Current views that Ritalin is the safest drug available, allow for its present use into adulthood (Leutwyler, 1996).
An ADHD diagnosis is considered difficult to arrive at since many of the symptoms are exhibited by nearly all children some of the time and symptoms may be due to other disorders such as depression or anxiety. However, ADHD is beginning to be associated with a unique biology; it has been found that a some ADHD people have a different receptor for thyroid hormone and to percent to 80 percent of all with this rare difference have ADHD. Additional studies link ADHD and three genes encoding receptors for the neurotransmitter dopamine. Research notes structural abnormalities. The anterior frontal part of the brain was on an average, found to be more than 5 percent smaller on the right side in ADHD boys; the right caudate and the globus pallidus were also smaller. These areas form the main neural circuit from which the cortex inhibits behavior (Leutwyler, 1996).
Gatley, Meehan, Chen, Pan, Schechter and Dewey (1996) studied pharmacological properties of Ritalin derivatives. Methylphenidate (Ritalin) binds to the dopamine transporter; its mechanism of action is believed to "involve increased synaptic dopamine subsequent to blockade of the dopamine transporter" (p. PL-345).
Rats fed ad libitum were used. After a stable baseline for dopam