Does Methylphenidate Normalize Brain Dysfunction During Fear Learning in Adolescents With Disruptive Behavior Disorders?

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Conduct disorder (CD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), collectively termed disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs), are a major cause of impairment and suffering in those affected by these conditions and their families and communities. The prevalence of DBDs is estimated at 5-14% in school-aged children,1 and they are costly to society and linked with negative adult outcomes.2 Unfortunately, few effective psychological treatments are available, and there is a lack of evidence-based pharmacological treatments for DBDs.3 The present study by Van Lith et al.4 investigates whether acute methylphenidate administration normalizes low brain activity during fear conditioning in adolescents with DBDs within the context of a randomized controlled trial. While the group of DBD youth who were given placebo showed reduced amygdala activity during fear conditioning relative to healthy controls, those taking methylphenidate showed an apparent normalization of amygdala activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-913
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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