ADHD Unrelated to Dopamine Dysfunction


Research from the University of Cambridge finds that “dopamine dysregulation per se is unlikely to be the primary cause underlying attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder pathology in adults.” Using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, the researchers found no difference in the effects of Ritalin on dopamine receptors in people with and without ADHD diagnoses.

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Campo, N., Fryer., T., Hong, Y., Smith, R., et al; A positron emission tomography study of nigro-striatal dopaminergic mechanisms underlying attention: implications for ADHD and its treatment. Brain. 136(11) 3252-3270

Of further interest:
Brain imaging study demonstrates that dopamine dysregulation is not the cause of ADHD (University of Cambridge Press Release)
Imaging study shows dopamine dysfunction is not the main cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (University of Cambridge)
Dopamine may not be behind attention disorder: Researchers (Business Standard)
Dopamine Dysfunction Not to Blame for ADHD (Bioscience Technology)
Chemical Imbalance Is Probably Not Behind ADHD (PsychCentral)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].