ADHD Made Simple:
Shopper's guide to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, a highly heritable neurobehavioral disease formerly known as organic brain syndrome (OBS), minimal cerebral dysfunction (MCD), minimal brain damage syndrome, minimal chronic brain syndrome, minimal brain dysfunction (MBD), maturational lag, morbid defect of moral control, neurophrenia, organic drivenness, hyperkinesis, childhood-onset dysexecutive syndrome, interjacent child, clumsy child syndrome (CCS), psychoneurological learning disability, functional behavior problems (FBP)*, character impulse disorder, defect of inhibitory volition, surplus of inner impulsion, deficits in attention motor control and perception (DAMP), association deficit pathology, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADDH), developmental hyperactivity, hyperexcitability syndrome, hypokinetic syndrome, hyperkinetic impulse disorder, hyperactive child syndrome, hyperactive reaction syndrome, hyperkinetic reaction of childhood, et cetera.
All information in this report was copied directly from public web sites owned by the drug companies listed above. The Bonkers Institute for Nearly Genuine Research is not responsible for any inaccuracies, misleading claims, or blatant lies contained herein.
Important Facts About ADHDThe cause of ADHD is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by an imbalance of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.   ADHD is a medical condition and not the result of poor parenting, food allergies, or excess sugar.
How does Adderall XR work?Adderall XR is thought to work by restoring the balance of certain chemicals in the brain to help provide better focus, attention, and behavior.
ADHD and brain chemicals
Two brain chemicals in particular -- dopamine and norepinephrine -- are believed to play an important role in our ability to focus and pay attention to tasks.  Many scientists think that the symptoms of ADHD result when these brain chemicals are not balanced.   Adderall XR is thought to restore the balance of the naturally occurring brain chemicals, dopamine and norepinephrine, available in the brain.
Adverse events reported by more than 1% of pediatric patients receiving Adderall XR: abdominal pain (stomachache); accidental injury; asthenia (fatigue); fever; infection; viral infection; loss of appetite; diarrhea; dyspepsia; nausea; vomiting; dizziness; emotional lability; insomnia; nervousness; weight loss.  The effectiveness of Adderall XR for long-term use, i.e., for more than 3 weeks in children and 4 weeks in adolescents and adults, has not been systematically evaluated in controlled tria1s.
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Science Made Simple
Is ADHD a real medical disorder?   With so much information and misinformation available, it's easy to get confused.   Take a few minutes to learn some important SCIENTIFIC FACTS... from the medical experts.  Many factors can affect the brain and may contribute to ADHD symptoms.  Key factors include: an imbalance in specific brain chemicals, genetic factors, and exposure to certain substances.
Brain chemical imbalances
Millions of brain cells continually transmit signals to each other across the gap between the brain cells.  The messages that these neurotransmitters generate impact emotion, behavior, thinking, and attention skills; similarly, an imbalance of these may impair one's effectiveness in the same areas.   ADHD medications are thought to influence the balance of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, helping to improve functioning to more normal levels.
In the clinical studies with patients using Concerta, the most common side effects were headache, stomach pain, sleeplessness, and decreased appetite.  Other side effects seen with methylphenidate, the active ingredient in Concerta, include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, nervousness, tics, allergic reactions and increased blood pressure.  This is not a complete list of possible side effects.  Psychosis (abnormal thinking or hallucinations) and manic symptoms (abnormal, extreme moods or excessive activity) have occurred in clinical studies of stimulants.
CONCERTA® and OROS® are registered trademarks of ALZA Corporation
© McNeil Pediatrics, a Division of McNeil-PPC, Inc. 2000-2007.
What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
ADHD is a neurobiological behavioral disorder that manifests as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development.
What are the causes of ADHD?The exact origin of ADHD is unknown, but scientists speculate that the disorder may be caused by one or more of the following factors:
Genetics: Research strongly suggests that ADHD tends to run in families.  In fact, studies of twins reveal that 80 percent of the influence of ADHD is due to genetic factors.  However, this does not mean that all children in a family will have the disorder.
Abnormal neurotransmitter function: ADHD is thought to be caused by an imbalance of two neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine, which are believed to play an important role in the ability to focus and pay attention to tasks.   Many scientists think that when the neurotransmitters are not balanced, the symptoms of ADHD result.   Traditionally, the most effective medications to treat ADHD have a direct action on both dopamine and norepinephrine.
