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August 1980

Dextroamphetamine: Its Cognitive and Behavioral Effects in Normal and Hyperactive Boys and Normal Men

Author Affiliations

From the Biological Psychiatry Branch (Drs Rapoport, Buchsbaum, and Mikkelsen) and the Laboratory of Psychology and Psychopathology (Drs Weingartner and Zahn), National Institute of Mental Health; and the Communicative Disorders Program, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke (Dr Ludlow), Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(8):933-943. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780210091010

• The effects of a single oral dose of dextroamphetamine sulfate on motor activity, vigilance, learning, and mood were compared for normal and hyperactive prepubertal boys and normal college-aged men using a double-blind crossover design. Both groups of boys and men showed decreased motor activity, increased vigilance, and improvement on a learning task after taking the stimulant drug. The men reported euphoria, while the boys reported only feeling "tired" or "different" after taking the stimulant. It is not clear whether this difference in effect on mood between adults and children is due to differing experience with drugs, ability to report affect, or a true pharmacologic age-related effect. While there were some quantitative differences in drug effects on motor activity and vigilance between these different groups, stimulants appear to act similarly on normal and hyperactive children and adults.