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J Pediatr. 1977 Jul;91(1):127-32.

The effects of methylphenidate on the handwriting of children with minimal brain dysfunction.


Fifty children with minimal brain dysfunction who had handwriting deficits received methylphenidate or placebo under double-blind conditions. Twenty-six children (52%) showed improvement in hand-writing following treatment with methylphenidate for four weeks. One child receiving placebo had improvement in handwriting, but his handwriting improved further after he was switched to methylphenidate. In general, handwriting tended to deteriorate promptly when drug treatment was discontinued. Thirty-six patients (72%) receiving methylphenidate for four weeks were rated behaviorally improved by teachers; in contrast, seven children (14%) showed behavioral improvement following treatment with placebo. Improvement in attention and behavior, which was ascertained by the use of Conners' Abbreviated Teacher Rating Scale, did not always correspond with improvement in handwriting. Advances in handwriting skills following treatment with methylphenidate may have been directly related to improvement in fine motor coordination. Gains in handwriting were maintained for up to 26 months of follow-up in 21 children who received methylphenidate on a long-term basis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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