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Brain Inj. 2015;29(6):758-65. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2015.1004747. Epub 2015 Mar 20.

Methylphenidate reduces mental fatigue and improves processing speed in persons suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg , Gothenburg , Sweden .

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Post-traumatic brain injury symptoms, such as mental fatigue, have considerable negative impacts on quality-of-life. In the present study the effects of methylphenidate in two different dosages were assessed with regard to mental fatigue, pain and cognitive functions in persons who had suffered a traumatic brain injury.

METHODS:

Fifty-one subjects were included and 44 completed the study. The treatment continued for 12 weeks, including three treatment periods with no medication for 4 weeks, administration of low dose methylphenidate (up to 5 mg × 3) for 4 weeks and normal dose methylphenidate (up to 20 mg × 3) for a further 4 weeks. The patients were randomized into three groups where all groups were given all treatments.

RESULTS:

Significantly reduced mental fatigue, assessed with the Mental Fatigue Scale (MFS) and increased information processing speed (coding, WAIS-III), were detected. The SF-36 vitality and social functioning scales were also improved significantly. Pain was not reduced by methylphenidate. The positive effects of treatment were dose-dependent, with the most prominent effects being at 60 mg methylphenidate/day spread over three doses. Observed side-effects were increased blood pressure and increased heart rate.

CONCLUSIONS:

Methylphenidate was generally well-tolerated and it improved long-lasting mental fatigue and processing speed after traumatic brain injury.

KEYWORDS:

Cognition; TBI; mental fatigue; methylphenidate; pain

PMID:
25794299
DOI:
10.3109/02699052.2015.1004747
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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