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Curr Neuropharmacol. 2016;14(3):272-81.

Methylphenidate on Cognitive Improvement in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Meta-Analysis.

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Master Program in Long- Term Care, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan, No 250 Wuxing Street, Taipei City, 11031, Taiwan, R.O.C.


Although methylphenidate has been used as a neurostimulant to treat patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, its therapeutic role in the psychomotor or cognitive recovery of patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in both intensive care and rehabilitation settings has not been adequately explored. To address this issue, this meta-analysis searched the available electronic databases using the key words "methylphenidate", "brain injuries", "head injuries", and "traumatic brain injury". Analysis of the ten double-blind RCTs demonstrated significant benefit in using methylphenidate for enhancing vigilance-associated attention (i.e., selective, sustained, and divided attention) in patients with TBIs (standardized mean difference: 0.45, 95% CI: 0.10 to 0.79), especially in sustained attention (standardized mean difference: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.22 to 1.10). However, no significant positive impact was noted on the facilitation of memory or processing speed. More studies on the efficacy and safety of methylphenidate for the cognitive improvement of patients with TBIs are warranted.

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