New study shows that stimulants enhance ability to focus and screen out distractions.
by ADDitude Editors
Doctors know that stimulants can help people with AD/HD. But they don't fully understand how they work -- especially how stimulants calm activity instead of boosting it.
A new study shows that stimulants enhance the ability to focus and screen out distracting stimuli. Low doses of methylphenidate, the most common stimulant used to treat AD/HD, increase the level of the key chemical in the part of the brain that focuses attention. At the same time, it lowers the brain's response to outside distractions.
"If we can know exactly how it works, we may be able to produce even more effective drugs and provide a better understanding of AD/HD," said Barry Waterhouse, Ph.D., the study's lead author and a dean at Drexel University College of Medicine.
The study was published in the May 2006 issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology.