ADD and Ritalin

Andrew Ray aray at emory.edu
Sat Aug 26 21:29:59 EST 1995


In article <sally-2608952124100001 at ts8-14.upenn.edu>, 
sally at retina.anatomy.upenn.edu (Sally Shrom) writes:

>Does anyone know exactly what is going wrong at the synapes of children or
>adults who have " attention deficit disorder"?  What does the drug Ritalin
>do in  the brain. I understand it is used to treat the disorder.
> 
>   sally at retina.anatomy.upenn.edu

I don't know if anyone actually knows exactly.  One theory I've heard is that 
GABAergic transmission is lower than it should be in certain areas.  Ritalin, 
according to this theory, is supposed to stimulate GABA transmission.  This 
results in a net inhibitory effect, and is supposed to be why Ritalin reduces 
the hyperactivity and increases ability to concentrate.  I don't know if the 
theory has much evidence for or against it (I've seen a few studies advancing 
the theory, but I didn't really look at them in depth), nor do I know of other 
theories that are out there.  It's not really my specialty, but maybe this can 
give you a jumping off point for further research.  Good luck.

Andrew Ray
Emory University Neuroscience Program



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