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A 40-year-old member asked:

How do attention deficit disorder drugs work based upon neurotransmitter activity in the brain?

2 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Donald Haupt
Psychiatry 49 years experience
Dopamine: The stimulant medications (like Adderall (dextroamphetamine and racemic amphetamine) and ritalin), which are the best meds for adhd, work primarily by increasing the neurotransmitter Dopamine in a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which controls executive functioning, which lets you plan, shift from task to task, and focus. People with adhd have a shortage of Dopamine in this area.
Dr. Glen Elliott
Child Psychiatry 43 years experience
Still under stiudy: Most medications that work for adhd have the effect of increasing dopamin, a brain neurotransmitter that is closely linked to the reward system. However, details as to why increasing Dopamine activity seems to be so helpful with this disorder remain to be clarified--and it still isn't clear at all that the problem of adhd itself is a result of poor functioning of the dopamin system.
Dr. Glen Elliott
Child Psychiatry 43 years experience
Provided original answer
Although some with ADHD have interesting, still poorly understood changes in EEG activity, there is no specific association between ADHD and seizures. It's been looked at quite thoroughly.
Jun 21, 2012

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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