Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No attention-boosting drugs for healthy kids, doctors urge

Date:
March 13, 2013
Source:
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
Summary:
The practice of prescribing drugs to boost cognitive function, or memory and thinking abilities, in healthy children and teens is misguided, according to a new statement by the American Academy of Neurology.

This growing trend, in which teens use "study drugs" before tests and parents request ADHD drugs for kids who don't meet the criteria for the disorder, has made headlines recently in the United States.
Credit: lightpoet / Fotolia

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the world's largest professional association of neurologists, is releasing a position paper on how the practice of prescribing drugs to boost cognitive function, or memory and thinking abilities, in healthy children and teens is misguided.

Related Articles


The statement is published in the March 13, 2013, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

This growing trend, in which teens use "study drugs" before tests and parents request ADHD drugs for kids who don't meet the criteria for the disorder, has made headlines recently in the United States. The Academy has spent the past several years analyzing all of the available research and ethical issues to develop this official position paper.

"Doctors caring for children and teens have a professional obligation to always protect the best interests of the child, to protect vulnerable populations, and prevent the misuse of medication," said author William Graf, MD, of Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "The practice of prescribing these drugs, called neuroenhancements, for healthy students is not justifiable."

The statement provides evidence that points to dozens of ethical, legal, social and developmental reasons why prescribing mind-enhancing drugs, such as those for ADHD, for healthy people is viewed differently in children and adolescents than it would be in functional, independent adults with full decision-making capacities. The Academy has a separate position statement that addresses the use of neuroenhancements in adults.

The article notes many reasons against prescribing neuroenhancement including: the child's best interest; the long-term health and safety of neuroenhancements, which has not been studied in children; kids and teens may lack complete decision-making capacities while their cognitive skills, emotional abilities and mature judgments are still developing; maintaining doctor-patient trust; and the risks of over-medication and dependency.

"The physician should talk to the child about the request, as it may reflect other medical, social or psychological motivations such as anxiety, depression or insomnia. There are alternatives to neuroenhancements available, including maintaining good sleep, nutrition, study habits and exercise regimens," said Graf.

The statement had no industry sponsors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. William D. Graf, Saskia K. Nagel, Leon G. Epstein, Geoffrey Miller, Ruth Nass, and Dan Larriviere. Pediatric neuroenhancement Ethical, legal, social, and neurodevelopmental implications. Neurology, 2013 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318289703b

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "No attention-boosting drugs for healthy kids, doctors urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313182022.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). (2013, March 13). No attention-boosting drugs for healthy kids, doctors urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313182022.htm
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "No attention-boosting drugs for healthy kids, doctors urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313182022.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) AbbVie announced Wednesday it will buy cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toddlers Drinking Coffee? Why You Shouldn't Share Your Joe

Toddlers Drinking Coffee? Why You Shouldn't Share Your Joe

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) A survey of Boston mothers and toddlers found that 15 percent of two-year-olds drink coffee and 2.5 percent of 1-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins