Childhood cancer survivors show sustained benefit from methylphenidate (concerta / ritalin)

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A medicine widely used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder also provides long-term relief from the attention and behavior changes that affect many childhood cancer survivors, according to a trial led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Researchers reported that one year after starting the drug methylphenidate, young cancer survivors scored better on tests of sustained attention and other measures of attention, social skills and behavior than did a similar group of unmedicated survivors. Heather Conklin, Ph.D., of the St. Jude Psychology department, is the first author of the research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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