Background: The present study investigated the effects of rapid tryptophan depletion (RTD), and the ensuing reduction of central nervous system levels of serotonin (5-HT), upon reactive aggression in patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Furthermore, it was asked whether the relation between 5-HT function and behavioural aggression in patients is influenced by their age, the intensity of their attention problems or their comorbid symptoms. Methods: The study employed a double-blind, within-subject crossover design. On day 1, 22 male adolescent patients with ADHD were subjected to RTD and the subsequent reduction of central 5-HT levels. On day 2, they received a tryptophan-balanced amino acid mixture (BAL), which acted as a placebo. On both days, 4.5 h after the intake of the RTD/BAL amino acids, reactive aggressive behaviour was provoked using a competitive reaction time game, which consisted of both high and low provocation conditions. Results: The number of aggressive responses was significantly higher after low provocation during acute tryptophan depletion, in comparison to the placebo. Furthermore, this study provides evidence that neither age nor the intensity of attention symptoms in ADHD patients had an impact on the relation between 5-HT and reactive aggression. Conclusion: This study indicates that in children with ADHD, there is an inverse relationship between 5-HT and aggression.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.