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ADHD: Ritalin vs. Cognitive Therapy

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a cognitive condition that affects an individual’s ability to control movement, attention, motivation, planning, judgment. The CDC indicates that males are three times more likely to develop ADHD than females. For decades, the prevailing treatment method has been to prescribe ADHD patients medication known as Ritalin to increase attention span and promote behavioral control. However, modern methods such as cognitive therapy offers patients a new way to manage ADHD and other neurological conditions.

The specialists at Hope Brain & Body Recovery Center specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of neurological and cognitive disorders. Our clinic utilizes a combination of state-of-the-art technology and techniques to help patients manage their conditions and improve their quality of life.

Ritalin – Then and Now

Ritalin, otherwise known as Methylphenidate, was first synthesized in 1944 and was approved for medical use in the United States in 1955. When considering short-term goals and usage, the majority of patients report improvements in ADHD symptoms. Children with ADHD who take medications generally experience the following outcomes when compared to children who go undiagnosed:

  • Better relationships with peers and family members
  • Perform better in school
  • Less Distractible
  • Less impulsive
  • Have longer attention spans 

Some studies have noted that ADHD diagnosis is becoming increasingly prevalent all around the world, potentially indicating that using Ritalin may cause more harm than good in some populations.

Giving evidence to that claim, a new study on male guppies reveals that parental exposure to Ritalin leads to multi-generational effects, occurring in offspring that were not administered the drug directly. It has been suggested that Ritalin affects sperm cells and be passed down through paternal lineage. (1)

Cognitive Therapy

Neuroplasticity is the term used to describe the human brain’s ability to adapt to training and stimulus. Essentially, as we age, our brain allows us to learn, re-shape and encode new information. This information is learned through a combination of old and modern techniques.

Repetition remains one of the most effective ways to learn and program the brain, paired with modern learning techniques and modalities that involve your sensory organs like eyes and ears, you can train your brain to learn new behaviors, thought patterns, and improve control.

At Hope Brain & Body Recovery Center, our goal when working with individuals with ADHD is to identify which sensory and neurological networks are functioning inefficiently, then provide the appropriate cognitive exercises to bridge their deficiencies in processing, control, timing, coordination, and cognition.

As noted above, we know that the brain can improve, change, and evolve throughout a person’s lifetime. This neuroplasticity can be leveraged to improve a child’s focus, attention, and behavior for a more successful academic and personal life.

What Is The Right Option For Me?

The best way to know which option offers you the most benefit is to consult with a medical professional. It is always important to ask as many questions as you can. Are there any serious side effects? What is the short-term risk/benefit? Are there alternative therapies? Take the time to research and determine the best choice for your mental and physical health, as well as your longevity! 

ADHD Cognitive Therapy Available in Chadds Ford, PA

If you are ready to learn more about ADHD, or the cognitive therapy services that we offer, reach out to the specialists at the Hope Brain & Body Recovery Center today! Our team is here to help address any questions or concerns you may have! Call our offices to speak with a member of our team or schedule an appointment online today!


  1. De Serrano, A.R., Hughes, K.A. & Rodd, F.H. Paternal exposure to a common pharmaceutical (Ritalin) has transgenerational effects on the behavior of Trinidadian guppies. Sci Rep 11, 3985 (2021).


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