Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Ritalin also boosts learning.

Investigation of the mechanism by which ritalin improves focus has shown it also has a distinct component that improves learning.

Patricia H Janak and Antonello Bonci mentored a team which studied the action of methylphenidate (ritalin) in rats.

The ritalin works by increasing levels of nuerotransmitter dopamine in the amygdala, an area of the brain involved in learning and emotional memory.

By blocking two different dopamine receptors in the rats’ brains, the team found that focus is controlled via one kind, while a second controls learning. Ritalin, at levels consistent with those used for children with ADHD, boosted performance of both paths.

The study appears in Nature Neuroscience.


March 8, 2010 - Posted by | ADHD, Antonello Bonci, Brain, Child Health, Learning, Patricia H Janak, Ritalin - methylphenidate

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