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Quick Uptakes
August 26, 1998

Dopamine Defect and ADHD

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JAMA. 1998;280(8):687. doi:10.1001/jama.280.8.687-JQU80005-6-1

For the first time, researchers have identified a specific defect in dopamine production in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

In a study published August 1 in The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) used positron emission tomography to study the brains of 17 adults with ADHD. They found that the activity of dopa decarboxylase, an enzyme involved in dopamine production, was lower than normal in the anterior frontal cortex of participants in the study. The anterior frontal cortex is the site of cognitive processes, including attention.

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