The researchers found that methylphenidate (multiple brands) not only improved PTSD symptoms but also depressive and postconcussive symptoms in individuals with PTSD, TBI, or both. The drug also improved cognition.

In contrast, galantamine (Razadyne, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc), which is commonly used to treat patients with Alzheimer's disease, only improved episodic memory and had no effect on trauma-related symptoms.

"These findings are of particular interest given anecdotal reports of widespread prescribing of methylphenidate by clinicians working with veterans and military personnel with PTSD, and highlight the pressing need for additional research to determine the utility and safety of this drug (or other drugs with potentially overlapping mechanisms of action, such as atomoxetine) in this patient population," the investigators, led by Thomas W. McAllister, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, in Indianapolis, write.

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