Environment: Certain external factors, such as alcohol and drug abuse during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and chemical poison ingestion during pregnancy may contribute to ADHD.
Although there is no "cure" for ADHD, there are accepted treatments that specifically target its symptoms.
Psychostimulant medications are thought to affect two key neurotransmitters in the brain that control attention, impulses, and self-regulation of behavior, and remain among the most successful treatments for people with ADHD.   While these medications are generally well-tolerated, common side effects may include decreased appetite, weight loss, headache, and insomnia.
The most common side effects reported with Daytrana were decreased appetite, sleeplessness, sadness/crying, twitching, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, tics, and affect lability (mood swings).  Aggression, new abnormal thoughts/behaviors, mania, and growth suppression have been associated with use of drugs of this type.   Abuse of Daytrana can lead to dependence.   Careful supervision is required during withdrawal from abusive use, since severe depression may occur. Adverse events occurring in 5% or more among patients treated with Daytrana in a 7-week clinical trial: nausea, vomiting, nasopharyngitis, decreased weight, anorexia, decreased appetite, affect lability (increased emotional sensitivity, emotional instability, emotional lability, and intermittent emotional lability), insomnia, tic, and nasal congestion.   In a long-term study, the most frequently reported adverse events in pediatric patients treated with Daytrana were anorexia (46%), insomnia (30%), viral infection (28%), and headache (28%).
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What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common medical condition.  ADHD is what doctors call a "neurobehavioral disorder."   This means that what happens in your nervous system affects the way you behave.   Studies have shown that the brains of people with ADHD may work differently, perhaps because of a chemical imbalance.
What causes ADHD?
No one knows exactly what causes ADHD.  It may be a chemical problem in the brain.  Or it may be a difference in brain structure.   Whatever the cause, ADHD seems to be more common among boys than girls.  This could be because girls are less often diagnosed, or are treated more often as adults.  One reason for this is because their symptoms seem harder to recognize.  Girls tend to be less hyperactive and aggressive.  Instead, they have more problems with attention, mood, and anxiety.   We do know what doesn't cause ADHD.   No matter what you've heard, it is not caused by bad parenting or poor schooling.  It's not caused by watching too much TV.  It doesn't come from eating too much sugar.   It's a real medical condition that needs real medical attention.
Myths and Facts
MYTH: ADHD is not a real medical condition.  Fact: ADHD is recognized as a real medical condition by the medical community and national organizations.  While the specific cause has not been confirmed, brain imaging research using a technique called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has shown that differences exist between the brains of children with and without ADHD.
MYTH: Stimulants stunt growth.   Fact: Stimulant medications may cause an initial, mild slowing of growth.  But this is temporary.  Children treated with ADHD stimulants reach their normal heights.
|The most common side effects of Focalin XR in clinical trials in children were upset stomach, nausea, decreased appetite, headache, and anxiety.   Slower growth (weight gain and/or height) has been reported with long-term use of methylphenidate in children.  The most common side effects of Focalin XR in adults were dry mouth, dyspepsia, feeling jittery, dizziness, anxiety, and throat pain.  Other side effects seen with Focalin XR include vomiting, dizziness, sleeplessness, nervousness, tics, allergic reactions, increased blood pressure, and psychosis (abnormal thinking or hallucinations).   This is not a complete list of possible side effects of Focalin XR.
|Copyright © 2007 Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
What Causes ADHD?
While the causes of ADHD are not entirely clear, it is believed that the disorder is caused by biological factors.
How Does the ADHD Medication Ritalin LA Work?
ADHD is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.   Stimulants like Ritalin LA are thought to help to restore that balance to normal levels.
ADHD and Changes in Brain Function
Studies show that the brains of children with ADHD may function differently than those of other children.   These children may have an imbalance of chemicals in the brain that help to regulate behavior.
Q: What causes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in school-age children?
Nervousness and insomnia are the most common adverse reactions reported with methylphenidate products.   In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss, insomnia, and tachycardia may occur more frequently.   Other reactions include: angina, arrhythmia, palpitations, pulse increased or decreased, tachycardia; abdominal pain, nausea; skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, thrombocytopenic purpura; anorexia, weight loss; dizziness, drowsiness, dyskinesia, headache, Tourette's syndrome, toxic psychosis; blood pressure increased or decreased, cerebral arteritis and/or occlusion; leukopenia and/or anemia; abnormal liver function, ranging from transaminase elevation to hepatic coma; depressed mood, aggressive behavior; scalp hair loss.
|Copyright © 2006 Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
ADHD Fact & Fiction
Myth: ADHD is not a medical condition.
