ADD and Ritalin

Fernando Boix fboix at
Mon Aug 28 14:47:16 EST 1995

Andrew Ray <aray at> wrote:

>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

Methylphenidate, the active compound of Ritalin, is a potent dopamine
uptake blocker, like cocaine, increasing the concentration of this
neurotransmitter in the synaptic cleft and increasing, therefoere, the
dopaminergic neurotransmission. Amphetamine, which is also used in
ADD-ADHD, also increases dopamine neurotransmission but in another way
(not very good known but it seems it increase dopamine release by
reversing the uptake mechanisms). 
Fernando Boix Escolan
Dept. of Neurophysiology
University of Oslo

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