Author(s): Albertson TE, Chenoweth JA, Colby DK, Sutter ME
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Abstract There has been an increase in diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with approximately 9\% of American children now diagnosed, and a concomitant increase in the use of stimulants (eg, amphetamines, methylphenidate) to manage ADHD. Nonstimulant drugs (eg, atomoxetine, guanfacine, clonidine) also are used, but most patients are treated with stimulants. All of these drugs are effective for management of ADHD, and, overall, use in childhood does not seem to increase the risk of substance abuse later in life. However, widespread use has resulted in prescription stimulants being diverted for nonmedical uses, particularly by high school and college students seeking cognitive enhancement for improved academic performance. Studies of ADHD drugs for improving cognition in patients without ADHD have mixed results, and any improvements appear to be modest and short-term. Other substances also are used for cognitive enhancement. Drugs for Alzheimer disease are being used for mild cognitive impairment, though there is no evidence that they are effective. Creatine may have mild cognition-enhancing properties, but study results often are confounded by the addition of exercise, which by itself is thought to improve cognition. There is no evidence that other supplements, such as vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, improve cognitive function. Written permission from the American Academy of Family Physicians is required for reproduction of this material in whole or in part in any form or medium.
This article was published in FP Essent
and referenced in Clinical and Experimental Psychology