermead Post Concussive Symptom Questionnaire, the researchers reported in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. They added the treatment was well-tolerated.

While galantamine improved episodic memory in patients, there was not effect from the drug on PTSD symptoms.

“These results suggest the need for a larger [randomized controlled trial] to replicate and confirm these findings,” the researcher wrote. “Design considerations for such a trial should include the need for multiple sites to facilitate adequate recruitment and extension of the treatment and follow-up periods.

ADHD Stimulant Also Eases PTSD Symptoms
Treatment with methylphenidate was associated with an improvement in PTSD symptoms and fewer cognitive complaints in those with TBI.

A small pilot study suggests that methylphenidate may improve emotional and cognitive symptoms in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers reported their findings in Neuropsychopharmacology. 

Results from the 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial linked treatment with methylphenidate with statistically significant improvement on the Ruff Neurobehavioral Inventory-Postcomorbid Cognitive Scale, which assessed cognitive difficulties and was the study's primary outcome. 

In addition, treatment with methylphenidate was associated with improvement in symptoms of concussion, as measured by then the Rivermead Post Concussive Symptom Questionnaire, and with improvement in PTSD symptoms, as measured by the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist. 

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