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June 1983

A Naturalistic Assessment of the Motor Activity of Hyperactive BoysII. Stimulant Drug Effects

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Cerebral Metabolism (Dr Porrino) and the Unit on Childhood Mental Illness, Biological Psychiatry Branch (Drs Rapoport and Behar and Ms Ismond), National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md; and the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Irvine (Dr Bunney).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(6):688-693. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.04390010098013

• Twenty-four-hour motor activity was assessed in a naturalistic setting in 12 hyperactive boys for four weeks (672 consecutive hours). Dextroamphetamine, 15 mg/day, or placebo was administered on alternate weeks, using a double-blind ABAB design. When the boys received dextroamphetamine, motor activity was significantly decreased for about eight hours after drug administration. This decrease was followed by a period of slight but significant increases in activity ("rebound"). Dextroamphetamine decreased activity most strikingly during structured classroom activity; during physical education, however, there was a significant drug-induced increase in motor activity.

(Arch Gen Psychiatry 1983;40:688-693)