U.S. scientists working on mice reported that Novartis AG's Ritalin, a medication for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, produced changes in the brain's reward center that resembled the effects of cocaine dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded the research, which comes after several human studies showed that stimulant drugs such as Ritalin are safe when used to treat ADHD. Nonmedical applications may result in addiction, the institute's director said.

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