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Baylor College of Medicine

Examining the Skeletal Effects of Psychostimulants (H-47530)



Do ADHD medications affect bone health?


Stimulant medications, like Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, Vyvanse, or Adderall, are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD – sometimes called ADD). These medications are known to have an effect on growth in height. Our research shows that they may also have an effect on bone strength. As such, this study is focused on evaluating the effect of these medications on bone quality and strength. This study is funded by the National Institutes of Health. 
What does the study entail? 

  • Three in-person visits at our clinic and monthly online/over-the-phone check-ins. Each in-person visit lasts about 3-4 hours and the online/phone check-ins last about 15-30 minutes.
  • Study participation will last for one year. 
  • At each in-person visit, participants will be asked to complete questionnaires, and memory games. They will also be asked to undergo a blood draw (optional), a brief physical exam, and bone scans, and to give us stool (optional) and urine samples. Finally, they will be given a sensor (like a Fitbit) to track their physical activity for a week. 
  • We are obtaining two types of bone scans: DXA and what is called high-resolution peripheral CT scans. They involve a very small amount of radiation. The total is equivalent to only a few days of daily radiation we are all exposed to. 
  • Participants will receive copies of their bone scans, and meals will be provided for those who complete the fasting blood draw.
  • Participants are compensated $20-$550 depending on how much of the study they complete, in addition to reimbursement for transportation expenses. 

Study requirements 

  • Must be 7-16 years of age.
  • Planning to start treatment for attention with stimulants (Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, Vyvanse, Adderall, etc), OR never experienced any psychiatric or mental health problems. In fact, we are also recruiting healthy children for this study. 

If you are interested in the study, please complete an online screening form


Chadi Calarge Lab

Phone 1: 832–824–5002

IRB: H-47530




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