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ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - Concerta Prescription Drug delays release of Methylphenidate may be less Addictive


March 7th, 2006

ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - Concerta Prescription Drug delays release of Methylphenidate may be less Addictive


Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital are looking at alternative medications that will delay the release of the methylphenidate used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  By delaying the release of medication it will be less addictive and not be abused.  The report was first reported in the March 2006 issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

"We know that drugs that cause euphoria are potentially abusable, and euphoria requires rapid delivery to the brain. Using sophisticated PET scan imaging, we were able to examine the rate of delivery of both rapid- and delayed-release formulations of methylphenidate and correlate those results with how the drugs felt to study volunteers," said Thomas Spencer, MD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit, and an associate professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  He is also the lead author of this project. "The ability to show that rate of brain delivery may determine abuse potential is important to our understanding of the safety of different formulations."


In other research studies, it has been shown that ADHD brains have an abnormal regulation of dopamine.  Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical process in the brain, which helps in controlling movement, behavior, and attention.  The methylphenidate as well as other drugs will block the dopamine transporter, which will help raise the dopamine level in the brain.  The side effect to these drugs is the potential for a patient to become addicted to the drug and abuse it.  The researchers wanted to compare two different formulations of methylphenidate to see if they could come up with a less addictive drug.

The researchers selected a traditional (Ritalin) quick-release form of the methylphenidate and compared it against Concerta, which is a 12 hour time-released formulation of the methylphenidate.  The participants were 12 adults that had been diagnosed with ADHD or any other neurological or psychiatric disorder.  They were randomly assigned either the quick release or time release versions for a two day time period.


The researchers measured the brain activity using a PET scan to see the dopamine transporter molecule before the medication and at 3 hours after the first day.  They measured again after the second dose on the next day after 5 and 7 hours.  They took blood samples on both days, 10 hours after taking the medication.  The participants were asked on an hourly basis if they had any pleasurable side effects by taking the medication and whether it was liked or disliked.

The participants that took the time released medicine did not report liking the medicine compared to the group that had a quick release version.  The delayed release medication took longer to achieve maximum blood levels and cause the dopamine transporter to be blocked.


"The differing reports on feeling and liking the drug effects occurred despite using larger doses of the delayed-release formulation and the equivalent peak blood and brain levels," said Spencer. "Previous studies have showed that both versions are effective for treating ADHD. Whether delayed- or sustained-release formulations of other potentially abusable ADHD drugs share the same safety characteristics needs be studied, since different forms vary in the levels and timing of drug delivery."

ADHD children are also being researched in UK for Fish oil supplementation.  It seems like nutritional approaches have also shown positive effects as well.  A recent Best Syndication article by Dan Wilson said the following on serotonin, “There are some things you can do to increase serotonin levels.  According to the book, "Your Miracle Brain," by Jean Carper, when depressed people take SAM-e, there’s evidence of increased serotonin and dopamine in their nervous systems.  Another supplement that may promote production serotonin is 5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan).”

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM