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Fever and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Wed Feb 5 22:09:55 EST 1997

In <5d3s09$bv0 at dfw-ixnews4.ix.netcom.com> flefever at ix.netcom.com(F.
Frank LeFever) writes: 
>re Neal Prakash's commentary: my reply to the original query (reply is
>header #16908, at least via my server) discussed the IL-1 angle. In
>addition to Linda Watkins re vagus, check out Robert Dantzer re
>exploratory behavior, operant behavior, etc.
>In my earlier comment, I speculated re IL-1 effect on Ne
>(noradrenaline), the target most prominent in theories of ritalin
>(etc.) action in ADD (although dopamine should not be ignored).  I
>indeed find a very good review of IL-1 effects on classsical
>neurotransmitters, including increasing Ne activity--but left it at
>work!  will try to bring it home tomorrow.  Believe it was in
>Neuroimmunology, 1996 or possibly 1995.
>Frank LeFever
>New York Neuropsychology Group
(UPDATE Feb. 5)  As promised, here is the reference:

Dunn, AJ & Wang, J. Cytokine effects on CNS biogenic amines.
  Neuroimmunomodulation, 1995, vol.2, 319-328.

Their discussion focused on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical
axis and the possible relevance of IL-1-induced noradrenaline activity
to activation of the HPA axis, but they also cite a study reporting 
increased prefrontal cortical dopamine activity, which would make sense
in terms of the "frontal/intentional" sort of interpretation of ADD I
have alluded to previously.

That study is:

Zalcman S, Green-Johnson JM, Murray L et al. (incl. H. Anisman)
  Cytokine-specific central monoamine alterations induced by
  interleukin-1, -2, and -6.  Brain Research 1994, 643, 40-49.

Thus, there is a plausible rationale for such an effect.
NOW, the remaining question is: how much evidence is there that this
phenomenon (reduced ADD symptoms during fever) exists?

Frank LeFever
New York Neuropsychology Group

>In <Pine.GSO.3.95.970202145837.25667A-100000 at taurus.oac.uci.edu> Neal
>Prakash <nprakash at taurus.oac.uci.edu> writes: 
>>Sorry, I missed the original post.
>>But I recall that there is a growing body of research linking
>>behaviors" (i.e. fever, decreased socialization, etc.) with immune
>>cytokines acting directly on the brain.  I don't recall the exact
>>right now, try L. Watkins [?] or keywords: IL1, fever, vagus, if you
>>access to medline. 
>>One belief is that peripheral nerves, but especially the vagus nerve,
>>receptors for cytokines, such as IL1, TNF-b, and IL6. So when you
>>infection, local cytokines activate the vagus nerve, which in turn
>>mediates illness responses in the central nervous system via the
>>Perhaps, with ADHD, this response is altered. Or maybe the illness
>>response in the hypothalamus counteracts the neurochemical pathways
>>involved in ADHD...
>>On 2 Feb 1997, Wernerson wrote:
>>> Why is my child less hyperactive and why does he get better
>attention when
>>> he have a fever ?
>>> I wonder if science has ever picked up on this point and tried to
>>> trace from there ?
>>> There must be a connection between body temperature and brain
>activity ?

>>-Neal Prakash 
>>Department of Psychobiology, College of Medicine

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