Childhood cancer survivors show sustained benefit from methylphenidate (concerta / ritalin)

A medicine widely used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder also provides long-term relief from the attention and behavior changes that affect many childhood cancer survivors, according to a trial led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Researchers reported that one year after starting the drug methylphenidate, young cancer survivors scored better on tests of sustained attention and other measures of attention, social skills and behavior than did a similar group of unmedicated survivors. Heather Conklin, Ph.D., of the St. Jude Psychology department, is the first author of the research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The main objective of my research program is to improve the quality of life of childhood survivors by preventing or lessening the impact of cognitive problems that may emerge secondary to their disease and treatment these problems occur frequently in children who’ve received treatment directed at their central nervous system which includes the brain and the

Spinal canal and is associated with reduced academic and occupational success survival rates for children diagnosed with cancer have improved significantly over the past few decades resulting in an increased focus on improving the quality of that survival including long-term cognitive outcomes despite well-documented deficits and attention executive functions

And processing speed there are very few research supported interventions that target these cognitive problems and childhood cancer survivors you this study demonstrated that methylphenidate which is a stimulant medication resulted in improvements in attention and behavior and childhood cancer survivors these improvements were sustained over a year long trial

And were observed both in home in school environments further these benefits often resulted in a return of skill levels to levels similar to healthy same aged peers while methylphenidate is beneficial and safe for a subset of childhood cancer survivors the remain childhood cancer survivors for whom stimulant medications are not a viable treatment option due to

Parental preferences medical exclusions or medication intolerance for these reasons it’s important that research investigations look at nonpharmacologic interventions ones that may be more accessible to a greater number of childhood cancer survivors and this represents a necessary next step to this research the results of this study coupled with other recently

Published studying findings from the overarching trial indicate that methylphenidate is safe and effective for childhood cancer survivors who may be experiencing cognitively defects of their disease and treatment these findings may offer hope and reassurance to families and survivors who are looking to lessen impact of these cognitive problems and their child’s

Social academic and occupational endeavors it’s our hope that in the near future methylphenidate will be just one of many options we can have for survivors looking to improve their quality of life

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Childhood cancer survivors show sustained benefit from methylphenidate (concerta / ritalin) By bkathbell