Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences

Committee Chair

Bruce Stallsmith

Committee Member

Shannon Mathis

Committee Member

William N. Setzer


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder., Amphetamines., Drugs--Side effects., Bone--Density., College students--Health and hygiene.


Literature review showed lowered bone mineral density (BMD) among methamphetamine users and in mice that were given methylphenidate. No human clinical studies have been carried out, to date, to investigate whether there is a correlation between use of psychostimulants prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (in this case methylphenidate and amphetamines) and lowered BMD in young adult aged humans. This study observed 53 human subjects, age 19-27 years (average age 21 years); 25 experimental, psychostimulant-prescribed ADHD patients, and 28 healthy control subjects. Each subject was given dual x-ray absorptiometer (DXA) scans of femur, hip area, lumbar spine, and whole-body with a Hologic Horizon DXA scanner. The results from these scans were compared and statistical analyses performed. The results showed that there was a significant difference between the control and experimental groups in the following areas: lumbar spine z-score and BMD (P = 0.02 and P = 0.02, respectively) and whole-body z-score and BMD (P = 0.03 and P = 0.006, respectively). Further Tukey multiple analyses of these data showed that the difference lie between the amphetamine group and the control, in both cases (P = 0.047 and P = 0.03, respectively). The whole-body amphetamine group showed the male group to have a significant difference from the control group (P = 0.04), but not the females (P = 0.81). No difference was observed with Tukey analysis between the sexes in the spine BMD. This study warrants additional research to determine if we are indeed undermining our bone strength in later adult years in exchange for cognitive abilities in our adolescence.



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