What are the most effective treatment options for ADHD, and how do they work?
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder and the most effective treatment options for it involve altering the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Stimulants and nonstimulants are two classes of medications used to treat ADHD, both of which work by boosting the levels of these neurotransmitters. This can lead to an increase in focus, concentration, memory, organizational skills, as well as a decrease in hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors.
Transcript: "Okay, what are the most effective treatment options for ADHD and how do they work? I'll start off by saying that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. So it's not something typically that you sort of grow into having. Certainly mood disorders can lead to problems with attention and concentration, but we really think of ADHD being a separate diagnosis. The treatments for ADHD really have to do with altering the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. There have been lots of studies showing deficient levels of these neurotransmitters or chemicals in the brains of folks that suffer from ADHD. The two classes of medications that we mostly consider is stimulants and non-stimulants. Within stimulants, there are the stimulant class, there are different types of stimulants, but those medications don't always work for everybody. Folks with substance use disorders might abuse these medications. They oftentimes will have side effects that are intolerable to people. So it's not the only way to go about treating ADHD. The other class or sort of group of medications we think about is non-stimulant medications. Within that class, we have selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. We also have alpha-1 agonists. The common theme among these two, sort of the stimulants and the non-stimulants, is they do change the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Folks with ADHD, they actually boost those. Boosting those levels can actually lead to an increase in focus, concentration, memory, organizational skills, and also a decrease in that hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors that we see in ADHD."