People with ADHD are often prescribed methylphenidate (brand name Ritalin) to counteract hyperactive behavior and attention dysfunction that may negatively affect their driving ability. Although little was known about the influence methylphenidate had on driving ability, a number of studies using driving simulators did indicate that the medication had a positive effect on driving ability.
As part of his research, Verster had 18 ADHD patients take a test drive on a motorway under normal traffic conditions. The patients were asked to drive as safely as possible at a steady speed and fixed position on the road over a distance of 100 km. The test drives were done both with and without medication. The study shows that weaving of the car is much less when patients use their medication than when they drive without medication.
Verster's research shows methylphenidate improves driving ability of ADHD patients.
The study will appear in the May 2008 issue of Journal of Psychopharmacology.
Peter van der Wilt | alfa
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