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Attention deficit disorder is a
behavioral disorder in children who display in common characteristics of
developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsiveness and in some
cases hyperactivity (Barkley, 1991; Wolraich, 1990). It was further defined in
the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders revised 3rd edition (DSM -III-R) to indicate
hyperactivity.

In 1937, an American psychiatrist
Charles Bradley experimented with a stimulant drug Benzedrine Sulfate to his
young patients. These patients were diagnosed with behavioral disorders. In his
study, Bradley found striking change in behavior occurred in the school
activities of many of these patients after just seven days. Though, Bradley’s
studies went largely ignored in the field of child psychiatry for nearly 25
years; nevertheless, they proved to be an important precursor to studies of
Ritalin and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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In 1944, Ritalin was first synthesized
using natural stimulants including caffeine and ephedrine. It was commonly
known as Methylphenidate or MPH at that time. In 1950, Ritalin was used as a
treatment for Mohr’s Syndrome. In 1955, Ritalin history took an official turn
when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first approved it as an oral tablet
and listed the active ingredient as Methylphenidate hydrochloride.

However, immediate released Ritalin
required frequent dosing as drug had short half-life. These required children
to frequently visit nurse during the school, which was raising questions to
fellow classmates. In 1982, Ritalin- SR was approved to reduce frequent dosing
of immediate released Ritalin. However, this formulation did not provide
similar therapeutic effects as immediate released Ritalin. In June 2002, FDA
approved Ritalin LA, which provides both immediate released and extended
released formulation in one tablet. This formulation shown better therapeutic
effects at same time cutting down the frequency of the drug.

Since 1940s Ritalin has been improving
and researching on its therapeutic value. Ritalin proven to improve mood and
negative behavior based on the individual reports of parent and teacher. Ritalin
and other similar class of the stimulant plays key role in treating ADHD and
improving young child’s daily activity and negative behavior.

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