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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2007 Feb;17(1):35-49.

Preliminary evidence of beneficial effects of methylphenidate on listening comprehension in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Faculty of Education, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on listening comprehension for information passages, and on working memory, was examined in a clinical sample of 16 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

METHOD:

Drug effects on comprehension of spoken language at the levels of single sentences and passages, and on verbal and visual-spatial working memory (WM) skills were assessed over a 4-day placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover treatment trial of MPH at low, medium, and high doses. Concurrent behavior ratings were also completed. Data were analyzed at both group and individual levels; individual improvements using average change scores were analyzed to explore interrelationships among comprehension, WM, and behavioral responses to MPH.

RESULTS:

There was a significant effect of drug on comprehension of inferences from challenging listening passages (F = 3.1, p ,0.05), and on visual-spatial working memory performance (F = 3.3, p ,0.05), with significant linear dose-response relationships evident for both domains. Individual improvements in comprehension using averaged placebo-dose change scores were not related to improvements in behavior with MPH, or to improvements in WM in this sample.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings provide preliminary evidence that MPH affects higher-level language comprehension skills, which require sustained attention and mental effort. If generalizable to classroom listening skills, these findings have implications for clinicians and teachers involved with children with ADHD.

PMID:
17343552
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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