The following article is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that is supports a critical role for visual function in reading and learning disorders. The article clearly supports the use of MPH (methylphenidate, aka Ritalin, Concerta, Methylin, Metadate, Daytrana, and Biphentin) in the treatment of ocular motility inaccuracies and spatial awareness problems, which can most often be achieved by directed visual rehabilitation, which in itself brings many additional benefits not provided by medication alone.
Turk Psikiyatri Derg. 2008 Winter;19(4):358-64.
[The effects of methylphenidate on various components of visual attention in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder].
[Article in Turkish] Durukan I, Türkbay T, Cöngöloğlu A.
Gülhane Askeri Tip Akademisi Cocuk Psikiyatrisi AD , Ankara.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by deficits and impairment in various components of visual attention. Methylphenidate (MPH) is the most commonly prescribed treatment for children with ADHD. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of MPH on visual selective attention, sustained attention, and visual spatial attention in children with ADHD.
The study sample included 43 children (32 boys, 11 girls: age range: 7-12 years) that met the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD and consecutively referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychiatry Department of Gülhane Military Medical School. ADHD was evaluated with the Child and Adolescent Behavior Disorders Screening and Rating Scale, and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Intervention (MINI) was administered to exclude comorbid diagnoses. Visual selective attention and sustained attention were measured by verbal and non-verbal Cancellation Tests, while visual spatial attention was measured with the Line Orientation Test (LOT).
MPH administration increased the number of correct target detections and decreased the number of omission and commission errors, and shortened the time required for completion on the verbal and non-verbal Cancellation Tests, and also produced a more systematic pattern on the organized letters and figures subtests. MPH administration also improved LOT performance.
The findings show that MPH medication was associated with improved visual selective attention, sustained attention, and visual spatial attention in children with ADHD.
- > http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20352415
- > http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9826728
- > http://www.drugs.com/sfx/concerta-side-effects.html
- > This article shows visual benefits of MPH are NOT due to improvements in acuity. The study does not discuss hysteresis, or the impact of increased ciliary body tonus on accommodative function vis-a-vis reading.
- > http://www.ritalindeath.com/Ritalin-Side-Effects.htm
- > Download the article ‘handwriting deficits in minimal brain damage’ as a PDF. Improvement in visual function has wide-ranging impact, including supporting more controlled handwriting. This can be accomplished pharmaceutically to some degree, and at least as effectively through visual rehabilitative techniques.