I don’t have a good way to tie this to our research, but I’ll stretch …

A BBC program says that drugs for ADHD (like Ritalin) don’t work well for kids over the long-term.  This study is a follow-up of a study by the same authors that found that over the first year the drugs had very positive effects.  Over a three-year time-frame, the authors found (a) NO beneficial effects; but (b) significant decrease in height and weight gain.  I haven’t read the scientific papers, so I don’t know how strong these results were, but I imagine they’re scary for parents.  The problem is that some kids who need these drugs are quite difficult to manage without them, even getting violent.  What can be done for them, their parents, and their teachers?

Now the stretch …

When I worked in Net Perceptions, I noticed that many Internet executives had the classic problems associated with ADHD: short attention span, inability to sit still, and excitability.  I speculated at the time that the Internet boom would bust if Ritalin ever got into the Silicon Valley water supply :).  If we did have a way to dial up the perfect personality for each of us, I wonder what the long-term social effects would be?  Would we have a lot more happy people and a lot less innovation?  How do we as a society make the trade-offs between value to the society and value to the individual? 


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