Fact: ADHD is a medical condition, linked to a chemical imbalance in the brain.   It is officially recognized by leading medical experts and institutions, including the U.S. Surgeon General, the American Psychiatric Association, and others.
Causes of ADHD
Although the exact cause of ADHD remains unknown, research has increased in the last decade.   At present, the most likely cause of ADHD is believed to be genetic, but other causes have been implicated as well.
In the past, uncertainty about the causes of ADHD created a fertile climate for speculation of all kinds.   Many theories - notably those holding parents to blame in some way for their child's uncontrolled behavior - have been advanced and were later determined to be unfounded. Among the most well-known include:
Increasingly it has become clear that ADHD is a neurological disorder that requires a medical diagnosis and treatment.
ADHD AND NEUROBIOLOGY
The precise mechanism by which Strattera produces its therapeutic effect in ADHD is not known.
In some children and teenagers who participated in clinical trials, treatment with Strattera increased suicidal thinking.   In children, the most common side effects were upset stomach, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, dizziness, and mood swings.   In adults, the most common side effects were constipation, dry mouth, nausea, decreased appetite, dizziness, problems sleeping, sexual side effects, problems urinating, and menstrual cramps.   This is not a complete list of side effects.
|© 2006 Eli Lilly and Company.
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Management of ADHD with Medication
Over the years, there has been opposition to the use of medications such as Ritalin and Adderall for the treatment of ADHD.   The controversy is basically media-driven, often fueled by individuals and groups with a hidden agenda.
Mainstream weekly news magazines and television shows have given print space and airtime to individuals and groups seeking to benefit from an attack on the most effective medications available for ADHD.   A recent television show featured a "nutritionist" denying the validity of a diagnosis of ADHD.   Well, against this backdrop, the healthcare community stands in agreement -- ADHD is real, and the sensible, reasoned use of medication is an essential treatment component.
As for the charge that the medications "dope" or sedate children, the fact is that these medications are not sedatives.   They do not medicate a child into submission.   Instead, they wake up the brain's "focusing system" -- the areas that are responsible for attention, focus, behavioral control, and cognitive performance.
See How Vyvanse Works
The following video demonstrates theoretical mechanism of action of Vyvanse.
As you can see, we have an intact compound here.   Lisdexamfetamine is converted to d-amphetamine and l-lysine, which is believed to occur by intestinal and/or hepatic metabolism.   Although the mechanism of action of d-amphetamine in adhd is not known, it is thought that d-amphetamine blocks the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine in pre-synaptic neurons.
Dopamine and norepinephrine may be associated with a chemical imbalance in people with ADHD.   Medicines that make more of these neurotransmitters available are helpful in both children and adults with ADHD.
Vyvanse is therapeutically inactive until converted to an active form by natural metabolic processes. Vyvanse is thought to exert a therapeutic effect through activity of d-amphetamine on norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain. Thank you for joining us on this journey.
Girls and ADHD -- the Same, But Different
The behavior exhibited by girls is not usually as disruptive and often displays more anxiety, depression, and learning or cognitive problems.
Whereas boys with ADHD may act in a very angry, rebellious fashion, for many girls with this disorder their life is an emotional roller coaster.   They may withdraw and become depressed if they feel overwhelmed and socially rejected at school.   Highly hyperactive-impulsive girls may engage in constant dramatic screaming battles at home, where it feels much safer to release their fears and frustrations.
Vyvanse is a stimulant medicine.   The following mental (psychiatric) problems have been reported with use of stimulant medicines: new or worse behavior and thought problems; new or worse bipolar illness; new or worse aggressive behavior or hostility; new psychotic symptoms (such as hearing voices, believing things that are not true, are suspicious) or new manic symptoms.   Call your doctor right away if you or your child have any new or worsening mental symptoms or problems while taking Vyvanse, especially seeing or hearing things that are not real, believing things that are not real, or are suspicious.   Other serious side effects include: slowing of growth (height and weight), seizures, eyesight changes or blurred vision.   The most common side effects of Vyvanse are decreased appetite, insomnia, abdominal pain, headache, irritability, vomiting, weight loss, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, affect lability (extreme mood swings), fever, rash, and tics.   This is not a complete list of possible side effects.
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