DOES STIMULANT MEDICATION DECREASE THE LOWER EXTREMITY RESPONSE TIMES OF CHILDREN WITH AND WITHOUT ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER?1,2

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Abstract

In 2005 Pedersen and Surburg reported that stimulant medications reduced the lower extremity response times of 16 boys with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. However, as boys without ADHD and girls with and without ADHD were not studied, one cannot conclude that reported effects represent a medication effect unique to children with ADHD. An alternative hypothesis is presented: that stimulant medications produce an excitatory effect in the central nervous system by increased occupancy of postsynaptic dopamine receptors to reduce the lower extremity response times of children in general. Well-designed controlled clinical trials are needed to evaluate this hypothesis.

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