Bruera, E., Miller, M.J., Macmillan, K., & Kuehn, N. (1992). Neuropsychological effects of methylphenidate in patients receiving a continuous infusion of narcotics for cancer pain. Pain, 48(2), 163–166.
This study was conducted to assess the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on neuropsychological functions for patients with cancer on continuous subcutaneous (SQ) infusion of narcotics for pain.
Participants were assessed immediately before and two hours after dose for two days.
The study took place at Edmonton General Hospital in Alberta, Canada.
The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial.
Significant improvement was noted in drowsiness, confusion, tapping speed, arithmetic skills, reverse digits, and visual memory (p < 0.001). Patients and investigators blindly chose MPH as more effective over the placebo in 13 of 14 cases.
In patients with cancer who had significant pain, immediate improvements in alertness, attention, and memory were noted.