Underlying neurobiology and pharmacology
Professor Kevin Fone
Professor of Neuroscience, University of Nottingham
Updated: Thursday, 21st June 2018
Last Checked: Thursday, 21st June 2018 Current
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The lecture compares the DSM-IV and ICD-10 classification of ADHD and defines the underlying symptoms of the disorder together with the incidence of common co-morbid disorders. Evidence for the strong underlying genetic component to ADHD, together with associations of polymorphisms in genes encoding proteins involved in dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission and the disorder is discussed. The association between exposure to adverse early-life environmental factors and ADHD is described. Indirect evidence for the involvement of altered dopamine neurotransmission and alteration in dopamine transporter levels from neuroimaging studies is reviewed. The mechanism of action of psychostimulant medications, such as methylphenidate and amphetamine, is compared with that of non-stimulant drugs, such as atomoxetine and modafinil. The possible sites of actions of the medications is reviewed using fMRI and mircodialysis studies in experimental animals, and the long-term risk of drug abuse compared with the clinical benefit of prescribing medication in patients discussed.