Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, how Ritalin might be working.

Ruth Williams, in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, points out an article by Drouin et al in The Journal of Neurophysiology that suggests a potential brain mechanism for the action of methylphenidate (Ritalin) in relieving attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD sufferers essentially "pay attention to too many things." They find it difficult to filter out unwanted distractions and focus one issue at a time. Behavioral experiments with rats have shown that Ritalin improves behavior in a sustained attention task, just as it does in humans. Drouin et al found that administering Ritalin to rats (at a dose equivalent to that used in human therapy) caused an increase in the levels of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline in the rat's sensory cortex and reduced a long-latency phase of the brain's response to sensory stimuli. This latter effect may be important in filtering out sensory noise.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:15 AM

    My name is Nikki Hughes and i would like to show you my personal experience with Ritalin.

    I am 51 years old. Have been on Ritalin for 9 years now. I began taking it for depression after my marriage ended, and also in a misguided attempt to lose weight! I lost about 15 pounds at the beginning, had tons of energy, felt great...but the weight loss stopped within a few months.. I currently feel focused and motivated after I take it and am able to get a lot done. As well as the generic ritalin, I take 6 - 12 Tylenol 1 tablets a day. I know how bad this is, but can't seem to stop for more than a few days. The last nine years seem to be a's like I have lost those years....I hardly remember anything about them. I find this sad and frightening. I take what my doctor prescribed: three 10mg. tablets a day. I have tried many times to completely get off this drug but I now realize that I am truly addicted to it. If I stop taking it for more than one day I become extremely depressed and have very negative, hopeless thoughts and ideas.

    I have experienced some of these side effects-
    very irritable when it wears off; sometimes difficult to fall asleep, memory loss, hear music in my head that won't stop.

    I hope this information will be useful to others,
    Nikki Hughes