Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ritalin shows promise in treating addiction

Date:
June 27, 2013
Source:
Mount Sinai Medical Center
Summary:
ADHD drug helps improve brain functional connectivity in cocaine addiction, according to a new study.

A single dose of a commonly-prescribed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug helps improve brain function in cocaine addiction, according to an imaging study conducted by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Methylphenidate (brand name Ritalinฎ) modified connectivity in certain brain circuits that underlie self-control and craving among cocaine-addicted individuals.

The research is published in the current issue of JAMA Psychiatry, a JAMA network publication.

Previous research has shown that oral methylphenidate improved brain function in cocaine users performing specific cognitive tasks such as ignoring emotionally distracting words and resolving a cognitive conflict. Similar to cocaine, methylphenidate increases dopamine (and norepinephrine) activity in the brain, but, administered orally, takes longer to reach peak effect, consistent with a lower potential for abuse. By extending dopamine's action, the drug enhances signaling to improve several cognitive functions, including information processing and attention.

"Orally administered methylphenidate increases dopamine in the brain, similar to cocaine, but without the strong addictive properties," said Rita Goldstein, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai, who led the research while at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in New York. "We wanted to determine whether such substitutive properties, which are helpful in other replacement therapies such as using nicotine gum instead of smoking cigarettes or methadone instead of heroin, would play a role in enhancing brain connectivity between regions of potential importance for intervention in cocaine addiction."

Anna Konova, a doctoral candidate at Stony Brook University, who was first author on this manuscript, added, "Using fMRI, we found that methylphenidate did indeed have a beneficial impact on the connectivity between several brain centers associated with addiction."

Dr. Goldstein and her team recruited 18 cocaine addicted individuals, who were randomized to receive an oral dose of methylphenidate or placebo. The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the strength of connectivity in particular brain circuits known to play a role in addiction before and during peak drug effects. They also assessed each subject's severity of addiction to see if this had any bearing on the results.

Methylphenidate decreased connectivity between areas of the brain that have been strongly implicated in the formation of habits, including compulsive drug seeking and craving. The scans also showed that methylphenidate strengthened connectivity between several brain regions involved in regulating emotions and exerting control over behaviors -- connections previously reported to be disrupted in cocaine addiction.

"The benefits of methylphenidate were present after only one dose, indicating that this drug has significant potential as a treatment add-on for addiction to cocaine and possibly other stimulants," said Dr. Goldstein. "This is a preliminary study, but the findings are exciting and warrant further exploration, particularly in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy or cognitive remediation."

Additional co-authors included Nora D. Volkow, MD, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse; Dardo Tomasi, the MR director at BNL; and Scott J. Moeller, PhD a postdoctoral fellow in psychiatry at Mount Sinai.

This research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (grants 1R01DA023579 and 1F32DA030017-01) and the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, divisions of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mount Sinai Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anna B. Konova et al. Effects of Methylphenidate on Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Mesocorticolimbic Dopamine Pathways in Cocaine AddictionEffects of Methylphenidate in Cocaine Addiction. JAMA Psychiatry, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.1129

Cite This Page:

Mount Sinai Medical Center. "Ritalin shows promise in treating addiction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627151646.htm>.
Mount Sinai Medical Center. (2013, June 27). Ritalin shows promise in treating addiction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627151646.htm
Mount Sinai Medical Center. "Ritalin shows promise in treating addiction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627151646.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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